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<< Our Journey Online with Dr. James MacDonald

Our Journey Online - April 5, 2013

  • 2013 Apr 05
  • COMMENTS

Conviction and Healing

4Surely he has borne our pain and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. —Isaiah 53:4-5                               

The Apple Dictionary defines conviction: “The quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.”

Isaiah 53:5 clearly teaches Christ’s sacrifice on the cross heals our wounds. Everything in us that is broken, Christ perfectly heals. Christ’s pain heals our pain. Christ’s perfect blood heals our poisoned blood. Christ’s weakness gives us our strength. Christ’s surrendering to the Father allows us to surrender to the Father. Christ learning obedience through suffering opens a way for us to learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8). Suffering is part and parcel of the Christian life.

We also need deep convictions and godly suffering brings this forth. The greater the suffering, the deeper the conviction. One may ask, Are these deeper convictions even necessary? Can’t I just live my Christian life where I am? After all, I already believe in Christ, the Bible, and in God’s redemptive power. It is one thing for someone to go into great length describing the taste and texture of honey, but unless I experience and taste honey myself I will never truly be able to say, I have eaten and experienced the sweetness and the overwhelming smooth texture of honey. As the apostle Paul states in Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” Or we can think about it this way; those who have never truly mourned have never truly laughed.

Why is this? Are Christians a bunch of masochists who love to suffer? Absolutely not! We certainly do not want to suffer and we are told to expect it. Suffering for the Christian brings healing to our souls and what could be more important than that? The redemption of Christ through his beatings and torture brings eternal healing to our souls. We believe this is true. Our convictions grow deeper as we suffer as Christ suffered. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

The more we fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, the greater the healing of our hearts. What we lack in life is not more money, better health, or a better spouse. What we lack may be suffering that deeply sets the convictions of Christ within the recesses of our souls. —Jared Cox

Journal:

  • How do I view suffering? Do I run from it or embrace it?
  • How would I explain the good suffering brings to a non-Christian?

Prayer – Father, I don’t like suffering. It’s painful. But I know You have a purpose for everything You allow into my life. And it’s true I want to know You in a deeper and richer way, which is exactly what suffering nurtures. Give me the courage to endure and joyfully accept whatever suffering You deem necessary for that to happen. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Always True&#58; 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.
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