‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.’ James 4:7-10
Give me 5 minutes in the pressure cooker of life and it’s not hard to see how littered my body is with thorns, some of which stick out of my side for all to see. I have prayed for years for their removal. For whatever reason they still exist and serve as a reminder that my body is broken and will forever need the Doctor until it’s time for me to go home.
There was a time when I was rewarded for these iniquities. But, as I have sought a deeper intimacy with Christ, I now sense a need for complete removal and their effect regardless of how I feel when I exercise my freedom to react in the pain of each one.
Jesus came to bring glory to His Father. His journey on this earth was one of healing, love, friendship and salvation. But, His ultimate goal was to exalt the Father. And even as blood perspired from His forehead, and pain loomed on the horizon, His eyes and His heart never lost their focus from the eternal destination.
I encourage you, my brothers and sisters, to remain steadfast in your pain and troubles. It means God is not through with you yet and there is a new birth coming.
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