How many of us have prayed to the Lord, “Oh, that I might know You more.”
With our own images in our minds at how the Lord would answer such prayers – we become…
confused at first when we receive a diagnosis that we have cancer,
or we lose a spouse or a child, or even both.
Or when our security to live and function in the day to day has been taken away.
Or, perhaps, you have become paralyzed or have suffered tragic loss of a limb.
We prayed, “Oh, that I might know You more.”
Outside, there were conflicts, inside there were fears,
It is almost as if God allows the loss of all things, so that,
we might know Him more. He is answering our prayers.
In great weakness and trial, we discover that ‘this is the comfort in my affliction, Your word has given me life.” Psalm 119:50.
We read and meditate and make our daily food,(because eating is not always easy through a fight with cancer or a time of grieving) words like,
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
We have been broken to a point that God does a deeper work, perhaps that He could not do before the affliction, so that “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Cor 2:12.
Now, in this time of suffering, many temptations to sin are taken away-resentments are let go of, hurts are healed, it is almost as if God uses this time of affliction as that ‘way of escape’ from the wrong desires and attitudes we hold on to.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13.
He takes away all of our ‘human’ glories and we are brought to a place ‘as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” 1 Cor. 1:31.
All of a sudden, the words of Paul, “I rejoice in my infirmities, makes sense. Even though there are many moments of sorrow and pain and grief. But in between all of that, the most beautiful and perfect gift of God, the Holy Spirit, walks every step with us and encourages through the suffering, speaking truth into the depths of our beings,
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all be done with love.” 1 Cor. 16:13,14.
We have been brought to a place where we KNOW that ‘our sufficiency is not of ourselves to think anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.’ 2 Cor. 3:5. We KNOW this to be true after a time of breaking.
And He has answered prayer, and He is answering prayer, because ‘we no longer preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves, servants for Jesus’sake.” 2 Cor.4:5.
Yes, we knew we were simply ‘clay pots’ so to speak, but now we are broken clay pots. The world might not think highly of us and we might not look great from the outside, but inside us, we have ‘this treasure’in our earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7. Exclamation point mine.(!)
But in the end, you and I both realize how faithful God has been in answering prayer. That now we are learning to ‘count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’ Phil.3:8
But not only that, but that we are also at a place where we can be ‘found in Him not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith,
that I, (you and I) may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship…
of His sufferings,
being conformed to…
His death. Phil. 3:9:10.
We might not be able to rejoice in how we feel, or what we have in the bank, or our great abilities, BUT we can
Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!” Phil 4:4.