Tag Archives: Christian

Proportion of Suffering

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You can only help others in proportion to what you yourself have suffered. The greater the price, the more you can help others. The lesser the price, the less you can help others. As you go through the fiery trials, the testings, the afflictions, the persecutions, the conflicts—as you let the Holy Spirit work the dying of Jesus in you—life will flow out to others, even the life of Christ.

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Past Mistakes

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Do not let any of the things of the world or past mistakes paralyze your hearts. I believe there are Christians who have allowed some of their past mistakes to paralyze them. You were so bright and cheerful in your spiritual life once, and then you made some tragic mistake or had something happen to you. You got out of it somehow, and prayed and wept your way out of it. But it did something to you, and now you cannot lick it. Past wrongs that have been done to you, past failures, times you thought you were going to win and did not, or present sins or discouragement-these things are not mental at all. They are deeper than that; they are subconscious, and they prevent us from believing.
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Past Mistakes

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Do not let any of the things of the world or past mistakes paralyze your hearts. I believe there are Christians who have allowed some of their past mistakes to paralyze them. You were so bright and cheerful in your spiritual life once, and then you made some tragic mistake or had something happen to you. You got out of it somehow, and prayed and wept your way out of it. But it did something to you, and now you cannot lick it. Past wrongs that have been done to you, past failures, times you thought you were going to win and did not, or present sins or discouragement-these things are not mental at all. They are deeper than that; they are subconscious, and they prevent us from believing.
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The Problem of Evil

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The Challenge of Death and Suffering

As Christians, we believe in a good God who is all-powerful and all-loving. Yet, we cannot escape the reality of evil and suffering in the world. Many people reject belief in God because they can’t imagine a world in which God and evil both exist. It is a good thing to take evil seriously and to find it abhorrent. It would be far more disconcerting to talk with a person who finds no problem with the existence of evil (though a consistent atheist would have to say so).
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School of Suffering

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I suppose you are still in the ‘school of the cross’, learning the happy art of extracting ‘real good’ out of ‘seeming evil’, and to grow tall by stooping. The flesh is a sad untoward dunce in this school; but grace makes the spirit willing to learn by suffering; yes, it cares not what it endures, so that sin may be mortified, and a conformity to the image of Jesus be increased. Surely, when we see the most and the best of the Lord’s children so often in heaviness, and when we consider how much He loves them, and what He has done and prepared for them, we may take it for granted that there is a need-be for their sufferings. For it would be easy to His power, and not a thousandth part of what His love intends to do for them should He make their whole life here, from the hour of their conversion to their death, a continued course of satisfaction and comfort, without anything to distress them from within or without. But were it so, would we not miss many advantages?

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Marks of a Christian

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All men bear the image of God. They have value, not because they are redeemed, but because they are God’s creation in God’s image. Modern man, who has rejected this, has no clue as to who he is, and because of this he can find no real value for himself or for other men. Hence, he downgrades the value of other men and produces the horrible thing we face today — a sick culture in which men treat men as less than human, as machines. As Christians, however, we know the value of men.

Forgiveness

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I said in a previous chapter that chastity was the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. But I am not sure I was right. I believe the one I have to talk of today is even more unpopular: the Christian rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself>” Because in Christian morals “thy neighbour” includes “thy enemy,” and so we come up against this terrible duty of forgiving our enemies.

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Loneliness of the Christian

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The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world.His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorptions in the love of Christ; and because with his circle of friends there are few who share his inner experiences, he’s forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord himself suffered in the same way.

The man (or woman) who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk.

For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided, and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for the friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.