Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Disclaimers and Cliff-hangers

Dear Church,

I do not tell you what I tell you for any purpose other than making God look good. I will write of great suffering and affliction, not to focus on the effects of sin in this world but to tell you how much farther His grace reaches. I do not tell of these struggles to make yours seem small in comparison, but to remind you that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the same Spirit that resides in His people. In other words, if He can raise the dead to life and speak things into existence, what can't He do? How could I say, "God, I believe that You raised Jesus Christ from the dead, but I don't believe that You can provide food for my family tonight"?

Paul -- who penned over half of the New Testament -- knew pain. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-31 he boasts of everything he has endured: beatings, shipwrecks, threats, constant danger. Suffering was coupled with his obedience to the Lord. He wrote that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us. He called these earthly afflictions "light and momentary."


Light. Momentary. All of it.

I guess I don't understand, but I am compelled to write, so here I am.

Why did Paul endure so much? He was fixed on a King whose Kingdom would never be shaken.

In the days and months to come, I will be posting stories and pictures of people whose lives have been altered by suffering. But again, my purpose for gazing into the well of sin and suffering is to see and portray that the grace given us in Jesus Christ far surpasses anything else in all creation.


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