Category Archives: I Peter 4:12

MM Meditation – Scorners Tell Him to Come Down

During Sunday morning worship a few months ago, we were singing the beautiful old hymn, “Nailed Upon Golgotha’s Tree” and meditating upon the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the lines says,

“Scorners tell Him to come down,
Claim His kingdom and His crown.”

I continued to meditate on this thought for several days.

The suffering of the Lord Jesus was necessary for redemption. Some refused to understand, scorning instead of repenting.

Just as people don’t understand the purpose of the Lord’s suffering for our redemption, they don’t understand the purpose of our suffering in the life of a Christian.

Scorners tell Christians to come down from their place of suffering.

They don’t understand the blatant teaching in the Scriptures that suffering has to be a part of the Christian’s life because it was a part of Christ’s life.

In the midst of our suffering, whether over health, or finances or relationships, we are often advised in ways to avoid the suffering, rather than be refined by the suffering.

When you suffer physically, you might be told that God does not desire for you to suffer, and that you need more faith to be healed.

If there is a troubled relationship, you might be advised to quit the relationship.

Troubles might be viewed as surprises to the Lord, instead of part of His plans.  In reality, He causes or allows the troubles, and tells us not to be surprised.

Scorners don’t understand. 

They don’t understand God’s plan in suffering, and they don’t understand God’s purpose in suffering.

If Jesus had listened to the scorners voice and left the cross, He couldn’t have purchased our redemption.
If we listen to the scorners and try to leave the place of suffering He has allowed for us, He can’t refine us.
Didn’t we promise the Lord we’d pick up our crosses and follow Him?  In all our youthful zeal didn’t we proclaim devotion to our Savior, vowing to go through whatever He had planned for our lives?
If you’re in a time of suffering, He is giving you a chance to do just that.
Pick up your cross, your place of suffering, and follow Him.

MM Meditation – Do Not Be Surprised!

(This was written November 28, 2005. We moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest in 7-2004 and I began treatment for thyroid cancer in 1-2005)

I Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Suddenly, it seems so clear. Why do we suffer? So that we might perform the grace and mercy of God to the world around us. We are to present Christ in all His sufferings, being like Him, opening not our mouth and giving our back to the smiter.

The saints are watching, needing an example so they can face whatever trials the Lord offers up to them with a willing and trusting heart.

The sinners are watching, wanting to see if our faith is real, even when the cost is great. They want to see the proof of our faith, knowing that their life is equally as difficult, but they have only blame, anger and sin to comfort them in these times. Can we rejoice in our suffering? Can we allow the Lord to work in us in ANY way He chooses, for His glory and honor? Will we be an encouragement to the saints and the light of salvation to the sinner?

This morning, it was almost an audible voice that spoke to my heart, a beam of understanding shining into my darkened, troubled heart, as I pondered my life of continuous struggles. The answer hit even closer to home than thinking about the world around me.

I am on stage for my children.

As I plead for their souls, their repentance, their zeal, their hunger for the Word, their desire to pull the lost from the flames of Hell, I know that my desperate prayers for their undivided devotion to the Lord are being answered. Answered in the form of suffering from false accusations, answered with cancer, answered by removing me from friends and family to a city and state where I do not belong and do not feel comfortable. I am being broken, and the pieces are lovingly offered as a witness to my children that I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine. My heart cries in agreement with Job, “Yet though He slay me, still I will trust Him.”

The situations of our life are never really that important. Where we live, what house we live in, the condition of our body, they all pass from this earth in a blink of an eye. Not only that, they will be replaced with better and spiritual replacements, of a home in heaven and a spiritual body. Things of eternal value, like growing in our faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, have real importance. Only these things will affect souls while we minister on earth, and only these things will remain in heaven after our judgement, in the form of gold, silver and precious jewels. Only souls are brought with us. Souls we have won and souls we have encouraged. That is it.

Paul admonishes the saints, “DO NOT BE SURPRISED!” How dare we pray if we are not willing to surrender to the way the Lord answers? Do we think that those we weep over will just wake up one morning saved? Will they walk into our house and instantly be repentant? Will our children instantly decide to be soul-winners? Will we just wake up mature in the faith?

No! Anything worth having must be fought for, through tears, suffering, prayers and surrender to the One who is the Potter, the Master Gardener, the Great Shepherd. His hands are forming, pressing, pulling, pushing, trimming, working on us in answer to our prayers.

We ask the Lord to make us like Him. How can we be conformed into His glorious image without suffering? His life was one of suffering, why shouldn’t ours be?

Do Not Be Surprised!