This is a follow up to my last post. World magazine has posted an interview with the author of The Shack. Check it out and be aware! Click here What a sad commentary to this man’s life and yet not fully finding the answers. In it the author says that the institutional church “doesn’t work for those of us who are hurt and those of us who are damaged.” All of us are damaged goods because of sin, yet through Christ we have hope. Be careful not to take a pragmatic approach to God’s plan! It’s not about how we feel about God’s Word, His plan, or His church…it’s about surrendering to Him because He is true, right and His bride is the church. We are not giving the option to dismiss these things. Pain is a result of sin’s curse. We cannot escape it but we can find refuge in Him who bore our sin.
3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins. -Isaiah 53:3-11
Aren’t you glad that despite what Christ “felt” He stayed the course to what was true and what was the will of the Father? May we have the hearts that would say, “God, if possible take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” Or like Job who said “The Lord gave me what I had and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Feeling does not determine truth! Pain is difficult and never pleasant, but God is our Healer! It is better to go through great pain trusting God than to try to avoid pain by trusting ourselves or our own experience. I heard a great definition of surrender recently that said, “Surrendering is hearing what God has to say, disagreeing, but then humbling yourself, changing your mind and agreeing with it.” Again, be discerning!
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. -1 Corinthians 1:18-25