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Today we do not get much teaching on how a genuine believer can actually
experience Christ in reality.
Is it a matter of always walking around with a smile on our face,
and a ‘There is hope’ rainbow sticker or with a little fish emblem on our car?
We get a lot of health and wealth, name it and claim it gospel preaching.
The truth is that very little of that matches up to the actual experience
of the vast majority of hearers.
However, they persevere, thinking that there must be some lack on their part.
Often the messages of the ministers promote this lie.
The sheeple then wrongly assume that everyone else, except them,
is somehow getting these experiences they so earnestly desire.
The actual experiences of Christ, the prophets and apostles,
are in most cases the very opposite: obstacles, rejection, discouragement,
pain, suffering, etc.
Our journey is not just one long happy clappy sing along.
A basic principle no pain no gain. There are growing pains.
If we are truly sons and daughters of Christ, we have to realise that the reality
is that we are being trained,
and whatever is required for our training is what we will receive.
Message Bible Hebrews 12:6 It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
Hebrews 12:7 God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out.
He's treating you as dear children.
This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training,
Of course as we have repeatedly said we should pray that Christ would be
whatever it is require, our Peace, Comforter, Wisdom, Discernment, etc.
There is however another angle which we need to understand, in a world
when it is very difficult to understand what is going on in our families,
our jobs, our town, our country, our world.
I believe that it is very important to realise that some of the experiences
which we go through enable us to have a small glimpse of how the Eternal feels.
We touched on this in our document. “Faith And Long Suffering”.
We can see that by the time of Genesis 6 the Eternal felt sorry that He had created man.
Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from
the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air;
for it repenteth me that I have made them.
We do not tend to equate the Eternal with such feelings as being sorry, even very sorry,
but that is what one definition of repenteth is, Strong’s no 05162 means to be sorry,
I will give some examples.
We are basically rebels.
The bible is full of reports of rebellion from Genesis right through to Revelation.
Here are just two examples.
Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel,
but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit,
that they may add sin to sin:
Isaiah 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children,
children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
If the Eternal says to us either directly or in His Word to do something,
invariably we disobey.
Every year of our lives we have suffered, as we ignore the advice which
the Eternal has given us.
This it one of the main lessons of the entire bible.
All this time the Eternal suffers as He watches,
as He allows us to go our own way of pain and suffering which
for the most part could have been avoided.
We chose this way.
We chose just like our first parents to eat of the tree of Death, Satan,
rather than of the Tree of Life, Christ. Genesis 2:16-17
It is worth pointing out that though the Eternal does willingly forgive us our sins,
this does not mean that we do not reap the penalty of our sins.
This means that the suffering is there to teach us and to ensure that we avoid that
sin in the future.
We have to learn the lessons which we are being taught.
Because of the gift of free will the Eternal cannot force us to do the
right thing and therefore avoid the inevitable heartache which accompanies
rebellion. If He intervened every time we did something wrong,
he might as well have made us like the pre-programmed animal kingdom,
simply elaborate robots.
We can find that we are in exactly in the same position with those who are
near and dear to us. We can see their rebellion and the results often before they happen.
We can see the problems in our families clearly,
but we know that if we say or do anything it will only aggravate the situation.
We suffer in silence, unable to grasp how our children can
get into the mess into which they are hurtling with gay abandon.
Of course we forget that we are as rebellious as our children, but in different areas.
The fact is that rebellion is rebellion.
Ezekiel 2:7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear,
or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
There are many references to our rebellion.
The point is that we suffer in a similar way to the Eternal.
He suffers when He sees us rebel, we suffer when we see our siblings rebel.
Marriage relationships are classic examples of mirrored experiences which Christ experiences.
Husbands and wives are at loggerheads most of the time.
Each wants to control and manipulate the other,
even up to the point of denying each other their marital rights.
We can be sure that this occurs as scripture warns us about doing such things.
1 Corinthians7:5 Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time
if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting--but only for such
times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we
least expect it.
We deny Christ the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with us,
as we do our own thing, which might well make us feel good, but is not what is required.
We certainly can identify with these mirrored feelings.
The minute we get a warning from the Eternal we know that the problem,
whatever it might be, is going to exist, and even worse, is extensive.
Meanwhile in this example both parties can be going to their church meetings.
I have known situations where both partners go to the same church organisation,
but in order to avoid confrontation each person goes to a meeting in a different locality,
although they live in the same house!!!
Such a course of action has been implemented by the minister !!
What kind of nonsense is that?
Do we really believe that the Eternal plays games, when He tells us even to love our enemies?
Is the Eternal God saying well done my faithful ones?
Or is He suffering long at the deception and the lie that some people,
who are supposedly His are living?
Where are the wives who are helps to their husbands?
Where are the husbands who cherish their wives?
Where are the obedient children?
How can we imagine that we can treat the people at the meetings
one way and our partners another way?
In fact more like our enemies, even so we are told:
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you,
and persecute you;
What sort of madness is this?
We might well be fooling ourselves, but we do not fool other people, much less the Eternal.
In practice, we, the sons and daughters of Christ, treat Him in just as despicable manner.
Our experiences can let us feel a little of what Christ has been
going through with us as individuals for years and years.
I have mentioned this before, but will do so again.
Let us say that being single, I am hoping to be married.
This has been the case for the past few years.
The years come and go and it just does not happen.
I keep asking where is the wife I have been promised.
This is exactly what Christ is saying ‘Where is My wife’.
In Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 are instructions for His wife to make herself ready.
Unfortunately His wife is really busy doing her own thing.
What she is not doing is making herself ready.
Most can see this regarding single people, but what is not clear
to those who are married is that the very same thing applies
to many who are married.
Due to selfishness and other reasons, of which we are all fully aware in our own situation,
the married person is saying where is the person I married?
where is my wife? Where is my husband, the man I married?
Therefore in our lonely married condition, once again we experience
the suffering that Christ is going through waiting on his rebellious wife.
The same principle applies to pain.
Will we still be thankful and give praise when we are suffering?
Don’t worry about the health and wealth gospel.
The Eternal will look after our needs, but He is training us and letting
us experience to a lesser degree what He is experiencing now and what
Christ went through.
It is only when we have the actual experiences and not intellectual
understanding that we will be able to relate and have empathy
with those who are going through severe suffering.
Having established the principle, you can work out other applications
It is a humbling experience to see that many times, in different ways,
the things which you find so hard to deal with in others are often reflected in your own life.
Never forget that many times you are experiencing to a lesser degree,
the feelings that the Eternal goes through, if not for you personally,
certainly for His body.
If you are feeling lonely, Christ is also feeling loneliness.
If your are feeling rejected, Christ is also feeling rejected.
Isaiah 53: 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted wit
grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
Note the present continuous tense ‘is despised’
When all of these things we have mentioned and those we have not
mentioned are your experiences, remember that we are children
of the living God, who are to be living the victorious life of Christ
regardless of our circumstance.
You are not as alone as you might think.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
We are in rigorous training, the night is far spent, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
The only way out of this dilemma is Jesus Christ.
He is the only way of escape.
Praise the Lord.
Come soon Lord Jesus.
(Bible Explanations, Messages of Life, Hope & Encouragement)