Today while reading Experiencing GOD Day-by-Day, by Henry & Richard Blackaby, something hit me differently than ever before in this passage.
Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “if anyone desires to come after ME, Let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow ME.”
So many have been fed a gospel that is comfortable, and requires no suffering, then when these things happen, they walk away from God. Sounding off about how HE did not fulfill HIS promises, and the Christian walk just doesn’t work. If you feel this way..you have been misled! This walk isn’t comfortable most of the time, and suffering is par for the course…really. Jesus suffered to bring us salvation, and we, too, will suffer as we spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not now nor will ever be greater than our master.
Still desire HIM? I hope you say yes. Although at times, we cry out with pain, we have a constant friend who is closer than a brother, the Holy Spirt. HE will guide us, comfort us, teach us, and intercede for us. The benefits of knowing Christ, and making HIM known are far greater than any suffering. Just look around you…this world is cursed, and its going to fall apart. You can’t stop it, you can try, but you can’t stop it. All the petitions and phone calls to your congressmen and senators is not going to change the course that God has already laid out. HIS plan does not have flaws.
The one who truly desires HIM, is carrying thier cross(what ever that may be), and believing that HE is worth it! I believe that HE is worth it.
Father God, please hear our cries for your mercy on us and the world around us. Please help us to walk in step with your Spirit, to deny ourself and pick up our cross. Life in this world is so temporal in comparison to an eternity with YOU. Yes, YOU are worth it. Help us to stand strong, help us to be lights to a dying world. Please unveil the eyes of the ones that are misled about you. Give them and us a hunger for your Word, and to believe with all our hearts its Truth. Your princess who believes you are worth it, and we just are not home yet.
10 responses to “Desire = suffering?”
There is a statement I have heard: this world is the closest thing to heaven any sinner (meaning unsaved) will every know, and the closest thing to hell any believer will ever know. It is so true. Thanks for bringing it home, Darla!
There is more to “accepting Jesus” than just saying the words. We take Him “in toto.” It is so easy to gloss over or ignore those words that He spoke. But, ignoring the words does not eliminate the truth, nor the experience. Yes, Darla, I still desire Him more than ever before.
It’s interesting (yet, I think, sad) to see how reluctant we are to believe that God actually SENDS the “bad times” or suffering. We are so quick to come to His defense and say that He “allows” it.
I have come to feel that a God who “allows” the things to happen to her that have happened to me must be a cruel God indeed. It was only when I began to realize that yes, he actually SENT the things — that He loves me enough to know I need the suffering those things bring about in order to refine me — that I was able to accept them and yield to them and stop my screaming. Did the pain stop? No. But the screaming did.
In other words, if He “allows the bad” but does nothing to stop it, where is a caring God? It is only when I see that He sends it that it takes on a much deeper meaning and does a much deeper work within me. My definitions of good and bad are not His and I do Him an injustice to limit my experiences to my feeble definitions. Does the fact that I don’t think it is good make it bad? I think not. His ways are not mine.
Also, when I start giving credence to the fact that another being of some sort has the power to harm me, my God has lost all His credibility. Satan is only a pawn in God’s hands and has absolutely no power of his own, so why should I worry or fret about him? Or give him credit for bringing about things in my life that I know my loving father and lover Jesus sent — on purpose — for my own good.
Looking at Matthew 16:24 – my take on that verse is slightly different – be aware I am no theologian – but we may be missing a very important point. I am not sure the emphasis is “suffering” but rather “rights”. I need to deny myself – give up my rights as I serve others. In other words I need to give up myself – regardless of what He asks me to do. Remember, Christ did not want to die on a cross, but He gave up his “rights” as Gods Son to die on that cross for our sins.
Lord, no matter what you have planned for my life, I am yours. I deny my own rights, I want you to be seen in me in the bad times as well as the good times. AMEN – Papa
Papa= giving up rights is definitely not an option, it is prerequisite to following him..but Jesus does say them seperately..deny your self, pic up your cross..
just my two cents…love you!
Charlotte- thanks for stopping here, hope you come back again. I understand and believe what you said. Its all worth it, but we need to know HIM, and then the rest makes more sense..
Annie, and Dale- there truly is no other way. so again this morning, I pick up my cross, and follow the one who truly loves me..
Darla… encouraged by this post today. I’ve forwarded it to our mutual friend Tola. She is hurting bad, and needs as much support as she can get.
“We are not now nor will ever be greater than our master.”
For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for Him… ~Phil. 1:29
We are not home yet…thanks, Darla!
ok. this may sound weird, but hey, it is me here 😉
taking up my cross is definitely hard. laborious. frustrating at times. but its mine. and i can only carry it by His strength.
but the hardest part about this verse, for me, is denying self. ooooo, that one gets me every time.
am i reading this wrong?
either way. denying self isnt easy. but maybe thats part of the cross we bear.
ouch. im confusing myself more now.
good thoughts sis. thanks for making me think.
tam- you are not weird! i so get you!
I do think denying self is the cross,,what ever we are going through..and I understood your confusion..love you
I love your site!
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