Friday, September 16, 2005

The Soil of Suffering, The Fruit of Forgiveness

If you plant the seeds of sin
Into the soil of suffering
The root of rebellion
Will produce the tree of tyranny
Which bears the fruit of frustration

If you plant the seeds of the Spirit
Into the soil of suffering
The root of righteousness
Will produce the tree of trust
Which bears the fruit of forgiveness

Everyone will suffer through something, and everyone knows this. Sometimes these are small things, sometimes bigger, but the most godly men and women that ever lived are the ones who suffered the most while keeping the faith. Indeed that is the true mark of spiritual maturity; the Job like patience of a saint of God, buried under a mound of malaise, yet trusting in the God of their salvation, and relying on His strength, as they grow even more powerful in the Lord.

How can they do this? The answer is that they do not allow the seeds of sin to be planted into their soil of suffering, that is, they do not let up, and they hold fast and don’t let go when the chips are down.

When trials and tribulations come we are often tempted to seek relief by doing something sinful. For example, when we are feeling pressure at work, and our children are having trouble at school, and our spouse has been seemingly uncaring, the thoughts concerning the old habits of lust toward the opposite sex, or drinking if we used to drink, etc., seem more appealing, like a source of needed release.

This may seem to work for a while, but it will only exacerbate the problem, as we yield ourselves to an ever-deepening commitment to solving our problems this way. We allow the devil place, and he begins to build, and then to fortify a stronghold. It perhaps is a fortress that had once been torn down, only for us to leave an outpost standing whereby we feel justified in taking care of our own situations without God’s help, and outside of his proscribed remedy: trust. This root of rebellion ultimately leads to a self-absorbed tyranny, where we will continue to be in and show frustration.

On the contrary, if we sow to the Spirit, if we hold fast to what God intends to give us in our trial, if we remind ourselves constantly and consistently that God is working in a redemptive fashion to conform us into the image of his son Jesus Christ, we will begin to grow in holiness and power.

And we will suffer all the more. The Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, and the Apostle Peter: these men wielded awesome miracle working power, and yet they suffered greatly. God knows that mortal man cannot handle the power of God without the necessary means to keep him humble before the Lord. Consider Paul, and the thorn in the side, a messenger of Satan. Indeed, God sent Paul a demon to keep him humble!

When we are up against it and don’t give in, the roots of righteousness will spread. We may not see it, but God is using trials to push us further, to grow our faith, to spring forth His mighty tree of trust in the truth, which will show in the peaceable fruit of forgiveness that we live out to others. We will have fulfillment in Him. Amen.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMEN! I need to direct a friend to your site.:)