“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sorrow or anger

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner.” (2Cor. 7:9).

God is waiting for us to lose our proud wrath.
“Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:1,2).

He faces off with our hard hearts in order to give us the response of Job.
“Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:4,5).

Our Lord kills only to bring to life. He wounds only to heal. But, will we yield our pride and self-sufficiency? Our yielding to Him is what makes the process of surrender take so many years and decades. He must win the battle, and we must lose. And if we lose to Him, we win all. Our loss is our gain. His every good and perfect gift is ours. God becomes our shield and exceeding great reward. Why do we take so long to give up the fight against Him? Aren’t we glad that for our sake, the great Lord and Benefactor must win?

“With the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward. For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” (Ps. 18:26,27).
“Though the LORD be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.” (Ps. 138:6).

Fighting and wrath never look to God; they go to man for help with problems. They look to self for solutions. God, they say? He’s nothing but a trouble-maker.

“He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife.” (Prov. 28:25).

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (Jas. 3:14-16).
“Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23).
“Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.” (Prov. 21:24).

If we live in wrath, we have pride. They go together, pride and wrath. The pride keeps us at arms’ length from our God of love; and without love we have nothing to hold down the child of wrath that our carnal god bequeathed to us. And he got that wrath from God because at the beginning of the controversy he wouldn’t receive the beautiful Son of God. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

There is only one antidote for wrath; that is sorrow. Sorrow and grief and groaning are the antipathy of proud anger. The proud heart sees sorrow as contemptible weakness. Sorrow for sin is not the way to deal with a world of sin. Fight back! Slash and burn! Rape and pillage! To the strong go the spoils! Never give up the fight! But, sorrow goes to God for help; sorrow is allied with faith. Sorrow surrenders to the Saviour. It suffers in meekness under the abuses of pride and rage hoping for the abuser to be converted.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Prov. 15:1).
“The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.” (Gen. 21:11).
 “I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ.” (2Cor. 10:1).
“Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1Pet. 2:23).
“It repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” (Gen. 6:6).
“They put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” (Jdg. 10:16).
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.” (John 11:33-35).
“He that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.” (Prov. 28:25).
Sorrow lets patience have its perfect work.
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1Pet. 1:6,7).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:2,3).
 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom…. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:13,17,18).
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” (Col. 3:12).

We were all born “children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3).

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath.” (John 18:10,11). “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52). “The cup which My Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:53,54).

Because we are born hot-tempered, we cannot make the sorrow antidote for our wrath. We cannot manufacture true sorrow for sin or sorrow for anything else. All that we can manufacture is sinful, wretched, filthy rage. God cannot accept our prayers filled with satanic rage. Instead of His Son’s voice of intercession, all that God hears in our prayers is His adversary’s voice. It’s an abomination to God for us to come to Him unless through His chosen Intercessor, the only-begotten, self-sacrificing Son. Filled with meekness, we may pray, “I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory.” (Ex. 33:18). True sorrow for sin, whether from self or from others, opens the door into God’s heavenly sanctuary. Gentle, peaceable communings, full of mercy and good fruits, are what God is pleased to hear. If we are easily entreated, then, so is God. And only the Spirit of Christ, the virtue that shines out of Him and penetrates our dismal anger and fighting spirit, can give us the groans that are acceptable to God.
“The Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom. 8:26). And God who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of His Son’s Spirit, “because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (vs. 27).

“Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts.” Steps to Christ, p. 26.
“Through influences seen and unseen, our Saviour is constantly at work to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of sin to the infinite blessings that may be theirs in Him.” Ibid., p. 28.
“It is as we behold Him, as the light from our Saviour falls upon us, that we see the sinfulness of our own hearts.” Ibid., p. 28.
“One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct, and lays bare the deformity and defects of the human character…. …his [the sinner’s] spirit is stricken and afflicted under the searching influence of the Spirit of God. He loathes himself as he views the pure, spotless character of Christ.” Ibid., p. 29.
“‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance.… We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ.”  Ibid., p. 26.

Then, there’s the humanist who believes that he has conquered war in the world by his strong willpower, his wonderful morality, and his great intelligence. Yet, “the fool hath said, There is no God.” (Ps. 53:1). Love for God through the grace of Christ is the only way to overcome the world. The humanist will find, despite his most perfuse declarations to the contrary, that he retains the same old child of wrath in his heart. He has bettered nothing in the world. Everything about goodness that Jesus made taste like honey the moralist turns into a nice mud flavor. Where is the love of the truth? With the moralists morality is tasteless. Nonetheless, besides their offer of muck, without agape love it is impossible to hold down the natural fire and brimstone brewing in our breasts.

The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: so that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” (Deut. 28:33,34).

Take away the good life from the moral humanists and see what kind of animals they become. And remember, that long before the pope finally orders the trouble to go forth, Francis has already warned the wealthy moralists, “You can’t eat our money.” Mr. Worldly Humanist, Ms. Intellectual Sexually-Oriented, what will you do when the Vatican removes your food supply about which you so boasted? Protestant Americans, what will you do then?

“He shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.” (Deut. 28:52-59).

When we are humbled under the mighty hand of God, and the last vestige of our pride is decimated as we turn to the grace of Christ, then we can stand in the day of His visitation. Without accepting the humbling of God, we will show only the child of wrath that our atheistic modern psychology boasted it could keep locked up in our psyche. Thou shalt be mad.

“Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3).
“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13).

Will we be meek? Will we yield? Will we surrender to God’s condemnation, which Christ administers, and receive from Him the blessedness of His Father’s Spirit? Or, will we remain resistant and unyielding to the heavy power of the Highest? Will we stay tormented and conflicted with God, and at odds with men? Will we remain in the flesh that we were born with, living under the dominion of the powers of darkness, and attempt to handle life independently of the Spirit of grace? Will we squander the last remnants of time before the time of trouble arrives and finds us unprepared for it?
“Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.” (Isa. 30:27,28).
And having failed the time of trouble, we find ourselves behind the learning curve and ill-prepared for the return of Christ in power and glory. “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” (Amos 5:18).

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25-27).

“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.
And His brightness was as the light; He had horns [rays] coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power.
Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet.
He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: His ways are everlasting.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was Thine anger against the rivers? was Thy wrath against the sea, that Thou didst ride upon thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation?
Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even Thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw Thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered His voice, and lifted up His hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear.
Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed; Thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
Thou didst walk through the sea with Thine horses, through the heap of great waters.
When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when He cometh up unto the people, He will invade them with His troops.” (Hab. 3:3-16).

“I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.” (Isa. 13:3-13).

“And, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:12-17).

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matt 24:30,31).


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