Thursday, August 24, 2006

Serious Prayer--Addendum

After further review, I've decided to split this off into it's own post. . .

As I read through the second Centuri0n post, and also the comments, it occurred to me that the most obvious thing missing is a call to pray for Bill from BHT. I'm adding this addendum for Bill and anyone else who's thinking they have it pretty bad. I don't say it to be preachy, but because it is what the Word says. It's mostly a reminder for me, although I hope others may find it edifying as well.

Now I'm the first to admit, when I read this, Bill has it pretty bad. But here's the thing: the Bible is full of people who had it just as bad, and worse, than Bill. Or you. Or me.

I'm thinking specifically now of the book of Hebrews. Over and over, the author sounds out the call to people: don't fall back to the past, don't grow weary, but press on.

Remember, these guys are no lightweights (at least not all of them). In chapter 10, the author reminds them of their own faithfulness and willing sacrifices:

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. (Heb 10: 32-35, ESV)

But then he goes on to say this (in vs. 36).

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

So they had demonstrated their faithfulness at one point in time, but were now growing weary. And so it is, that after outlining what faith is by way of illustration in the lives of OT believers, we come to Chapter 12, where we read:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1-4, ESV)

"Looking to Jesus . . ." I don't know about Bill, or about you, but I need to be reminded of that often. I need to be reminded that, yeah, I haven't resisted sin to the point of bloodshed yet. There are many who have, particularly in other countries; but I haven't.

So I guess where this leaves me is with a reminder that anything I might endure is a pittance compared to my Lord, who although he was the creator of the universe, willingly endured death at the hands of his own creatures, for the greater good that would come out of it. That was his example--the essence of humility--and my problems don't seem quite so big anymore.

Look to Jesus. I think that about covers it.


Even So... said...

Yes it does cover it...

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Very good perspective.