IT’S STILL WORTH IT

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My wife and I are bereaved parents of a 24-year old son we buried nearly six months ago. In the wake of our beautiful ache, we both maintain the indicatives of this and my prior post. God remains good even in this, and it’s still worth any trial we must go through if we can but know Jesus more fully and intimately. Selah.

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My previous post (hopefully) encouraged the saints that in whatever circumstance of suffering or degree of disappointment, hardship, brokenness and despair you may find yourself in, IT’S STILL TRUE:

God is eternally Good to His own,

and is fiercely jealous of His own,

and eternally protective of His own.

That is unassailable Truth.

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Now I’d like to take it to the next level (as if there could be a higher level!) and leave you with this pinnacled truth: whatever bad business you’ve endured or are enduring, whatever mischief of hell cast against you, because of His promises, IT’S STILL WORTH IT!

(1) Because of His nature to love and guard His own, IT’S STILL TRUE: He is good.

(2) Because of the promises He folds into His new creation, IT’S STILL WORTH IT: I can go on. I won’t give up.

I can be strong in my trial because there is One who fights for me, wins my battles and makes me a (constant) overcomer in this life. I can endure because He will make my suffering worthwhile in an eternity bedecked with glories everlasting.

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IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO OR WHAT CAN BE AGAINST US?

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Steven Curtis Chapman sang a bold anthem, “Bring It On” and a year later, his son backed their car over their newly adopted little girl.

Bring it on
Let the trouble come, let the hard rain fall
Let it make me strong
Bring it on

Now, maybe you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy
And maybe I need to explain some things
‘Cause I know I’ve got an enemy waiting
Who wants to bring me pain

But what he never seems to remember
What he means for evil, God works for good
So I will not retreat or surrender

Bring it on
Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll
Let the storm winds blow!

Now…I’m not advocating our throwing down the gauntlet and taunting the adversary but there is a blessed promise that we can boastfully claim. Nothing – absolutely NOTHING – the enemy brings against us will overcome and destroy us.

What does the intrinsic force of verse 31 do for you???

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Paul said it minimizes his trials. What they work FOR HIM is great and glorious, but what they do TO HIM is minimal compared to the greater work. Rom 8:18.

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― C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, illuminated this truth in an imaginative way:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

But please take note:

It is not suffering itself, but my voluntary acceptance, submission and praise of it. To come under it, be trained by it (see Heb 12:11) that produces greater glory within.

Rom 8:17 gives further light. Not just any suffering, but suffering “with Him.”

“But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.” CEB

To VOLUNTARY ENDURE suffering is proof that we belong to the Age to Come…it is the hostility of THIS age that works against us (and is the doorway into future glory!).

But, look – LOOK! – saints, at the glorious promises that make our renovations, remodels, additions and painful constructions worth it!

(1) Our REVEAL as eternal sons and daughters (v19)

Creation – sun, stars, mountains, oceans, beasts of the field, fish of the sea, birds of the air, trees and flowers in the fields, the sunrise and sunset – even angels! – all wait with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. For our wedding day to the Son, for God Himself to make His Home in His people.

Creation was not designed to frustrate man, but to serve him and reflect his glory. Gardens were to produce fruits not weeds, the animal kingdom was not fearsome to man, but friendly; his body was free from disease and sickness, the night was not terror-filled and the climate was calm and favorable.

In the curse, creation was subjected to decay and corruption and not friendly dispositioned to man but rebellious. But this is not the DNA of nature and creation. It knows it’s under bondage and will remain so until the saints are glorified.

If you’ve wondered at the aggression of climate and nature you only have to know these point to the increasing of birth pangs as creation’s convulsions are getting closer together in anticipation of the revealing of the sons.

(2) Renewed PURPOSE (v20)

“Futility” translates ματαιοτησ,
‘nothingness’, ‘pointless’ and ‘worthless because so twisted and faulty’

Man was made in God’s image but through the Fall and Death, perpetuated Adam’s image (Gen 5:3). Through new birth, we are again bearers of the image of God! No longer pointless, worthless, vessels of destruction, but with glorious new purpose and destiny!
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I am moved by the words of Sara Groves in her song “Why It Matters”. The lyrics were inspired by Vedran Smajlović, a former cellist in the Sarajevo String Quartet.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, he played his cello in the bombed out buildings and on the streets where mortars had killed his neighbors and friends. He called this “a protest of the darkness” and spoke of his cello as a weapon.

Like the statue in the park
Of this war-torn town
And it’s protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty,
how it matters,

How it matters.

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The redemptive work of our own suffering is a “protest” against darkness, letting in light to those around who are lost and blind and shielded from Truth. I posit there’s no greater evangelical “tool” than for the unsaved to encounter a saintly broken vessel that lets the Light of Christ shine into the darkness!

(3) Infectious HOPE for the earth’s redemption (vv20b-22)

The Greek for corruption is the opposite of ζωη αιωνιοσ (eternal life). So we should relish the pains of our redemption – the “gospel of weakness” – because they are the merits that point to a glorious rebirth for the earth!

(4) the REMOVAL of every last curse of the Fall against us, taking us into eternal life – THE life, unended, that we were created for way back in Genesis 1 and 2 (see Rom 8:23)

Revelation alert:

Have you seen that Romans 8 is taking us back to our intended purpose: no condemnation, adopted sons, glory, a submitted creation, reigning in Life with the Father, uninterrupted fellowship, conquering and ruling?

What we have access to, what Adam and Eve could not partake in, is the Tree of Life. They had innocence conditionally – so long as they didn’t eat off the wrong tree of self-rule, but we have His Life permanently within.

Their judgment shut them away from the Tree of Life.

Our salvation has His Tree-Life growing in us!

So, to wrap up:

It’s worth it because:

(1) I’m assured of Finished Glory – that my future state will be as the Glory of the sun, moon and stars in Glory

(2) I have a purpose that is eternal – a unique role I’m called to perform throughout eternity, that only I can do, and that will add Glory to the Godhead

(3) A glorious environment is being prepared for me.

(In Genesis, the environment was first prepared, but in the New Creation, God prepares His Man and Woman, then prepares a place worthy of the Glory they’ll share with the Son!)

(4) The Joy and Glory of Eternity is endless and exponential – that the afflictions of this lifetime will determine the affluence of my eternity and the pains I endure here will reciprocate to pleasures compounded daily for eternity

Say it with me:

It’s worth it.

I can go on.

I will go on.

By grace.

Through faith.

In victory.

And a song.

For His glory.

Amen and amen.

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4 thoughts on “IT’S STILL WORTH IT

  1. When will the Bible Study be coming out? I can’t fathom it all. Small bites would be good and tasty. 🙂

    Like

  2. Jimmy says:

    It’s true and wonderful. Broken vessel with the light of Christ shining so not only non believers but believers, myself, that need encouragement.

    Like

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