7 years ago
"We always feel more comfortable believing that pain comes only from the hand of an enemy. It makes sense because it's what we would expect from an enemy. When a friend, particularly another Christian, inflicts pain, we feel as if we have been stabbed in the back, and it has pierced our hearts. But to take it further than that, to suggest that God Himself, our loving Father, our first and last defense against the world, could be the One Who allowed it and will use it to make us the women that we want to be? That is hard for us to welcome, but I do believe that God loves us so much that He wants us to be free from feeling like victims in this world and offer all of our lives, the joy and the pain, to Him.
I don't mean to make light of your pain or the betrayal you have suffered, but if for a moment you could take your eyes off the one whom you believe put you in this place and receive it as an opportunity to let God work in the deepest place of your heart, it will free you. One thief continued to curse, but the man who saw Christ told him to be quiet. He understood the bigger picture.
The mark of a true crucifixion is that it is never mentioned again. Gene Edwards points out that after the Resurrection, Christ never referred to the cross or the pain again. There were no words of vengeance, no regret, or no cutting words - just life, forgiveness, and love. Crucifixion is God's invitation to resurrection, to a new life where the old is dead and buried.
After His resurrection, Jesus never said to Peter, "I told you that you'd denyt Me!"
He never said to the disciples, "So where were you while I was dying?"
Jesus never sought out the soldier who drove the sword into His side or Pilate or any of the players on the stage of His death.
Thy will be done!
Your heart may be broken and your hands nail pierced, but will you bow down and worship and say, "Father, I welcome this crucifixion so that I might share in your resurrection"?
-- Sheila Walsh, "The Heartache No One Sees", pp. 165; 167.
"Erikson's theory of personality development is also the Christian psychologist's model for teaching that your "identity" is in Christ. If we can just understand who we are in Christ, we will realize our identity and no longer be depressed or anxious or feel badly about ourselves....this is a perversion of the true biblical teaching that Christians are "in Christ". Our union with Christ is a precious truth. We should love it and believe it, but not twist it into something God never intended - a formula to solve emotional problems or make man feel worthy."I can't say "oops" emphatically enough. Although I certainly wouldn't have phrased it that bluntly, this feelings-based, sanctified "I'm okay; you're okay" rubbish is the trap I was falling into.
"We frequently hear Maslow's hierarchy of needs "Christianized" through sermons and books that tell us "God loves you, you're special, you're worthy - your significance is in Christ. If you were the only one, Christ loved you so much He would have died for you. Once you understand that your identity is in Him, you will feel better about yourself."This morning, I saw the following from a fellow Christian on Facebook:
"To be "in Christ" means literally to be "in union with Christ." "...just as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). This is a supernatural union that takes place at the moment of salvation...it is not because we were so special, worthy, and valuable or because salvation makes us so special, so worthy, and so valuable that Christ died for us. Prior to salvation, we were "dead in our trespasses and sin" (Ephesians 2:1) and were considered "enemies of God" (James 4:4, Romans 5:10).....Our sin was, and still is, far worse than we realize. God is the One Who is special and worthy. We should not even think in terms of how wonderful, special or worthy we are. Certainly all of God's creation, including mankind, is magnificently wonderful because God, the creator, is wonderful. The focus, however, must be on God. Christ died to vindicate "the worth and glory of His Father", not the worth of sinful man. It is blasphemous and dishonoring to God and Christ's atoning work on the cross to attempt to elevate man to a "Most High" status. Only our holy God is "Most High".