"I Know How Great This Makes You Feel, Even Though You Have To Put Up With Every Kind Of Aggravation In The Meantime. Pure Gold Put In The Fire Comes Out Of It Proved Pure; Genuine Faith Put Through This Suffering Comes Out Proved Genuine. When Jesus Wraps This All Up, It's Your Faith, Not Your Gold, That God Will Have On Display As Evidence Of His Victory."
1 Peter 1:6-7 (The Message)
I have had this post "set up" for quite some time, the pictures, the Scripture, the song, and a workable title.
What I didn't have was the words.
I am not sure if I even have them now, however I am going to try to get this post out.
G and I have been having these discussions on how sometimes, it takes me a while to "get" things and I will be the first to admit, it does.
Something will get in my head and I have to look at it from every single angle and sometimes that isn't even enough, until maybe days, maybe months down the road, all of a sudden a lightbulb goes off and I finally get it.
That happened the other night.
I was remembering a scene from the movie "Passion of the Christ" and Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, this was where He asked His Father, to remove the cup He was about to drink, yet He still submitted to the will of His Father.
I saw that movie a few months ago, only 2 nights ago did I fully grasp what the "cup" signified.
Sidenote - I have a literal mind, if I read something, my mind paints a picture of what it must "look like" in real life ~ Hence the reason I am forever being stumped by the Parables in the Bible.
So having already read that Scripture, my mind was showing me a cup, like the one you drink from and even after the movie, I never noticed He didn't have a cup in hand.
The cup ~ What He was about to do, for you, for me, for all of us.
I can't comprehend what He was going through that night in the Garden, after He saw all the sins of all mankind, from the dawn of history to the end of time, knowing He was about to be crucified for them.
What I can comprehend is the prayer He prayed.
Because that is what I have been praying lately.
Luke 22:41-42 "And He Was Withdrawn From Them About A Stone's Cast, And Kneeled Down, And Prayed, Saying, Father, If Thou Be Willing, Remove This Cup From Me: Nevertheless Not My Will, But Thine, Be Done."
Of course I don't pray quite so elegantly, mine sounds more like, "Father, PLEASE, make it stop, I get Your Will, I follow Your Will, so could You please ease up on me, just a little bit?"
Classy I know.
I have been learning about how He tests us, our Faith I should say.
I didn't used to believe God tested us, why should He?
He knows our hearts, so really why bother?
He knows if we are going to commit some grievous sin that day, even before we know and just so we are clear, no sin is worse than the other, they are ALL grievous in His eyes.
All sins carry the same penalty ~ Death.
Sin, no matter how trivial it looks to us, leads to eternal damnation.
There is no big sin or small sin.
(That is another post, for another day, because there is also one sin that is completely unforgivable, and I will need a whole post to go over that area.)
Back to the testing...
Testing is necessary and beneficial for the one being tested.
Who better to administer the test, than the One who knows us better than we even know ourselves?
He allows us to go into Spiritual combat, so we can see His deliverance and victory over our foes.
I am now learning that, the larger the task ~ The bigger the test.
God does not test us to hurt us or defeat us.
He does it because He loves us so much, that He doesn't want to put us into a position of responsibility which would be too much for us, where we would be put to shame or ridicule.
My Pastor has been telling me for the past 2 years, each time I take a step closer to where I will ultimately be, "The enemy is going to come after you, even more so than ever before."
When I joined the Church, when I was baptized, when I accepted my calling and now, each step I take closer to that calling, is harder than the one before it.
Sad to say, I didn't take him as serious as I should have, I do now, I didn't then.
And just in case some of you are wondering, no, He doesn't use the devil to test you, that is temptation and by now you should be old enough to resist it, if not, remember...
1 Corinthians 10:13 "There Hath No Temptation Taken You But Such As Is Common To Man: But God Is Faithful, Who Will Not Suffer You To Be Tempted Above That Ye Are Able; But Will With The Temptation Also Make A Way To Escape, That Ye May Be Able To Bear It."
God is testing, to see whether we act on His Word, whether we are placing ALL our trust in Him or whether we are going to go off, thinking we can possibly handle it better, on our own, than Him.
From the exact moment we take our stand on God's Word, to when He blesses us with the answer, will determine end of the test.
And when I say "stand on" I do not mean literally.
It isn't always easy, in fact some days are downright painful, you may feel, as I have been feeling, like you are standing in a furnace, not quite being burned, yet the flames are getting closer and closer.
The flesh will battle the Spirit for control, you want, what you want, right then and there and you are fighting within yourself, for worldy desires.
Spiritual growth must include testing.
It allows you know how you are doing, and if you aren't doing so well, it gives you a chance to turn to God, and ask for His help.
Spend more time in His Word and in prayer.
Always, always, always remember that God is for you.
He is on your side to help you, to guide you, to comfort you, to love you.
You have His Word & His Holy Spirit to help you.
It is said best in Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ "Be Strong And Of Good Courage, Do Not Fear Nor Be Afraid Of Them; For The LORD Your God, He Is The One Who Goes With You. He Will Not Leave You Nor Forsake You."
Troubles Surround Me, Chaos Abounding
My Soul Will Rest In You
I Will Not Fear The War, I Will Not Fear The Storm
My Help Is On The Way, My Help Is On The Way