Friday, November 20, 2009
Jollyblogger quotes Geerhardus Vos:
“What the Lord expects from us at such seasons is not to abandon ourselves to unreasoning sorrow, but trustingly to look sorrow in the face, to scan its features, to search for the help and hope, which, as surely as God is our Father, must be there. In such trials there can be no comfort for us so long as we stand outside weeping.Taylor quotes John Chrysostom:
If only we will take the courage to fix our gaze deliberately upon the stern countenance of grief, and enter unafraid into the darkest recesses of our trouble, we shall find the terror gone, because the Lord has been there before us, and, coming out again, has left the place transfigured, making of it by the grace of his resurrection a house of life, the very gate of heaven.”
"You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father's house."Both reflect on the same central theme - when confronted with difficulty, whether persecution or pain, our strength lies with our Lord and that strength is infinite.
"But I will kill you," said the empress.
"No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God," said John.
"I will take away your treasures."
"No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there."
"But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left."
"No, you cannot, for I have a Friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me.
I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me."
I have been reflecting much lately on how fear and worry and concern paralyzes us. And how faith, if we can allow it, can give us confidence. But what I like best about these quotes is that they both come at time of difficulty and pain and problem. It is easy to be confident in the Lord when things are going well, but our confidence is most needed when they are not.
You see God does not promise us that things we go well in every circumstance and in every way - rather is He promises us that everything IS well in every circumstance and every way. God's concept of well is very different than ours. Pain is temporary - financial loss is temporal - the list goes on, but He is constant and with Him those things are simply not that important. God does not always change our circumstance, but he always makes our circumstance right.
A life with Christ makes the simple phrase "It's OK" less cliche and deeply meaningful. It always is "OK" because he most definitely is "OK."