Journal Entry

Journal entry from November 6th, 2021

I'm reading the wonderful message at 2 Corinthians 1: 8- 21. This short passage is one of Paul's most uplifting and positive and as a blessing in hard times. One can only imagine the hardship this small group of Christ believers suffered as they were pursued and persecuted throughout Asia minor and parts of Turkey.
One today might ask why? They were not numerous. They had no armies or weapons of war. They preached not rebellion, but submission to worldly authorities. They did not try to foment any rebellions.
But the devil was afraid of them because everyone who believed them was lost to him and gained to the One he had rebelled against. And so, and so he threw everything he had at them to stop them and stop the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. And our maker allowed this in order to further temper them and harden them as steel is tempered and hardened.
The ancient swordsmiths would take iron and heat it in a fire made hotter by a billows, and then beat it with a hammer on an anvil. They would repeat this process over and over and quench it in water. Until it became carbonized and able to withstand heavy blows without breaking. And they quenched it in water so it would hold an edge. The result was tough, strong and worthy.
We are God's swords. We are perfected and purified and made strong and worthy by the crucible of hardship (see Rev. 3: 18); and by the fire of suffering (see Heb. 2: 10- 18). And he lets us be faced with impossible situations; that is, impossible for us, but for God all things are possible. And this causes us to rely on God as our strength and our salvation. For, what good is any sword without the hand that wields it? So it is with us. We are formed and strengthened and hardened and sharpened; but we are useless until we fit the hand of our maker and submit to his will.
Verses 18- 22 set forth a beautiful and wonderful insight into God's love. For our Christ is not a “yes and no” savior. In him the answer is always yes to those who love him and trust him. He does not give as the world gives, giving with one hand and snatching back with the other. There is no catch in his offer of eternal life. What he promised, he will deliver.
And further, God makes us to stand firm in Christ! He has set his seal on his people. He anointed us and put his spirit in our hearts, as a deposit, guaranteeing our salvation.
We are so blessed! There is blessing in my cancer in my multiple myeloma in my ankle fracture with these nails in my bones. I do not necessarily subscribe to salvation as a one and done event. I believe we have to stay faithful and run our race to its conclusion. I am sorry, but there will be pain both physical and emotional. There will be toil. There will be setbacks. Sorry, that is life. It was baked in the cake way back in the garden of Eden and it hasn’t changed. Christ was always intended to be the answer, and there is no other. But to those of us who believe in him, and trust him, and devote ourselves to him, the rewards are huge. We received the gifts of eternal life now, and the Holy Spirit which increases our power to do great things. And we are forgiven the past. We are spared the judgment and the death that must fall on the disobedient and rebellious world. He gives us spiritual sight and knowledge through the spirit.
Summing it up: yes, we suffer, but it is not pointless. And whatever we suffer is to God's glory and our own sanctification. This is why Paul rejoiced in his suffering. Ro. 5: 4-5.
But no one ever said it wouldn't hurt. I lay here with three fresh screws in my ankle bones, and I get these shooting, stabbing pains at random times and I am trying everything I know. Breathing, gritting my teeth, tensing my fists to no avail. It hurts just as bad as it would if I were not a Christian. But I'm not thinking “poor me.” Yes, I had plans. I planned to be climbing, working at the shelter, walking on these beautiful, crisp autumn mornings. But my plan gave way to His plan, as always, and I fear with cancer and multiple myeloma my time of physical capability may not continue as long as I would prefer, things will get markedly worse for me physically. I don't want to dwell on it. But I know, whatever happens, Jesus has my back.
The strength of a sword is in the steel forged in fire; but our strength is in the Spirit of Christ living in us (see Ro. 8:9-11). So my heart is full, my spirit is overflowing and God is with me today. There is nothing more than this I could wish for. Peace, love, and grace to all. Be happy today in the Lord. Be kind to everyone so far as you can. Seek deeply in the word. And know Yeshua, our Iesus, is with you. Shalom.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published