Monday, December 19, 2016

Pondering This At Christmas


Tim read to us from the devotional book he reads from daily.  It was written by Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor, who was tortured for his faith in communist Romania.  You can read about that in his book, Tortured for Christ.

The devotional for December 17 was this - 

Isaiah 53:10 - "It pleased the LORD to bruise him."

"Therese of Lisieux had her place at evening prayers just in front of a sister who had a nervous affliction.  She always made a little curious noise, rather like on would make by rubbing two shells together.  This tiny noise got Therese down, but she never chided the offender, not even with a look.  Something insider her told her that the right thing to do was to put up with it for the love of God and spare the sister any embarrassment.  Only she could not ignore the disturbing noise.  Perspiration poured down her in the attempt to pray not-withstanding, but it was useless.

Then Therese hit on the idea of liking this exasperating noise.  Instead of trying vainly not to hear it, she devoted herself to listening hard, as if the sound were that of delightful music and her prayer consisted of offering the music to the Lord.

It is wrong to escape the anxieties and troubles through vain hopes or through quarreling with those who disturb you.  Do not only bear sorrows, but positively love them.

In giving to Abraham the order to sacrifice his son, God gave him the additional happiness of specifying an alter three days' journey away, so that he might enjoy for a long time the idea of giving his most beloved for his Master.  He could have placed the wood for the fire on an ass, but Isaac preferred to carry the wood up the hill himself.  Great sacrifices should be borne, not with patience, but with delight.

The heavenly Father Himself, because it was necessary that His Son should die on the cross for the sins of the world, did not sacrifice Him grudgingly: "It pleased the Lord to bruise him." Adopt this attitude toward whatever disturbs you in life and you will be happy."   Reaching Toward The Heights by Richard Wurmbrand.

This is giving me a lot to think about.  It certainly is not the western way of thinking, or even the American way of thinking.  It's challenging and I thought I'd share it with you.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

8 comments:

  1. Submitting to His sovereignty is rarely "easy," but it gives such great reward. Challenging thoughts...

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  2. I read a book recently where a step-mother was correcting her step-daughter. She told her she not only wanted her to obey but to like the correction. It seemed like harsh thing but she was a very wise women who knew that "no chastening seemeth good for the present but afterwards it yields the peacable fruit of righteousness.: How much better to have a cheerful attitude than to grumble and complain and pout. Enjoyed your post. Blessings, Sharon D.

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  3. It certainly does conflict with "spare me any pain" western culture we live in. And I think our Christianity often equates God's blessing with lack of discomfort, which is unfortunate. I don't think we need to go looking for discomfort, but we tend to avoid, rather than embrace it as a way of learning more to lean on our heavenly Father, and in that way draw closer to Him.

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  4. God promises to be there with us, but doesn't promise a trouble free life. Yes there is a lot to think about here, embracing, being thankful for the hard thing. But on how He is glorified when we do!

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  5. I think I have a lot to think about; a lot to learn; a lot to practice!

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  6. Sounds as if it would have to be something The Lord Himself would build into us because it definitely would not come naturally. I prefer the concept that the fruit tree does not strain and groan to produce fruit; it produces fruit because it is a fruit tree. As Believers, we are going to produce fruit not through our own vain efforts, but because He lives in us.

    I do believe in the concept of thinking about things differently. Ex: John's estate checking account is back to about zip because taxes had to be paid. I was feeling very blue about this dismal state of the account and then I realized that I needed to be grateful that the funds were there to pay the taxes. I've been feeling much better ever since.

    Sometimes, it really is about the simple things. Golly, Deanna, you should not ask me questions!

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  7. Thank you for sharing! I'm going to share it with Kirk! Merry Christmas!!

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  8. It was hard for me to read. I looked away.

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