These Dark Days.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

In these dark days, we need encouragement, hope and peace. God will give that to us in many ways. One way is asking him for them, another is listening to uplifting music. Somehow music feeds our soul. Like everything else on earth it can feed our souls for good or evil. The last few years, I have found music lifts my heart up to the heavens. The earth seems to fade away.

Below I have printed the lyrics to a song that comforts me. This artist sings some of the most beautiful words I have heard in music. I hope you look him up and give his music a try.

Always Good.

Written and sung by Andrew Peterson

Do You remember how Mary was grieving?
How You wept and she fell at Your feet?
If it’s true that You know what I’m feeling
Could it be that You’re weeping with me?


Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go

You’re always good, always good
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart
Like it should
And You’re always good, always good

It’s so hard to know what You’re doing
So why won’t You tell it all plain?
But You said You’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again

So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see


You’re always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You’re always good


My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if You can hear me
Please help Your child to know


That You’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant
To be understood
Will You help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good?
‘Cause You laid down Your life and You suffered like I never could


And You’re always good, always good
You’re always good, always good

We Christians should never forget what happened to the followers of Jesus right after he went to heaven. There was death, imprisonment and persecution. Many Jews were thrown out of the temple, excommunicated. This meant no one could trade with them or talk with them. They lost everything for Jesus. That is why the believers needed to share among themselves. The need was very great.

Remember what happened when Rome turned against Christianity. They tortured and killed thousands. Remember the suffering of the Holocaust. Not only Jews, but Christians, gays, mentally disabled and those who resisted Hitler were wiped out. Remember the suffering of the war itself. I had an uncle who died, who left a wife and two daughters behind.

It seems to me that we, North Americans, are surprised by suffering. We don’t seem to think we should have to suffer anything. Even the wearing of a simple mask in order to not spread an illness to others. No, we think that is too much to ask. It is a sacrifice we aren’t willing to make.

Many believe there is no virus. It is all untrue! So that means every news service in all the world is lying about all the people who are suffering and dying. There is some vast (worldwide) conspiracy against – who? Them personally, I guess.

To me, these are the scary people of the world. These are the ones who will persecute others to the death – like the ones who go surround government officials with weapons and send death threats. If they can, they will overthrow the democracy of the United States and keep Trump in power.

We are in our own era now, with our own wars against a virus, against ignorance and against pure evil. We don’t need to fear though, because God will walk through this time with us. He may let us suffer as he has done for millions in the past. We may lose our lives to violence by the hand of evil people.

But as the song says, Jesus did too. Aside from the torture, his death was much worse than any that can happen to a human, because he had the sins of the world on his heart and his Father turned away from him. The Father did this so Jesus could experience the second death: knowing we will be separated from God forever because of our sinful lives. At the judgement, God will show us our sinful lives and why he can’t take us to heaven. Then we will die and be dead forever. Jesus went through that to take our place if we want him to. He endured it so we don’t have to, and he endured it for every person.

Helpful Quotations

I’ve read some things lately that have touched my heart and I thought I would share them:

“Running from suffering makes one suffer more and more, from even the small things, until you hate your own life.”  

From The Seven Story Mountain, by Thomas Merton.

I found this to be true in my own life. I kept running from my inner pain and the more I ran, the worse I got. I did come to hate my own life, because it was a life of misery of pain in my past and pain in the now and thinking there would only be pain in the future. This attitude makes you open to death and suicide. You know there will always be bad things happening in the future and feel helpless and hopeless.

Tauren Wells sings about this in his song, Until Grace. I too thought my life was cursed:

I knew I was broken but there was no one that I could tell,
Praying felt like I was throwing pennies in a wishing well
And I started believing I was cursed to carry this weight
I was listing the reasons of why I should walk away

[Chorus: Tauren Wells & Rascal Flatts]
Until grace called my name
Oh, I didn’t know I could be free

Until grace found me.

Until grace broke these chains
Oh, I didn’t know I could be free
Until grace found, Your grace found me.

God has taught me through other Christians that I must live one day at a time, so when I start thinking about sad events I go to him and tell him how I feel. He always helps and comforts me.

Another quote I found meaningful is this:

In our culture, ‘Love’ is soft. In God’s kingdom, love is a battle cry.”

I wish I could tell you where I heard this, but I forgot to write that down.

To love our enemies, to love those who make fun of us or hurt us is a battle. A spiritual battle. It goes against our culture and our human nature, which is about protecting ourselves. Certainly, we don’t have to hang around people who are physically or verbally abusive, but we do have to forgive and love them. God’s love, not human love. His love is higher than ours.

The last quote is another one where I don’t remember where I found it; I will try to do better at that.

I am not a solid rock, but I am standing on one.”

I love the imagery of that and it is true I am not a solid rock. I’m like the sand or bending reeds in the wind. But I need not be afraid because I am standing before God on Jesus the rock. The one who made the universe and loves me.

Fear.

These are trying times for everyone. We can’t see the future and feel powerless over the COVID-19 virus. We are used to having some control over our lives and that seems to be gone. Most of us have lives of trying to cope with problems without the virus; with the virus, life can feel overwhelming.

I am taking care of my 92-year-old mother. The doctor recently prescribed morphine for her because her constant angina wasn’t letting her sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. I’ve been trying one pill, then two pills. If she doesn’t have enough food in her stomach before taking the pill, she gets nauseated and sometimes vomits. I’ve found the solution in giving her a bowl of cereal before she goes to bed; that seems to work the best with one pill at night.

My heart overturns sometimes when I look at my mom. She is so weak and fragile and feels yucky a lot of the time. I wish none of this was happening to her, but I am powerless over her illness.

Each day I pray for God’s strength and he always gives it to me. But last night I watched a video online that showed a woman in her 90s who got the virus and lived through it. I’m so glad she did, but what she described was truly awful and painful. I began to feel deep fear about getting the virus. I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of pain.

As I was praying later that night, I was reminded of the many people in the Bible who were close to God and suffered greatly. It felt like the Lord was telling me I shouldn’t expect a life with no suffering; he never promises that.  Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When I think of how David was running and hiding from King Saul for 20 years, I can understand why he wrote Psalms of sorrow and fear. When I think of Daniel and his friends being taken away from their homes and families in Jerusalem and made to be slaves for the king of Babylon, I think of the long journey there. They were forced to walk for miles and miles before they arrived. Perhaps they saw their parents and siblings killed when Jerusalem fell. Their faith in God was surely tested.

Jeremiah and Isaiah both suffered greatly because they spoke out for God. They did what God asked them to do yet were jailed. Jewish history says Isaiah was sawn in half by King Manasseh. Jeremiah was hunted down and hated by the rulers of Jerusalem. It is only because of the king’s mercy that he stayed alive until the city fell.

In the New Testament, the disciples of Jesus were persecuted and all died from murder except John. Paul writes about the Thessalonians who had all their property taken away because they became Christians. Thousands lost their lives to different emperors of Rome.

These are some of the sufferings of Paul that he wrote about in 2 Corinthians:

In my frequent journeys, I have been in danger from rivers and from bandits, in danger from my countrymen and from the Gentiles, in danger in the city and in the country, in danger on the sea and among false brothers, in labor and toil and often without sleep, in hunger and thirst and often without food, in cold and exposure. Verses 26,27

…in harder labor, in more imprisonments, in worse beatings, in frequent danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. Verses, 23-25

For myself I can say, I don’t really know what it is to suffer like Paul. Still, I have my own sufferings and I know God sympathizes with me; he walks with me through my sufferings; he gives me strength to bear up under them but he doesn’t always take them away.

I believe Jesus is returning very soon. If that is so, the COVID-19 virus is only the beginning of suffering at this time. I was reading Isaiah chapter 24 this morning and came across the condition of the world at the time of the end:  4-6  

The earth mourns and withers;
the world languishes and withers;
the highest people of the earth languish.


The earth lies defiled (polluted)
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore, a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-26 For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance. )

So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

In Daniel 12:1-4, it says “At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of trouble, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.

And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt. Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.

But you, Daniel, shut up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam to and fro and knowledge will increase.”

One of the best things Jesus said was, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have itself to think about. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34

I heard something online today that made me smile. It was, “I am not a strong rock, but I stand on one.” Amen to that.

Thank You God for My Suffering.

Joyce Meyer

I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning, and she spoke about going through trials, pain and suffering and how these things equip us for the future. They equip us with experience that we can then use to help other people. She said we usually don’t realize this until we are older and can look back on our lives.

Joyce used the example of Joseph’s life, which if you read it in Genesis Chapters 37-50, will explain why “But Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people.”

Just the other day, my sister said to me, “When you used to come to Nevada to visit me, it surprised me how my bad temper didn’t upset you. When I raged about something, most people didn’t like it and would get upset, but you would just sit there working on your crossword puzzle.”

I said to her, “I realized a few years ago, that the years of having my husband lose his temper had taught me not to take anger personally. I read a book that explained bad-tempered people are not actually mad at you; they are angry about something else, usually their childhood.”

Living with my husband and praying about my own temper, has been good for me. I didn’t think so at the time, in fact, I hated it, but God used that so I could learn to let people go and not be upset about what they say and do. I haven’t learned this perfectly, but most of the time when someone is mad at me or at something else, I feel at peace about it.

My husband rarely loses his temper now. We have both learned how useless it is to be angry at people. When he does slip and flip-out, we pause and then start laughing. This is what can happen when you follow Jesus through your life. We are both in our late sixties and both of us have learned through suffering and praying. It is God alone who changes us as we ask him.

My sister and I are very close, even though we live miles apart. Through email, Messenger and phone calls, we share our happiness, sorrows and how God is working in our lives. She has helped me so much in so many ways. She says I have helped her. This deep, Christian friendship is what I have needed. I can tell her anything and know I will be understood; she can do the same with me. I pray all you who read this will have a friend like that.

The other thing I have learned through suffering is compassion. I believe if a person goes through life with everything going their way, they will probably be proud and selfish. How can we understand the suffering of others if we never go through it ourselves?

I read a millionaire say, “Anyone can do what I have done and be rich.” I suppose he says that because he has never had a family member who is not as smart as him. He doesn’t realize that intelligence makes a huge difference in how successful we will be in this world. His parents probably sent him to a wonderful university where he learned what he needed to learn.

There are those who suffer mental illness. People like me, who have no confidence and are terrified to work with other people. People like me who freeze and are speechless and so afraid to make a mistake on a job they can’t function. People like me, who were horribly abused as a child.

I can now say to God, “Thank you for all my suffering.” I never thought I would ever, ever say that, but I can see the beauty that can come from it. I would rather be who I am, with all my weakness, than proud in my own strength. I can say with David, “The Lord is my strength,” because I know how true that is.

Endurance in Suffering, Loneliness and Boredom.

Photo by Andy Armstrong.

I was reading, “Life at its Best,” by Eugene H. Peterson. He is the man who wrote the translation of the Bible called, “The Message.” Chapter 12 is entitled, “Hope,” and is about persevering in the Christian life. I found it to be helpful and full of encouragement.

I have written before how the Lord said to me, “You lack endurance.” This was at a time when I thought my life was empty, lonely and useless. God told me what I needed was endurance. I said, “Endurance! Who cares about endurance? Just get me out of here.” By that, I meant this world. But he said, “I could do that. But what if I told you that you would be helping people if you stayed?” I reluctantly said, “Well, alright.”

At the time, I had no idea how much my mother, daughters and grandchildren would need me in the future. God has shown me again and again how I could help them and I’ve very grateful to him for not taking me to heaven, as I had asked.

I started reading about endurance and tried to learn it and asked God to give it to me. My life became wonderful, peaceful and hopeful. He showed me that he is enough to fill my life. I didn’t need anyone or anything else.

I thought I would share a bit of what I read this morning with all of you. I don’t always agree with everything Peterson writes, but he is just a man and I don’t expect to agree with every Christian. So, here are some excerpts from chapter 12:

“Perseverance means we keep going. We do not quit when we find we are not yet mature and there is still a long journey ahead of us.” 

“Endurance is not a desperate hanging on but a traveling from strength to strength.”

“God sticks to his relationships. He establishes a relationship and stays with it. The central reality for Christians is the personal, unalterable, persevering commitment that God makes to us. Perseverance is not the result of our determination; it is the result of God’s faithfulness to us.”

“Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own, finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals, but by believing in God’s will and purposes; making a map of faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasms. It is out of such a reality that we acquire perseverance.”

“That is what the writer of the New Testament letter to the Hebrew Christians did when writing about the people of the Old Testament. God stuck by them through thick and thin in such a way they were able to persevere. All made their share of mistakes, sins and rebellion, but God stuck with them so consistently and surely that they learned how to stick with God.”

“Out of the litany comes the call: ‘Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.'”

Can You be a Christian and not Love God?

The last few weeks I have either heard or read Christians say, “We don’t obey God because we want to be saved, are afraid of him or want something from him. We obey God because we love him.”

This always gives me pause because of the number of years I have not felt love for God. I first gave my life to him because he showed me through a dream that I was lost. I saw Jesus returning and wasn’t ready. That dream terrified me.

My grandmother gave me a book about God and I loved it. Then I went to an evangelistic meeting. I enjoyed that also, but when they asked if anyone wanted to come forward to give their lives to Christ, I didn’t do it until the last night. That was the night the preacher talked about Jesus and his death on the cross for us. I felt love and gratitude and walked up to the stage to give myself to Jesus.

So, I guess I could say I came to God through fear and then love. But the love feeling didn’t last. Because of my church’s teachings, I started feeling very afraid to sin and believed God would turn away from me if I sinned. I don’t remember any teachings about how we will sin and how God will always be there for us.

So, I was afraid. I became legalistic too and looked down on those who weren’t as “good” as I was. I’m not sure how you can have both feelings, but I guess I went back and forth between them. When I did sin or make a mistake, I couldn’t pray for days because I felt so guilty.

I then learned about, “righteousness through faith,” from a new preacher in my church. This was wonderful news to me and I embraced it. I felt at peace with God for quite a few years.

But then some traumatic things happened in our family. I couldn’t understand why God would allow such pain. I felt repulsed by the way he ran the world and let people suffer. Not just my family, but everyone in the world. I was filled with anger towards him. I walked away from him.

Four years later, when I came back to him, I had read books on why God allows suffering. These books had helped me a lot and I could understand why things were the way they were. But love? No, I didn’t feel love for God and for the most part, I didn’t really believe he loved me.

This went on for years, and the thing is that even though I didn’t feel love for God, I wanted to be a good person and I knew God was the only way to be that. I felt as Jesus said, I hungered and thirsted for righteousness. I cared about justice, mercy, forgiveness, love, compassion, generosity and patience.

I loved what God stood for, but it was so hard for me to equate that with a person in heaven. Maybe because men had hurt me all my life, I couldn’t think of God in a loving way.

So then, if I took to heart what these Christians say about obeying God because I felt love for him, I would have given up in despair. But I learned from Joyce Meyer not to rely on my feelings. They are fickle and unreliable.

One of my sisters feels no love at all for God. She was angry with him for many years. But God wouldn’t let her go. He called her, he bugged her, he chased her until she reluctantly gave in to him. She worships him every day. She is learning about him every day. She is growing every day. There is a huge change in her, although she cannot see it, I do.

In fact, the way God has dealt with my sister has made me love him. Not many people love her. One reason is she always says the truth of what she thinks or believes. She doesn’t let people get away with bullshitting her. She is direct and pulls no punches, but that is one of the reasons I love her so much. She is straight with me; I don’t have to guess where she stands.

I’ve told her I think the thing God loves most about her is her honesty. She doesn’t want to hurt people with honesty, that is just her personality and most people don’t like it. But God does. I know he does, and oh how that makes me love him.

I only started having consistent “feelings” of love for God the last few years. I became a Christian at 19 and I am now 69. It has been a long wait for me. I had moments of that loving feeling, but they didn’t last. Now, it feels like my heart will burst with love and the joy of knowing God. It was worth the wait; I’m so happy.

I wrote this for those who have no feelings for God and think they should. I’m sure God understands feelings and knows they can’t be counted on. I think he wants us to worship him because we admire what he stands for: truth, faithfulness, justice, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, long-suffering, tolerance, and most of all love.

But honestly, I believe God will take us any way he can get us. He loves us that much.

Making the Psalms Personal.

First chapter of Psalms: 1370s: commissioned by Queen Jadwiga of Poland

I’ve been going through the Psalms, writing them as if they came from my heart. It’s been a wonderful exercise and I seem to think of the Psalm the rest of the day. Some of them are happy; some are sad. Tonight, I got to the 22nd Psalm and as I tried to enter into the sufferings of David and Jesus, my own sufferings became vivid. Maybe writing out the Psalms is a good way to get the bad stuff out, like I used to do while in therapy when I wrote my life story in a journal. I hope this helps someone.

Psalm 22:

Why did you let this happen? Where were you? A question I used to ask. No more. I accept what happened. This world is a cesspool of evil. But mental pain brought me to you, the Lover of my soul.

Most of my life, I have felt like a worm, not a human being. Because my father molested me, I felt filthy and unlovable. But you, O Lord, are enthroned in heaven. All power is yours. I believe in you. You were there the day I was born. You took me out of my mother’s womb.

People say, “Why are you still thinking about the abuse? Get over it!” They make fun of me because of my social phobia and agoraphobia. Sometimes when I speak, they say I am crazy. They laugh at me when I gasp in terror when someone calls my name, “BELLE!” I peed in first grade when the teacher called my name. Pee filled the seat of my chair, poured down my legs and shoes and puddled under my desk. What happened next? Memory gone.

In high school, boys surrounded me, trying to feel my breasts, trying to take my bra off. Me? I wanted love and babies. But I was snow-white pure; a virgin head to toe. Then in high school, a boy told everyone he had screwed me. I was easy. He said it loud to a crowd of boys as I was walking by. A lie. They opened their mouths wide against me. My father says it too, “SLUT!” as he throws me against the wall. My heart has turned to wax.

But you Lord, are my strength. I want to tell everyone how you have saved me. You have heard my cry for help! One day, all will kneel before you. My children will worship and praise you!

Words We Say to Those in Pain.

When reading about what to say to people when they are suffering, I would say the most common advice given is to just listen. Don’t give advice, don’t quote scripture and don’t say it was God’s will.

I agree with this, up to a point. The day after a loved one dies is not the time to do a lot of talking. It is best to listen and say how sorry you are this happened and you are sorry for their pain. Later on, if the person asks you for help you could tell them how God helped you in a similar situation or perhaps give them a book that helped you.

Some people are even offended if a person says to them, “I am praying for you.” I think they are being too touchy if this offends them. It is a great privilege to be prayed over by a believer. It opens heaven’s doors to do more and more for you. (In my opinion.) It is so easy to offend people when it is the last thing you ever want to do. (I have hurt people’s feelings on Instagram and I didn’t want to do that at all.)

But I have learned a lot from other Christians giving me advice and quoting scripture. Joyce Meyer gives tons of solid advice on what to do with sad and negative feelings. Praying, reading the Bible (especially the Psalms) and listening to Joyce’s advice has finally helped me see I can fight depression and win. I didn’t think it was possible before I watched her program.

I’ve written about this in other posts, so I won’t go into detail on what Joyce says; but I was thinking about what God has said to those going through a hard time. I don’t think people would necessarily agree with God.

Job suffered the loss of all he owned and all of his 10 children. When his friends came to visit him, they said nothing for 7 days. They just sat with him. I’m sure this was comforting to Job, but silence can’t last forever.

Now when they did finally speak, they said all the wrong things. In fact, they blamed Job himself for his troubles. They said he must have some secret sin and God was punishing him. My advice is to never say this to anyone. Let the Holy Spirit do the job of convicting of sin.

So finally, God shows up. Did he say comforting words? No! He basically said that Job had no right to question why God did what he did. He was the creator and God of the whole universe. He was wise and knew what he was doing.

When Jeremiah was crying and complaining to God about his miserable life (and it was very miserable), God said, “If you can’t keep up with the foot soldiers; how can you run with the horsemen?” In other words, things were going to get worse so you better man-up!

What did Jesus say to people who were sad? He said, “Don’t cry,” to a woman who lost her son and then raised him from the dead. He said, “Don’t be afraid,” quite a few times. When the disciples were terrified of drowning in a storm on a lake he said, “Why were you afraid; where is your faith?

When the disciples were sad about Jesus saying he was going away, he said, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.” Then he told them he would prepare homes for them in heaven and would return.

When Martha and Mary told Jesus their brother would not have died if he had been there, Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” I think people today would not like what God and Jesus said to people when they were suffering.

A few years ago, I was suicidal and took some pills. I survived, but wasn’t too happy about it. The next day I lay in bed and said to God, “Please get me out of here!” God spoke to my heart and said, “I could do that. But what if I told you that if you, live you will be a help to people.” I thought about it and said, “Okay, although I don’t see who I could ever help anyone.” Then he said, “You have need of endurance,” which is somewhere in the Bible. “Endurance!” I said. Who cares about endurance?”

But I kept that word in my heart, even though I didn’t care about it myself. I figured if God cared about it then I should care. Eventually, I began praying for endurance. Now that word pops off the page when I see it in the Bible. Yes, I can see I don’t have endurance. I want everything to be done and over and be in heaven with Jesus. I don’t want to suffer again as long as I live. I don’t want to go to one more funeral.

But I also remember how God was my comfort at those funerals. His grace was ample. His comfort overwhelmed me each time. Knowing this helps me to endure; and praying about endurance gives me hope he will give it to me when the time comes that I need it.

I do think we should be careful what we say to people. All the time. But we all make mistakes; none of us is perfect. I think we need to be forgiving of others if we think they said the wrong thing to us. We should not be touchy and quick to judge. We shouldn’t never go around telling people what so-and-so said. I’ve been guilty of that. My mother used to tell me, “It is hard for me to take offense. I always think they didn’t really mean what they said.” She gave grace to the person and I like that.

Don’t Refuse God’s Comfort.

500px-Gethsemane_Carl_Bloch

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”   Matthew 2:18

This verse is also found in Jeremiah. Matthew says it was the fulfillment of a prophecy of when Herod killed the little children in Bethlehem, after hearing of the birth of Jesus, “the king of the Jews.” He wanted to make sure there was no king but him.

The mothers of these children refused to be comforted.

I don’t remember what book I read where the author quoted this and said they could have been comforted by God, but refused.

I’d never thought about what that verse meant, besides a great sorrow. The author said we must allow God to comfort us because if we don’t, sin will follow. I believe he is right.

Right now, in my family, there is a lot of sorrow and grief. My youngest sister’s friend is dying of cervical cancer, my daughter’s mother-in-law is in the hospital with lung cancer, my older sister’s son committed suicide last fall, my grandson is suffering from depression, my mother has colon cancer, my youngest granddaughter has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is in great mental pain, which is giving her mother deep emotional pain.

If we don’t allow God to comfort us and walk through this with us, we will start asking, “Why us?”  “Why me?”  We could become bitter and angry. We could begin to blame and hate God, who has allowed all this to happen and put us in such a terrible world.

Yesterday, when I heard my granddaughter was feeling worse, I felt so burdened and sad. I remembered this verse and told God I wanted his comfort. I needed his comfort. I receive his comfort by prayer, reading the Psalms and remembering what Jesus suffered.

This I know. God has not asked us to go through anything he has not gone through.

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  2 Corinthians 1:5

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  Romans 8:17

“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”  1 Peter 4:13

“I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”    Philippians 3:10

“…and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.”   2 Corinthians 1:7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Enveloped in Sin, Within and Without.

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Although I had known Jesus became sin for us, that he took our sins upon his heart, I didn’t think about the depth of that until I read these two verses explained.

 “And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled. And He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.”    Mark 14:33,34

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/mark/14.htm

“He began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled…” (e)kqambei = sqai kai\ a)dhmonei = n).  These two Greek verbs are as adequately expressed above as seems possible. The first implies “utter, extreme amazement;” if the second has for its root ἄδημος, “not at home,” it implies the anguish of the soul struggling to free itself from the body under the pressure of intense mental distress.” 

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 34. – “None but he who bore those sorrows can know what they were. It was not the apprehension of the bodily torments and the bitter death that awaited him, all foreknown by him. It was the inconceivable agony of the weight of the sins of men. The Lord was thus laying “upon him the iniquity of us all.” This, and this alone, can explain it. My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.’ Every word carries the emphasis of an overwhelming grief. It was then that “the deep waters came in,” even unto his soul. “What,” says Cornelius a Lapide, “must have been the voice, the countenance, the expression, as he uttered those awful words!”

Jesus sweat drops of blood that night. He said he was at the point of death. An angel came and strengthened him or he might have died there in Gethsemane.

This was the sin within him.

From the time of his arrest until he died on the cross, Jesus was surrounded by sin of every type.

Cruelty, cowardice, envy, betrayal, mocking, hatred, torture, slapping, beating, lies, indifference, pride, unbelief, anger, and injustice.

This was the sin without him.

For a pure and holy person, being surrounded by evil must have been horrible. Realize also, he loved all the people there who were causing him such pain. It would be like us having our parents or children abuse us. Some of us have lived through that, it’s true. Jesus did too on the night and day of his trial and death.

Someday, when we are in heaven, we will see what Jesus left to become one of us, to suffer untold agony and to die feeling all alone.

Here are some extra Bible verses: 

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—“   Galatians 3:13

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

“Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”   Hebrews 9:28