Love and Suffering – go hand in hand


2 Corinthians 2:4
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have for you.”

Oh what depth of love we might have within ourselves as we conform more and more into the likeness of our Savior – To love as powerful as Christ on the cross. He is bleeding, and yet He is giving life. He is in much anguish and suffering and yet He is experiencing victory for so many souls. He is dying – being poured out, and yet He is vastly in love with those for whom his blood is being spilt. This is love, though it be a strange thing to take in, to grasp. A love that is willing to go through trial and much anguish so that others may experience true joy and everlasting peace.

I wonder how many Christians are missing out on the fullness of knowing their Savior because they are too safe. Too scared to step out in faith or too scared to suffer for the well being of others. I’m not talking about being tortured or spread over a splintery cross. But to be spent: emotionally, physically and spiritually stretched beyond your personal bounds for the sake of others. True men and women of God who change lives and effect eternity for the sake of the gospel suffer in this life while others benefit, and yet because of this suffering, they enjoy pure, perfect joy now and in heaven. No wonder scripture says to us about our Savior: “that for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross…” There is great joy in tears and trial and in sufferings when they are for the purpose of the gospel, the joy of others, and to the glory of God!  You must experience this sort of love in order to scarcely understand it.

“O, Lord, that we might experience you more fully in the fellowship of your sufferings.” Amen

Dark Heart : Bright Son

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Wow! What a truly amazing brightness this is! It is God Himself – Who is light.

The same God who spoke the planets and moons, stars and even the sun into existence with His very breath and words, would now shine in our heart. Incredible! This is so hard to fathom -even believe.

To think that out of billions of souls alive today-right now-at this very moment, and then out of even more billions upon billions of people who have lived in the past, that He, the God of Wonder and creation, power and glory would single me out – a sinner of the highest degree, with a soul as dark and as black and wicked as hell itself.

To think that He would save me and shine His pure, powerful, sin obliterating light into my heart and mind and soul, and to wake and bring to life my once dead spirit. It is so hard to imagine but it is so important to accept. God has indeed pierced the darkness and the veil that had blinded you from experiencing His light of love and grace. He has defeated the wicked god of this world, that serpent and deceiver, who once held you under bondage to your sin and condemnation. But that has all changed. It is changed permanently. For good. It is finished! To you, though you deserve it not, His mercies will shine anew and afresh each day because he has said to your spirit the same thing that He has said to all His creation from the beginning: “Let there be light!” And through the Lens of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, he says to you also as he said from the beginning, “it is good.” All this is because of His goodness and for His glory because we have seen the face of The Christ-our Savior. We see the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ who loved and loves us. Oh what sure Hope we have in Jesus. Just as the sun has not ceased its shining all these years so the Light of God’s faithfulness shall not cease its singing over us until we bask eternally in the presence of the light of His true Son for eternity.

“Amen, Praise You my God for all eternity! amen!”

EPIC FAITH – A letter to Myself

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Dear Me,

Some say, “It is hard to believe.”

They honestly state, “I cannot believe in what is unseen.”

“I have no faith toward God, because I cannot see Him with my eye.”

And yet without reserve, doubting, they place their measure of faith in what is seen.

“Unless I can see it, it will not satisfy.”

The faith of disbelief in God is placed elsewhere.

You might say:

“I faith what I feel.”

“If I feel it, I believe it. If I taste, touch, hear or see it, I accept it.”

“If I can argue for it, or reason through it, than surely I would give my life for it.”

As people, we mostly believe that it is a satisfying thing to be able to see the object of our affections. But if you can see what you place your hope in, yet draw no joy from it, there is no pleasure in the seen thing at all. I have found most often that the seen things are the empty things – the letdowns in the end. We looked to be fulfilled and yet fulfilled we are not.

Empty we come to our table and there find no fullness at all – only the same old desire unfulfilled. And so we are on the hunt.

Searching to be satisfied.

Our hearts are beating for a single treasure.

The desire of man is probing the pleasures of life – hoping – expecting by faith, and panting for calm in a world full of storm. The desire of man is to be satisfied, and yet seeing, we are still wanting. And hearing many things, we are still deaf to the answer. Seeing the objects of our faith, most of us are unmoved. I don’t mean that we are not accepted or are without some definition or meaning or purpose, but I mean that we are left unaffected. Untouched by our roaming faith.

Money is the god of some and yet though they move money, money does not move them. I can change my surroundings or possessions with money but money cannot speak to me, comfort me, hear my cries and relieve my anxieties. It cannot bring relief and companionship to the lonely heart.

Sex is the god of many. All effort, emotion, and mind are consumed with this act or vision. Faith in the groped-for fleeting satisfaction of fornication. Yet we are untouched or fulfilled by sex. Though moving in sex, though moving from one partner to another in this act, we are not moved by it in heart. Satisfied but for a moment only, and then the moment passes. Lasting satisfaction is lacking because sex satisfies mostly the body but for a moment then, it is fleeting. The body is left hungering only for more but without being truly and lastingly pleased.

Dreams,

Degrees,

Education,

Self-worth,

Popularity,

Praise,

Heroism…

And the list could go on.

We are searching for contentment.

The mind and body are hungry for meaning, but what if man is more than just body and mind? Though what is seen is natural, what if in what lies beyond the “eyes-seen” world is where we are only satisfied? In the seemingly unnatural?

Though men move naturally toward satisfaction and self-worth, they are not moved by what they grope for.

What if the seen does not satisfy because the unseen in man hungers for the ultimate satisfying treasure – worth that cannot fade away. Love that is not fleeting. Purpose that lasts beyond this life – beyond time. The treasures that we know – the felt treasures are all effective for only a moment of pleasure. But what is unseen is unaffected by material treasures. The spirit of man that lives beyond this temporal life is yearning to be satisfied by the unseen – the spiritual. The body is possessed by spirit, and knowing that the body is rotting, the spirit is longing for its maker – the creator and satisfier of all things.

Your need and my need is spiritual, not fleshly.

Not worldly, but godly.

Reality is, that the body is dead without the spirit and the spirit is dead without God.

Long ago, God breathed His very breath into a pile of dust and brought man to life. His breath became our source of life and we are as His creation, longing to breath from the source once again. Satisfaction awaits but only at the fountainhead. You, being created in the image of God, who is Spirit, are longing to be touched by the God who formed you. To truly be moved by that which you place your faith in.

God moves me.

I am moved by Him.

He is moving in me.

Gushing out brilliantly.

Over and under, in, through and out of the deepness of my heart, spirit, mind and emotions.

I have searched the world over and have found only sweet, fulfilling satisfaction in Him alone. His Spirit lives in me and I am supremely satisfied in Him!

I have not seen Him with the eye but have experienced Him with the heart and deep into my spirit, which He has made alive. And in knowing Him, I am complete and satisfied in mind, heart and faith.

There are those who even see with the eye and still do not believe. But I have heard His still and small voice whispering to my spirit, calling me to be in Him complete and there be completely satisfied.

I am a faith-walker – needing not sight but knowing Him through the experience of His touch upon my life. He has lit the path of life and inflamed my heart to burn for Him. He walks upon the landscape of my soul, and in heaven, though here on earth I now walk with Him in pleasure forevermore.

My desires are for Him alone.

He changes me,

Renews me,

Makes me whole, therefore I am wholly His.

I have been delivered up to my God for His good pleasure. I am a sacrifice upon the alter of allurement. I have tasted and now see. I am lured by His immeasurable grace toward me. He is the hunter, I am His prey, and I have been caught by the one who only wholly loves me and cares for my soul. I am pleased to be trapped by His love. This is the result of his affections toward me and my experience of faith in Him.

He is a God to be experienced, not intellectually beheld.

But you must run after Him! Searching and calling after Him to be found, and there, you will no doubt be found by Him. But faith is an action as well as a reality, and the reality and faith-filled Creator of faith is longing to be your desire and object of faith.

Yet as we know, reality is often tested.

But know this my friend, the God of reality will be found as real as life and more powerful than death come the end of your life. And there, in that moment, having not experienced Him here you will surely never know Him there.

Are you experiencing your God, or just reading about Him? The seen does not satisfy because we were meant to be other-worldly.

Our unseen spirit is most greatly delighted when enraptured by His Spirit – seen with the spiritual eye.

Come boldly before your God today and experience Him in all of His glory. Let Him blow your mind. See Him and be seen by Him with Fresh eyes.

Safe in Him,

J.N.Wheels