Hurt is not an excuse for sin. Pain is not an excuse for doubt. Bad experiences and past trials and tribulations are not valid reasons to forbid God from our hearts.
We have trials, we have tribulations, we have broken and contrite hearts – because this is one of the ways we identify with Jesus.
– He was a man of sorrows; acquainted with grief – Isaiah 53:3
– We suffer with Him in order that we will also be glorified with Him -Rm 8:17
– A pleasing sacrifice to Jesus is a broken & contrite heart – Psalm 51:17
– We are comforted in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction – 2 Corinthians 1:4
Basically, we will endure suffering to some extent or another. If this is true, then why would anyone want to delve into a lifestyle of becoming like Jesus??? Because….it’s worth it.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18
The other day I was talking to my cuz’, a guy who deeply studies the Bible in it’s original form. He gets a lot of insight from worshipping in this way – I love the Body of Christ and how people worship differently – it’s awesome! You can check out his blog to read about what he has/is learning by clicking here.
Anyhow, we were talking the other day, and he said something I’ve been thinking about. He asked why people don’t just believe what has been already revealed instead of relying on their own ideas of what Truth might be. This was a great question, but quickly, I realized I am one who relies on my own idea of Truth. Instead of looking to Scripture or asking the Holy Spirit to guide me to a Biblical answer, I try to muster up some logical answer to all my questions. That does NOT work and is extremely exhausting. Don’t try this. “It don’t make no sense.”
Introspection is not a way to understand ourselves. Only God understands us. Education can help give knowledge, but it is not the way to wisdom. The Holy Spirit gives wisdom to people and through people who have the Holy Spirit in them. Logic is not the answer. God does not make sense to a human mind. The ONLY way to understand God, to know ourselves as God sees us, to make sense of the world and of suffering is to search out Truth by looking in Scripture and by asking the Holy Spirit to guide us.
So….as I’ve been struggling to understand God and His ways, I’ve tried all these things – education, introspection, and logic. I got nothing but a headache by doing this. When I sit down, PRESS IN (sometimes this means hours, days, weeks) to God, and search Him out wholeheartedly, I hear from Him. Lately I’ve been asking Him, “Why?”
I don’t ask this question out of doubt; I ask out of honest wonder. I want to know. I want to know His reasoning, His motivation; because if I know the motivation of God, then I can know His heart.
So, I’ve been asking “WHY?”
“God, why this? …and why did this happen? …and why is this happening?”
In these Truths I have found comfort to the question “Why?”…..
“After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His Spirit…” – John 13:21
In the context of the passage, Jesus is talking to His disciples, washing their feet and eating the last supper with them. He is heart broken as He is telling them about the one (Judas) who will betray Him. They didn’t understand what He was saying at the time, but Jesus knew what was going on. He watched as His “friend” betrayed Him. The comforting part to me is that “Jesus was troubled in His Spirit”. Jesus is God in the flesh, so He trusts perfectly, loves perfectly, knows everything, and could snap the world in half by just breathing! Why was Jesus troubled in His Spirit?? …Because His friend was breaking His heart! Jesus had a broken heart over other people’s lack of perfect love for Him. Jesus had a troubling spirit, because something in the world was not right.
To me, this is greatly comforting. Jesus is Jesus. He knows the Father. He sits on the throne with the Father. He knows everything about the Father. He’s perfect. He still had a troubled spirit. Being Jesus doesn’t disqualify Him from getting hurt. Loving perfectly doesn’t mean that others won’t love perfectly. Doing righteousness and justice all the days of His life doesn’t mean that He will not see people being unjust.
So, we identify with Jesus in this way. We identify with Jesus in that He has made us righteous, Jesus lovers, who are doing justice on this earth in this time. We identify with Jesus in that our spirits are troubled. We identify with Jesus in that we plead with Him to the Father to send Him back to us to make all things right.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. – Romans 8:23
And this is our hope – that the glory that is to be revealed in us IS NOT EVEN COMPARABLE WITH THE GLORY THAT IS TO BE REVEALED TO US….
FOR I CONSIDER THAT THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT TIME ARE NOT WORTH COMPARING WITH THE GLORY THAT IS TO BE REVEALED TO US. – ROMANS 8:18
…And until that time….until the glory is revealed in us, we can still ask “why?”. Jesus asked “Why?”. He asked His Father in Heaven, “WHY?”, when He was hanging on the cross.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:45 – 46
Jesus asked why, and without an answer from the Father, in perfect trust, He then yielded up His Spirit.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His Spirit.” – Matthew 27:50
Father – help us to be like Your Son, who asked why, and in perfect trust, with or without an answer, yielded up His Spirit to You. Amen.