Sunday, July 17, 2011

The full effect

He learned obedience through suffering.

This verse is becoming more and more real for me. Like many great truths, my understanding and confession of this passage is becoming full and real through trial and endurance. The scriptures are sufficient for life and godliness but not as merely intellectual knowledge. The power of God's Word is in the experience of His truth. We become part of His story. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Now the Word made flesh dwells within us and the truth becomes Life for us. We live it, our minds are transformed by it, and we are conformed to it.

I know I've written a lot about suffering lately and it's probably a total drag to read about.  My apologies if I bore you or depress you by wearing my heart on my sleeve.  I'm writing these things so that I can have a record of the Spirit's work and so that you all can know that we are sharing in Christ's sufferings.  Since I find great comfort in knowing that these things are bringing about a more full measure of Christ in me, I want to comfort you with those same truths.  After all, we are all following the same Way.

I am reminded of James' exhortation to the saints to "count it all joy".  I can't help but think of how foolish it seems for the material to praise the blacksmith as it is repeatedly thrust into the fire till it glows from the heat, almost to the point of being melted.  Then pulled out just in time only to be pounded and pounded into shape.  It seems foolish but somehow that material knows that when the fires have done their work and the beatings are complete they will have become a useful tool, created for a purpose and given a new name.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


  1. Through out everything, He is the universal constant, he's like the glorious Pi

    I see what you mean about suffering, it helps us to understand him more. It's like how Bonhoeffer says that when we pray the Psalms we are praying along with Him to understand him better, except when we suffer we are walking along with Him.

  2. Jon,

    yes! I like how Paul sait it. We share in His sufferings and are filling up what is lacking. It's amazing to think of how Christ is complete yet somehow we complete Him.


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