Saturday, February 24, 2024

Orange Moon Saturday, February 24, 2024 "Blessing - the Pleasant and the Painful"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Blessing - the Pleasant and the Painful"



      When most people presently see the depiction of a cross, thoughts often focus on God and His help.  "He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby" (Ephesians 2:16).

    In days when people witnessed the death of crosses as originally devised, however, thoughts either immediately led away from God, or to contemplation of His judgment.  "We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4).

    In the world as presently constituted, the presence and working of God often manifests in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence.  "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).  The Lord Jesus' suffering and death at Calvary would have seemed like forsakenness rather than salvation to nearly all who directly witnessed its horror.  

   The Jews and most other cultures viewed God's blessing in terms of the pleasant rather than the painful.  "Who then can be saved?" asked the disciples in bewilderment when the Savior declared how hard it is for the wealthy - ostensibly blessed by God with pleasant things - to be redeemed (Matthew 19:17-26).  Scripture, however, reveals that in a world of sin, our Lord's ways must presently involve the blessing of both pleasure and pain.  The former will seem like blessing.  The latter will not.  Both nevertheless pave the path of God's lovingkindness and righteousness as currently constituted and required.  

   "Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of His servant" (Psalm 35:27).

    "We must through much tribulation entered into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

   The greatest act of love ever performed appeared to be nothing more than hatred and wrath.  It was that in the sense of human rejection of Christ, and of God pouring out His fury against sin on the One "made to be sin for us" (II Corinthians 5:21).  It was love nevertheless, and the blessing of God in His doing the best thing He could do for us, at the greatest cost to Himself.  Yes, blessing presently comes to us in the garb of both the pleasant and the painful.  We will not venture far with God if we do not know this clearly revealed Biblical truth.  The cross that now tells us of God's presence and grace, but which once appeared to be His absence and wrath, bears witness to the Heavenly Father wise enough and loving enough to work in accordance with our deepest need.  The pleasant and the painful - both speak of blessing, and one no less than the other.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."

(Ephesians 1:3)

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for His sake."

(Philippians 1:29)

Weekly Memory Verse

     Trust in Him at all times, ye people, pour out your heart before Him.  God is a refuge for us.

(Psalm 62:8)


No comments: