Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning. If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed your people.-Psalm 73:13-15CSB
Have you ever felt like Asaph in this Psalm? Sometimes as we follow Christ it feels like we are getting the short end of the stick. You live a set apart life, which is not easy, and still receive an immense amount of suffering. Maybe you feel like Asaph in that even when you do open up about the suffering you are facing, other Christian’s accuse you of hidden sin, slap a scripture on it rather than having compassion, or suddenly vanish when you needed them most. Well, my friend, you are not only in the company of Asaph when it comes to this, I understand too. But most importantly, God understands deeper than anyone ever could.
Let’s keep reading, shall we?
When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. -Psalm 73:16-17 CSB
In times of suffering and hardship, many times we don’t get the answers we are searching for. And if we are being honest, some of the things we face do not seem fair do they? Suffering can have a tendency to make us feel hopeless as we observe the wicked that seem to be prospering.
Like Aspah, we have the understanding that this earth is not our home. That our story does not end here. In fact there will be a day where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering (See Revelation 21:4). The prospering of the wicked will soon come to an end and they will wish that they repented and sought the Lord’s heart. I have a feeling many will have wish they endured trials here when they see the joy and gift of heaven.
Our perfect heavenly Father can handle our hard questions. He will never leave us even if people do. And He isn’t ashamed of our feelings. So many times people can dismiss what you are feeling, but God doesn’t do that. Sorrow and grief can coexist with faith. In fact, we can see this right here in the middle of Psalm 73.
My friend, I know times may be hard but you are not alone. This suffering won’t last forever. But you know what does last forever and will carry you through? God’s Love. His Grace. His Mercy. Him.
There has never been a moment that I have regretted giving my life to Jesus.
I have lost friends, family has become distant, strangers have insulted me, and even those in the house of faith there are those who do not understand me.
No matter the circumstance, words that were spoken to me, some words that were never spoken at all (silence never explained), God has given me his heavenly peace.
Worldly insults may build. But, I am wrapped in Abba’s heavenly love.
Even if you are surrounded right now with what seems like darkness, the Lord is a light for you.
Even if everyone has left you, your heavenly father never will.
He hears your cry for help and is responding.
He knowns the tears you’ve cried, he has kept them in a bottle for the day of his judgment.
He wants to exchange what you’ve been feeling from all the rejection for his complete and total acceptance.
There is nothing like the Love of God.
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Please take the time to prayerfully read through this scripture before reading the post:
Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord ’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. Isaiah 53:1-12 NLT
As I read this chapter, I cannot help but be emotional about what Jesus had endured for us to be whole and healed.
I reflect on the fact that he had done absolutely nothing wrong, never decieving anyone, never sinned, and suffered the worst kind of death for us. Jesus did everything out of the abundance of his love and still does today.
Take a moment to reflect:
Can you imagine being falsely accused and going through a crucifixion? Being alone and laying down your life for those who won’t even acknowledge who you are? Laying down your life for those who ultimately betrayed you?
Not forgetting to mention, Jesus even though he was oppressed and suffering, stayed quiet and did not speak a word.
I think this speaks volumes about how we are called to live. Jesus being our perfect example, never complained and only spoke out of love.
Most of us, myself included, complain on a daily basis. The weather is too hot, too cold, ect. Yet, Jesus going through the worst suffering all alone and not deserving it, chose to be quiet and endure.
This blows me away and also convicts me to ask Holy Spirit for help. I need his help with complaining (which is the absence of thankfulness) but to also help me be quiet when I suffer. If I cannot say anything in love or thankfulness, it is better to say nothing at all.
Many times love comes in the form of correction. As I have been meditating on this, Holy Spirit has gently corrected me and showed me areas where I need to be more diligent and seek him in. But the reason why it made a difference is because it was done in love.
A question I had for God was how did the Lord endure such gruesome suffering and not complain or speak?
Lets be real, humble, and transparent. I have a hard time not complaining about the weather and when someone does me wrong I even have had the urgency to lash back. But Jesus, he doesn’t do this. How!?
If you read there is a verse that he pointed out to me that changed my perspective not only on suffering but the love of Jesus.
“When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels”-Isaiah 53:11-12 NLT
First, Jesus was not focused on his anguish and his suffering. He had the eternal perspective that what he was enduring was worth every ounce of pain he felt. When we are suffering we are not called to focus on the things of earth but the things of heaven.
Second, his eternal perspective was a relationship with us. Jesus suffered to set us free, make his whole, and for our healing.
I am in awe that he not only stayed quiet during the trials because he only spoke in love and thankfulness. I am also in awe that his eternal perspective that gave him the strength to endure the worst kind of suffering was his love for us. Yall I am in tears writing this.
My prayer for you today is that even if you are suffering, being falsely accused, feel alone, and are being rejected. You remember that Jesus knows how you feel and died for you to be whole and healed. I pray that you forgive as freely as he has forgiven us. I pray that he puts a door over your mouth so you may not speak thoughtlessly and you always speak the truth in love or do not speak at all, following his perfect example. I pray that you continually get a deeper revelation of his love for you and your grab ahold of his love that makes you whole and healed.
ABBA, I thank you for sacraficial servant love. I can only pray that we follow your example. I thank you for your mercy and grace and that you have died to make us whole, free, and healed. There is nothing you will not do for us. In Jesus name, Amen.