Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're Together In Torture

(I wrote and sent this over the weekend to a friend of mine. I take the liberty of including it here because I think it relevant to virtually every Christian older than, oh, say, ten years. We are no longer of nor from this world, having been made alien to it through the new birth in Christ. We are now spirit-born sons and daughters of God, belonging to and seated in the heavens in Christ Jesus. That means our interaction with God is now most normal to us. However, that also means our interaction with this world is, at best, terribly difficult. The odds are good that you know all about this. But maybe you forget that your struggles and failures and longings are not simply bad things, but great evidence of your new birth and one-day home-going, there to fit in where you belong. I hope you benefit from my note to a friend.)

Thinking about you this morning.

I imagine that you’ve had a week or so of total immersion in the things and systems and doings of this world. There is absolutely no way that wouldn’t wear you out. I know that when I am in a “total immersion” time, nothing particularly pleases me, nothing gives me much hope, and nothing really encourages me deep down. It’s like I’m attached to what’s mistreating me. Now, that’s fun.

So, I wanted to remind you that the One who loves you perfectly and without finding fault knows exactly what you’re going through, and has endless compassion for you. He knows that this world can never come close to accurately reflecting or honoring who you are, and that it is nothing less than a torture chamber for you and all His sons.

I think that while He grieves with you over the torture and endless needling and lying about who you are, still He is delighted with you, even thrilled with how you valiantly press on. He knows that you endure seemingly endless battles between the flesh and Spirit, and that you grieve in failure, longing for endless Spirit-filled life.

And that’s His promise—one day what you so deeply want will be yours. While you have a deposit today, in that day you will have Him to the full.

Until then, I’ll be your friend in the torture chamber—I will endure with you. And I’ll work to remember who you are and why the struggles you have are in keeping with a far greater glory, the glory of God in and through us.

You are His idea—and He’s happy about it.

Your friend,


“…we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor 4:14-17)

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

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