“For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I shall not be ashamed.” – Isaiah 50:7
Unexpected events are usually difficult for me to handle–like when my husband surprised me with a dog … even though we already had one. Or, more recently, he brought home a new kitten … even though her care didn’t necessarily fit our budget. Can you tell he has a sweet, soft heart for animals?!
I’ve also experienced unexpected news that conjured up fear. Added stress. Reshaped my “world.” Can any of you relate? Our lives often seem filled to capacity when suddenly we’re faced with something traumatic. We can easily lose perspective and try to handle circumstances in our own strength, which makes life crazier. We’re wise to purpose beforehand to please God–even if it means suffering.
Jesus Christ, our example, did just that. He set His face “like flint”–determined to obey and please God–fully knowing the path God had chosen for Him would culminate on the cross. He was “A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Yet His suffering accomplished much for God’s glory.
Suffering. Is there anyone who wants that? But God often uses this tool to shape us more into Christ’s image. Christians throughout the world suffer untold agonies and unimaginable brutalities. It’s impossible to comprehend all they endure for Christ’s sake. At the same time, they undoubtedly experience Christ in a deeper way. He doesn’t leave them alone in the midst of these cruelties. He helps them. He intimately interacts with them and makes His presence known … especially in suffering.
He’s the same with us. Though we might not face physical persecution, agonies of the heart affect us all. An unfaithful husband, a prodigal child, discord with in-laws, financial woes, rejection, loneliness, pain, etc.–God can use all sufferings to make us more like His beloved Son. As we undergo heart-wrenching situations, the Lord GOD helps us. His Word personally speaks to us and His Holy Spirit teaches and comforts us. As we pray, “we … receive mercy and … find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Because of God’s unlimited strength and awesome power, we too can “set our face like a flint” knowing when all is said and done, we won’t be ashamed.
What is your place of suffering today? God will help you. He will intimately interact with you and make His presence known as you come to Him.
Let’s purpose to please God–even if it means suffering–so we can conquer the craziness and enjoy God’s peace in every situation.
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:2-3
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