Those of us who have never had to suffer physically for Christ should perhaps read verses 35–39 alongside verses 35–39 of Hebrews 11, which list unnamed people of faith who were tortured, jeered at, flogged, chained, stoned, and even sawn in half. Faced with such heroism, there is no place for glibness or complacency.
Sunday: 23 August – Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21; Ephesians 5:2, 21-32; John 6:60-69 ~ Lord, to whom would we go?
“Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
With this Christ as our Savior (who died, was raised, has been exalted and is interceding), we know that ‘there is now no condemnation’ for those who are united to him. We can therefore confidently challenge the universe, with all its inhabitants human and demonic: Who is he that condemns? There will never be any answer.
All the powers of hell may set themselves together against us. But they can never prevail, since God is on our side…. In giving his Son he gave everything. The cross is the guarantee of the continuing, unfailing generosity of God.
God is pictured as moving irresistibly from stage to stage; from an eternal foreknowledge and predestination, through a historical call and justification, to a final glorification of his people in a future eternity. It resembles a chain of five links, each of which is unbreakable.
We do not always understand what God is doing, let alone welcome it. Nor are we told that he is at work for our comfort. But we know that in all things he is working towards our supreme good.
Three persons are involved in our praying. First, we ourselves in our weakness do not know what to pray for. Secondly, the indwelling Spirit helps us by interceding for us and through us, with speechless groans but according to God’s will. Thirdly, God the Father, who both searches our hearts and knows the Spirit’s mind, hears and answers accordingly.
As nature shared in the curse, and now shares in the pain, so it will also share in the glory. Hence the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
May God give us a patient eagerness and an eager patience as we wait for his promises to be fulfilled!