Sunday, November 3, 2013

Not in There

Not in There
Nov 4, 2013
2 Hesitations 6:5  "This, too, shall pass."

There are many cute sayings perpetuated by Christians though not actually found in the Bible.  It may be out of a sincere or innocent heart, but sincerely incorrect, nonetheless.  Some things perpetuated are harmless like the "apple" in the story of Adam and Eve.  The Bible calls it a "fruit" but never actually identifies it specifically as an apple.  In the birth story of Jesus the three men from the east are "Magi" but we perpetuate them as "Wise men."  Innocent and harmless, most of the time, but some things perpetuated actually create difficulty in the maturing process of a Christian.  One such cute saying, "This, too, shall pass," though intended to encourage someone during times of difficulty, is not actually helpful for his Christianity.

The phrase or concept or teaching of "this, too, shall pass," is truly not found in Scripture anywhere.  I know this because I have so wanted it to be true many times.  I have searched the Bible over and over and it is not there.  What IS found in the Bible is teaching about the Lord working through up and down cycles like changing seasons or stages in farming (plowing, planting, harvesting).  But these concepts are not guarantees for every situation.  They are not promises.  It is never promised by the Lord that, "this, too, shall pass."

The Apostle Paul knew this extremely well.  He prayed several times for the Lord to remove a "thorn in his flesh."  The Lord did not remove it and Scripture never says if the Lord EVER removed it.  The Lord never promised to remove the thorn but the Lord DID promise him something.  The Lord promised that His grace for Paul, in enduring the difficult situation, would be sufficient.  The Lord promised that His abundant grace would be enough for a Christian to endure anything.

You may not want to hear this, and I say this with great compassion and gentleness of heart, but your situation may not change.  What you are enduing that you'd like to see pass, may not pass in this lifetime.  John the Baptist understood this when he was arrested.  His jail sentence didn't end except through his beheading.  This is not meant to depress you but to re-direct your thinking.  You are to pray for the Lord's grace, not just the removal of the thorn in your flesh.  Look for His grace as you are waiting for the possible passing of the situation.  Look for His grace BEFORE you look for the end of the difficulty.  You can only endure it to the end IF you have His grace.  You must allow yourself to be covered in it.  If you sulk and complain during your difficulty, you are only attempting to remove His grace.

Your prayer should be, "Lord, clothe me in Your grace as I wait upon Your sovereignty to unfold."  If you'd like to encourage someone else who is going through troubling times, try this: "I am praying the Lord fills you with grace as you walk though this difficulty and that you will find a way to rejoice in it."  And if they cry for a while, sit on the step and cry with them, too.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 3:2-6, Is 28:23-26, 2 Cor 12:6-10

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