March 23, 2023
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that you may prove what is that good
and acceptable and perfect will of God.
How shall we find the will of God acceptable? Only as we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and are transformed and conformed to the suffering image of the sorrowing Son of God. How fearful, then, how dangerous, and yet how ensnaring is that worldly conformity which sets us in deadly opposition to that good and perfect will of God which was, and is “acceptable” to His dear Son, to all the holy angels round the throne, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to His spiritually-minded people on earth, and hateful to none but devils and carnal, ungodly men. And how truly blessed to be brought out of the power and prevailing influence of this worldly spirit, and to be cast into the gospel mold, where, being renewed in the spirit of our mind, we prove that the will of God is not only “good,” pure goodness, and “perfect,” worthy of all His glorious perfections, but “acceptable” to our heart and affections, which therefore tenderly embrace it, and thus, as it were, incorporate it into our will, making the two wills one. To bring us to this point is the grand object of all gospel discipline; and one may say that the ultimatum of gospel obedience is,
“To lie passive in His hand,
And know no will but His.”
Here then only can we fully enter into the beauty and blessedness of gospel truth; here only can we submit to the weight of a daily cross, glory in tribulation, patiently endure afflictions, feel the sweetness of the promises, walk in obedience to the precepts, and tread the path that leads to endless glory.
glory in tribulation – so are we to appreciate suffering and misfortune to follow Jesus ? submit to the weight of a daily cross – I thought Jesus already paid the price on the cross for us. I thought accepting the invitation of Jesus was to liberate us from tears. I know this is Paul’s thinking but it’s not encouraging and certainly not the freedom and joy promised.
Brother, for one thing it wasn’t only Paul’s thinking but the teaching of Jesus Himself directly. If we truly follow Him and His teachings, we can expect tribulation and trials (persecution). He did not die for us to escape that in this life, but to give us an eternal life free from those things. He doesn’t shield us from the world, but He has given us a freedom to find joy AND peace DESPITE the things of the world. He paid the price of our sins on the cross, not the cessation necessarily of suffering and pain though He DID promise to be with us and strengthen us THROUGH those times. Tribulation shows us our weakness and in tribulation we HAVE to rely upon the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) for strength. It is for that reason that Paul tells us to glory in tribulation. Not for the sake of tribulation itself, but for the strength we derive from Jesus through tribulation.
God bless as you continue to walk with the Savior, Christ Jesus.
Thanks for reply and explanation.