Romans 8:18 (KJV) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Last week we discussed…
As I experienced “life” in the “light” of Scripture, I’ve learned that Pain produces …
John 15:1-2 (KJV) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (Emphasis Added).
When the Father “prunes” us, it is to form us more into the image of His Dear Son…
Romans 8:29-30 (KJV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Emphasis Added).
Did you notice that Paul stated the principle that God desired that we be “conformed to the image of his Son” and revealed the process wherein He would ensure this conforming? This process would involve “calling,” “justifying,” and “glorifying.” Let us consider this as we look at the following Scriptures…
Romans 5:1-5 (KJV) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Emphasis Added).
The Father uses trials to perfect us…
God, the Master Technician!
Even as pianos need constant tuning and regulating–not only when young and raw, but all through their careers of being used for brilliant concerts–so people who are being used as “instruments of righteousness”–or, in other words, living creative, fruitful lives–need constant refreshing, “tuning.”
It came into my mind that receiving God’s strength in our weakness as we call out to Him for help is very similar to a piano receiving new brilliance when the hammers are made harder with the proper juice or made softer and more mellow with some pricks of the needle-like instrument. Our “Master Technician,” God, knows just what we need so that we are at times more “brilliant” for something we need to do, or more “mellow” or “soft” for the other compositions we need to have come through us! — Edith Schaeffer, Forever Music
We cannot comprehend these Scriptures without considering …
John 3:16 (KJV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Emphasis Added).
The reality that the Man, Christ Jesus was, is, and will be the Will of God made manifest became one of my core truths years ago after the Holy Spirit revealed it. This means that whenever anyone saw Jesus, they also “saw” God’s Will on display! BUT Jesus is not only the Will of God made manifest, He was, is, and always will be the Love of God made manifest!
I shall make this very simple! The Father used trials and pain to “perfect” the Man, Christ Jesus’ ability to manifest God’s Will. Therefore, His ability to walk in total obedience to the Father ensured that He would walk through the greatest “Trial” of mankind, Calvary, effectively and successfully! Of course, this was important to us because without His sacrifice, death, burial, and resurrection, we would be lost!
BUT, so much the more, the Man, Christ Jesus had to be “perfected” through trials and pain so that He would be able to manifest God’s Love in such a manner that it would forever remove fallen man’s challenge, and Satan’s complaint, that God does not love in a perfect manner! You see, it was at Calvary that Love overcame Hate and Mercy overcame Condemnation!
His love FOR the Father compelled the Man, Christ Jesus to strive toward Calvary, and His love FOR lost humanity was the Father’s Gift of Love made manifest!
Romans 5:8 (KJV) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Emphasis Added).
In the first week of this teaching, I shared that God used the crucible of a “Garden” from which to promote the consecration wherein He would exalt Jesus Christ through Whom He would save lost humanity. The “Trial of the Garden” brought forth the manifest evidence of the Man, Christ Jesus’ Love for His Father.
Some may find this next statement hard to digest or comprehend. The Man, Christ Jesus was never more like His Father than when He was on the Cross of Calvary! It was at Calvary that God’s Perfect Will and Perfect Love were made manifest! The Father “knew” the Man, Christ Jesus was perfectly pruned and prepared when He was able to Love like His Father Loved!
The measure of our ability to love like Jesus loves is the measure of “conforming” to Jesus Christ! Jesus said it like this…
John 13:34-35 (KJV) “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (Emphasis Added).
John 15:12-13 (KJV) “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Emphasis Added).
The Father’s “Pruning Process” is designed to enable us to love like Jesus…
Romans 5:5 (KJV) “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Emphasis Added).
How do we “learn” to love like Jesus? The answer is simple – the same way Jesus did! As we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the love of God will become more perfected in us. Therefore, we will be able to obey the following…
Galatians 5:13 (KJV) “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Emphasis Added).
1 John 4:11 (KJV) “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (Emphasis Added).
You will recall that Jesus emphasized there was no greater love than the love that prompts a man to “die for his friends.” Very few of us will be called by God to literally die for another. BUT, ALL of us are called to deny ourselves, take up the “cross” appointed for us, and follow Jesus’ example of placing everyone else before ourselves. Everything the world teaches us in in contradiction to the principles of God – especially loving like He loves!
Being “Pruned” by God produces the Character of Christ within us. The “Fruit” we produce is Jesus Christ! He is manifested through the “Fruit of the Spirit,” – Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).
As we reflect upon Romans 5:1-5, we discover that God used the process of the “Promise of Pain” to develop the talents, temperament, and trust to exhibit the Love of God. We learn new spiritual skills to reproduce godly loving and living.