is primarily about blessing and comfort and prosperity
and ease, then perhaps we have been sidetracked from
the process of Transformation and are running after a
It's critical to come back to the reality that this process
is mostly one of pain, and of hardship, and of suffering,
which begins with Jesus Himself, "a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53). While most of us may
not experience physical persecution, every single Christian
is called into the process of metamorphosis (Romans 12:2),
and that process is described throughout the Bible as one involving
a great deal of pain:
- Hebrews 4:12, 13
The Gospel message rips bone from marrow, metaphorically,
exposing our every Thought and Attitude to God... OUCH...
One man sharpens another... Ever used a steel file to
sharpen something? Ya think the thing being sharpened
enjoys the process? Oh man, that's gotta hurt...
1 Corinthians 9:27
Whether or not he actually beat himself with his own fists,
Paul implies here that he pounded the *!@#@!* out of his
Old Man and made it his slave, regularly... BAM...
Now the heat is REALLY getting turned up! What??? We are
supposed to BLESS those who abuse us? We're to DO GOOD
to those who hate us? Gosh, does that mean a selfish
spouse? A rude, unkind Co-worker? A cynical, blasphemous
neighbor? A sanctimonious, judgmental Believer? YEP!
We're not supposed to pray for Trials to be removed from
us; instead, we're to -- get this -- count it a JOY to go
through tough times! OUCH!
Here's Jesus himself saying that our day-to-day walk begins
with a little "funeral" -- dying to self -- and then taking
up our crosses (imagine the pain there!) to follow Him...
This is perhaps the most PAINFUL one of them all! We're told
here to STOP with the Religious stuff and GO MAKE PEACE with
someone with whom we have some issue FIRST! Wow, now THAT
is some major SAND PAPER for the SOUL!!! Double OUCH!!
present the TRUTH about the pain and agony we are called to go through
in the process of becoming sons and daughters of All Mighty God;
perhaps nobody in modern times has put it better than C.S. Lewis,
who describes it like this, in his talk, "Man or Rabbit":
- "The people who keep on asking if they can’t lead
a decent life without Christ, don’t know what life is
about; if they did they would know that 'a decent life'
is mere machinery compared with the thing we men are
really made for. Morality is indispensable: but the
Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us
to be gods, intends for us something in which morality
will be swallowed up. We are to be re-made.
All the rabbit in us is to disappear — the worried,
conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and
sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of
fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find
underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined:
a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant,
wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy."
sometimes known as Sanctification?? Ready for a piece o' Jesus?
He's going to hit us with more than we bargained for,
and MAN, this is gonna hurt...
But, through God's strength and relentless work in us, if we don't quit,
we WILL be glorfied, and find enternal JOY in what He
will have made of us...