The Glory of Our Infirmities
Just before I got out of bed this morning an inspirational thought was bolted into my mind, though it is something we have always known, it was presented to me this morning in a particular viewpoint. We know that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord. We do not always understand how this principle works. Some have gone so far as to say that no matter how evil our deeds become, we are not responsible because it is the Lord’s will working through us. Of course we know this is not true.
If we focus on creation as being one whole, we will see why suffering becomes a vital part of the operation of development of the whole. If we think of our situations apart from the whole, we will not be able to glory in our infirmities and therefore learn from them. The things we must experience in Christ are given to us for the furtherance of the Gospel. Paul expresses this thought in Philemon 1:12-14:
“I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”
Paul looked beyond himself and his comfort zone. His main objective was the furtherance of the Gospel. Paul knew his calling. He had given himself to Christ.
I learned a great lesson about being a part of a greater whole when I read the story of our pioneer ancestors. They felt they were struggling for the survival of their offspring and themselves. I doubt very many understood their suffering. We now look back and clearly understand why their lack and loss was necessary for progress, not just their progress, but progress of the whole civilization including the Indians.
Now listen to Paul again in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
I must admit I have been feeling embarrassed in my illness. I know that illness in itself brings no glory to the Father, but if there was no faith healing the world would see no answers for their many woes.
Paul stood out front, all eyes were on him. The more persecution, abuse, and rejection Paul suffered the more attention he drew from the curious by-standers. So when a miracle occurred in Paul’s life, it stirred the minds of the multitudes.
Think on this for a second. If Christ had come as a quite man that made no waves, walking along the countryside and healing and delivering the people he met, but never made a noise about sin or the coming kingdom, he could not have been effective in awakening the multitude. But he was not quiet, even those that rejected him were aware that he had been there. We need to let our light shine, and we do by making waves.
It is obvious those who dwell in darkness imagine they are walking in light. When I was a child we did our home work by an oil lamp. When I stepped into a room that was lit up by electricity, I knew we had been living in darkness, but I did not know that until I experienced electricity.
People that have not been exposed to the light have no choice but to live in darkness. People that have always believed in eternal torment of the wicked have no way to choose the truth until they are exposed to it. I believed the torment theory for years; I never questioned it because I thought it was based on undisputable Bible truth. I had no idea that I had an option. I was convinced that rejecting eternal torture was rejecting the Bible and Yahweh. There are millions of folks out there that feel as I did; for their sake we must make waves. I honestly believe that we are entering an age that will not accept a torturing God. If we do not introduce a loving God along with our emphasis on loving our enemies, the Bible will be rejected. We who have the Spirit of Truth can ask and receive deeper truth, but the people that do not know that there is a Spirit of Truth to receive cannot drink from that fountain.
I learned as a child that Yahweh was a healer; this fact alone led me to a deeper truth. When I experienced him, I felt him as love; I did not know him as a torturing god. I never dealt with that—I couldn’t. It seemed blasphemous to accuse my God of torturing the blind. When I was spiritually blind, I accepted the blind man’s theory, but after I met the Savior I knew better. I found some comfort in the revelation that the fire, which the Bible speaks of, is not natural fire. But still, it did not make sense that an all wise, all loving, all powerful God would fail so miserably to fulfill his master plan.
We were taught a gospel that said in effect that God did not have an enemy that could overpower him, so he created one in a sinless heaven. How can a thinking saint believe that any force in heaven or on earth could separate the beloved from the lover? There can be no person on earth that can draw hate out of love. To me that would be like saying one could dip a spoon of gall out of the sugar bowl. You can only draw out the substance that is there in the first place.
Yahweh loved me before I sinned, even though he knew I would sin and even knew when and how I would sin. My sin was no shock to him; he loved me even though he had that information. Why would he then turn and torture me?
I praise and worship Yahweh for his correcting rod, I can say, with King David, “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” I live in a comfort zone, because I rest in the knowledge that Yahweh will watch over my steps and correct them when he sees me start to stumble. But there is a vast difference in correcting steps and eternal torture. One is the administration of love and caring, the other is the deepest act of revenge. No one can reconcile love with eternal torture, or truthfully present it under any other guise. It is the only weapon that the primitive mind could gender to hold his fellow man captive. But love did not birth it, nor did scripture proclaim it. It is found in the translation of the scripture only. Love will not bear witness of itself.