Thursday, August 15, 2013
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4 KJV).
Despite all of the weeping, sleepless nights, and despondency, there is hope in Jesus Christ!
With the recent passing of a Christian couple’s newborn baby, the sudden demise of a Christian brother and ministry fellow-laborer, and the death of my great aunt yesterday, I can assure you that the member of the Church the Body of Christ, although guaranteed a blissful eternity in the heavenly places, is not spared from pain and grief in this fallen creation. My, what horrific, constant suffering all around the world! In fact, this very reality is often used as an “argument” against God’s existence (but is likened unto the folly of, “I do not believe in the existence of law enforcement officers because of the widespread criminal behavior!”).
Dear saints, sin produces division, disruption, disease, despair, decay, and death. What we see today are merely the remnants of the original perfect creation, what is left of that paradise before God cursed it so Satan could not use it in all its glory for his own purposes (Genesis 3:14-19). As each day passes, this ruined creation comes closer and closer to the day when that “bondage of corruption” will be lifted, when paradise will be restored on earth and in heaven (Romans 8:18-25). Much needs to happen before that glorious day arrives, so we Christians must patiently remain here on earth until our program finishes.
As our Apostle Paul wrote in that awful Roman prison cell, “Rejoice in the Lord alway [in every instant]: and again I say, Rejoice” (today’s Scripture). We cannot rejoice because of our dire conditions, but we can rejoice in these difficulties. Right where we are, whether good or bad circumstances, we should rejoice in our identity in Jesus Christ, in who He is and who we are in Him, what He has done for us (saved us spiritually), and what He will do for us in the future (deliver us physically).
Remember, God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9,10) and we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]” (Philippians 4:13). 🙂