The Cup

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The Cup

July 19, 2017

 

The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11)

This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime Christian achievement.

To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life–to be able to say in such a school of discipline, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?’–this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point.

Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer.
-~Dr. Charles Parkhurst

To have a sympathizing God we must have a suffering Saviour, and there is no true fellow-feeling with another save in the heart of him who has been afflicted like him. We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper, must first be a sufferer. He who would be a saviour must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross; and we cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which Jesus drank, and submitting to the baptism wherewith He was baptized.

The most comforting of David’s psalms were pressed out by suffering; and if Paul had not had his thorn in the flesh we had missed much of that tenderness which quivers in so many of his letters.

The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you (if surrendered to Christ), is the best shaped tool in the Father’s hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust Him, then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose its work.

Strange and difficult indeed
We may find it,
But the blessing that we need
Is behind it.

The school of suffering graduates rare scholars.

@wearywithsorrow

Cathey Lynn

What It Means To Believe in Jesus

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July 19, 2017

What It Means to Believe Jesus

 

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” -2 Cor. 4:4

Jesus is raised from the dead, and therefore the Christian story is not just a story. It demands a response, and that response, because Jesus is raised and real, is personal—the gospel calls us to believe him.

But what exactly is faith? What does it mean to believe Jesus?

Because Jesus is a person, a real person who has been raised from the dead, he has intangible, aesthetic qualities that faith comprehends.

Even on the level of our relationships, when we talk about putting our faith in someone, we mean that we deem the qualities of that person worthy of our trust. Trusting someone—believing that person—inevitably taps into our affections. This is why it hurts so much when the object of our trust doesn’t pan out like we hoped. Relying upon someone involves giving of the heart.

Two passages in the Bible stand out when it comes to faith in Jesus and to our affections. The first is from Paul in 2 Corinthians. In the context of describing his ministry, Paul mentioned the negative effect of his preaching. It wasn’t always so cheery when he talked about Jesus. There were some folks who didn’t get it. They might have heard what he said, but they were oblivious to its magnitude. He wrote, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (4:4).

In the eighteenth century, the American theologian Jonathan Ed­wards commented on this verse: “Nothing can be more evident, than that a saving belief of the gospel is here spoken of, by the apostle, as arising from the mind being enlightened to behold the divine glory of the things it exhibits.”

Translation: faith comes from seeing the worthiness of Jesus.
Paul said that those who do not believe the gospel fail to see Jesus for who he is. Edwards, therefore, inferred that those who do believe the gospel must see Jesus for who he is.
According to Paul, believing is “seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Faith is getting the glory of Jesus. It’s when it clicks. It’s when people see his character and qualities and say, “Yes!”
Believing in Jesus is the affectionate embrace of Jesus as worthy and glorious

@wearywithsorrow

Cathey Lynn