Jesus wisely warns us about what to expect as we soldier on through the pilgrimage of life.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" John 16:33.
King David reminds us that, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all" Psalm 34:19.
Suffering, in its nature, is truly abhorrent to the flesh. It denies our carnal nature the comfort of appeasement. When we fast, we lay aside our earthly desires in order to pursue communion and fulfillment with the LORD. As one sense decreases, the other increases. It is like that as we wait upon the LORD. We choose to TRUST HIM, despite our circumstances. We choose to tell our flesh-our physical sight-that we do not allow it to lead our FAITH, but our FAITH will guard our hearts. It is a denial of the flesh and inherent in that DENIAL, is the subordination of our sense of entitlement to the WILL OF GOD for our lives. As I sit here, journalling before the LORD, I wonder about Job and Jesus.
How was Job able to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" Job 13:15 or Jesus able to concede, "Not my will, but Yours be done?" John 22:42.
I cannot explain these things to the non-believer. I cannot explain them to one who does not know the Son, because without the Son it is impossible to know the Father. Yet, once you know the Father and the Son, you know the Holy Spirit. You step out of the realm of the natural, into the spiritual. As Paul writes, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
So let me encourage you, as I seek to encourage myself. Let us spur each other on, to finish the race, and to finish it well. If you are suffering, know that it is not in vain. If you are waiting, know that it is unto a purpose. And if you are fasting, know that you are exercising your spiritual discipline. The DENIAL of the FLESH for the sake of the LORD will result in sweeping rewards. Continue to tenaciously hold to His promise, because GOD DOES NOT LIE!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9