Our God works in mysterious ways. He reminds us of this in the book of Isaiah, that His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. The bible is a book stacked with irony and full of mystery. The first irony I want to look at today is of the cross.
It is where we see evil intention being transformed into divine salvation.
God interrupted the evil schemes of man and Satan when He resurrected Christ from the dead. For we read in the book of Acts that death could not hold Him. God, in His divine justice, overruled all wicked intentions and used their very acts of disobedience to bring life and salvation to the entire world, for anyone who would receive.
The second irony we see is that resurrection comes THROUGH crucifixion. The cross represents death, pain and suffering. It is out of this death that LIFE appears. To personalize this truth, we realize that our own death to self must occur so that we can encounter HIS glorious life and vanquish all evil in our being. Jesus so eloquently tells us in the book of John, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:24-26 NLT
Inside of Jesus’ words is the startling truth that if we desire to save our life we will lose it. However, when we choose to lose our life for His sake, we are then able to find true life- This is good news!
It is on the cross that Jesus once and for all defeated Satan. Paul reminds us in Colossians that we have been made alive with Christ, the anointed One, because He disarmed the powers and authorities and triumphed over them all by the cross. Col. 2:13-15
Again, we see that out of death, our enemy has been defeated and we can now enter into the abundant life that Jesus calls us to.
My friend, are you truly living today? Are you focusing on the goodness of God despite your current situations? If not, I want to encourage you to enter into the fullness of God’s goodness. God will sometimes confront us with deep pain and suffering because He desires to reveal His goodness to us. We experience the goodness of God only through the revelation of His glory, which is His unique nature and essence. God displays Himself as supremely good in the midst of the most intense evil and suffering experienced on this earth – the cross of Calvary.
I have a quote hanging in my office that reads, “If I don’t see the cross and what Jesus did for me, then I can NEVER be truly free.”
God has overturned all human pain because He experienced it for us. He displayed His goodness by suffering on our behalf.
And so I leave you with this…..Make pain your friend! Cause any and all pain in your life to catapult you into the arms of a loving Father who created you and has a divine purpose for you here on this earth and for all eternity. Memorize Jeremiah 29:11 and meditate on its truths and goodness. Allow pain to bring you to a place of complete dependence on the One who formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139)
Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain only creates more pain.” – Asian Proverb
It is through our pain and suffering that we experience lasting joy and encounter His beautiful glory. Romans 8:17
L. Roitsch 5/2017