Today I have been reflecting on pain. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Pain? Who wants to think about pain?” Pain is not the best thing to think about but if you really think about it, all of us will experience it at one time or another in our lives; probably more often then we want too.
Sometimes we will go through painful experiences that cause a lifetime of painful reflection while other times we will experience pain that causes us to change and, in the long run, actually be thankful for the experience.
At this moment that I’m writing this I am experiencing emotional pain. But I reflected and thought to myself, “This is nothing compared to the pain others have experienced.” I have not had any major losses in my life; I’ve not lost a child or a parent nor my husband to death. I have not been hurt permanently nor left abandoned. Although, I know that some day I will experience that type of pain, I am reminded of Philippians 4:11-12 that says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” This is perfect peace: When we put our mind to purposely think about the Lord and His goodness immediately we reflect on our pain and think, “Wow, Really, my life is not that bad; things can be far worse. “
Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
When we are persecuted or go through hardships we can put our heart at rest knowing that God is on our side. We become strong knowing that we have a God who promises perfect peace when in our weakness we turn to Him. When we turn to Him we become strong and can weather the storm that is causing pain in our lives. God gives us wisdom, tranquility and helps us to be content with what we have and trust that God knows what we need and will help us in His time. (Philippians 4:19) And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
When I call you in the scriptures draw yourself away with Me I am calling you to defy the expectations… yes even the demands of others, and find your solace (comfort) in Me.
Find the dictates of life; both small and great in Me.
The idol, and its temple of opinion and anger and self-aggrandizement of others, and what people are saying…. will fall says the Father.
I will not have you held in the indifferent consumptive habits of those around you.
You are not a commodity that they can use up, and dispose of like so much garbage. No more.
See yourself as I see you say’s the Father.
Run to Me. Find your security in Me.
The storm will come. They will protest and complain.
They will roar and threaten.
They will even invoke My name and demand you to return to the traces and harnesses of bondage to their whim and immaturity. DON'T DO IT.
I am ending that foolishness even this day and laying claim upon you by right of My Lordship in your heart.
It's "yoke easy, burden light" it’s time says the Father.
Rejoice in that celebratory experience of the liberty whereby this day this year I make you FREE.
From man’s opinion, and from self.
Pastor Nate Ortiz
Church attendance is not just a modern day issue it goes back to the early church. Paul had to tell the church not to stop getting together. Now they were not going to "church" because of FEAR of persecution. Today in America we do not suffer religious persecution to the level that the early church suffered it. But the most common excuse people give for not going to church is: Drum roll, please: "Other people". The true test to our spirituality comes when we assemble (Go to church or get-together). In the face of mean-ness, unappreciation, disrespect, and rejection we know how truly spiritual we are.
I have been guilty of fleeing from "the assembly" for fear of pain. But Paul reminds us that we should embrace being together with God’s people. We can try to be holy or we can let Jesus make us holy. His making is in the field, while we are busy, not while we are at home with no one to provoke us.
Is this a form of punishment? No, it is discipleship. We all, at some point, have had to be among those who reject us, talk about us, are mean-spirited with us or have dishonored us but the victory is that we STAND. Just you being there and allowing the Love of God to lead you is a victory for you. Determine to be an encourager, an exhorter and you may not even notice others bad attitudes any more.
My heart bleeds for people who allow the enemy to use them but I understand that they are in the dark about some things. I simply have to accept this as a test for me…for my growth. Someday, they will have to face the consequences for their actions, And I will be there to bless them and not judge them. -by Brisy Ortiz
Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.” “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor . . .” (2 Corinthians 8:9). And Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s. He did not care how high the cost was to himself— he would gladly pay it. It was a joyful thing to Paul.
The institutional church’s idea of a servant of God is not at all like Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of others. Jesus Christ actually “out-socialized” the socialists. He said that in His kingdom the greatest one would be the servant of all (see Matthew 23:11). The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet— that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God. It was Paul’s delight to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns— “What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.” All that is an indication that we have reservations about serving God. But the apostle Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest