Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sanctification Hurts

Sanctification is the big Bible word for God’s training process. In other words—suffering. It produces godliness in His children who are exercised by it, but it does hurt.

Joyce and I grew up together in PA and went to the same Bible college. She and her husband are long-term missionaries in South America. They were involved in a car accident in December and have had difficulties with the insurance company. It took until May to get their car out of the shop. Now the other driver has brought a personal law suit against them, which the insurance co says they have to handle.

Add to this the stresses of ministry, need to renew visas, and health issues, all of which are pruning them. She wrote this to me:

"As I read your email it made me think of this old song...'He washed my eyes with tears that I might see the wonder of His love revealed in me!' And we probably thought we KNEW what that meant when we were teens.
We have read a good deal of material in recent years by Andrew Murray, Tozer, Moody, different than a lot of the 'Jesus is your good buddy, loving you, and just wanting you to be a really happy camper!'
It seems that so many are talking of the Lord's return these days--which is good, but it seems like more people are also getting the message, as you say—‘the bumps are to climb on.’ Becoming more like Him is not a quick, easy process...but it is so worth it to Know Him and the power of His resurrection!"

God’s purpose in sanctifying us is to draw us closer to Him. We pray more—committing our problems and needs to Him and then WAITING. And it makes what we read in His Word much more relevant and meaningful than when we aren’t experiencing hardships.

Our response to suffering can be either to shake our fist or bend our knee. Joyce is on bended knees. And I’m on mine praying for her and her family.

1 comment:

  1. Marcia,

    Thanks for this post. My wife Shirley Weaver showed it to me and I forwarded it to dear friends, former members of my church. They are nursing their 43 year old daughter Karen (with unsaved husband and 3 kids). Karen has Lymphoma cancer throughout her body.. and as a last resort they are trying to get her own stem cells transplanted.

    I thought this post was especially appropriate for them, as they have been battling this cancer for almost two years -- and now, aside from God's Grace, it appears to be terminal. But we know God's Grace overcomes every believer's problems.

    With my email, I sent them a couple of clarifying comments:
    1. You wrote, "God’s purpose in sanctifying us is to draw us closer to Him. We pray more—committing our problems and needs to Him and then WAITING."
    This is excellent thought and in my study of Isaiah 40:31 we are to "wait upon" the Lord." The words "wait upon", is "qavah" in Hebrew, meaning to bind together perhaps by twisting. In the context of the verse of service to the Lord, it indicates to serve or wait upon as a servant. Then we will gather the strength to mount up with strength as wings as eagles.
    I wrote this to them in my note:
    2. there are two circumstances of the condition of Sanctification. So I will try to offer an explanation of Sanctification:

    A. Eternal total sanctification (setting apart and cleansing) is our Standing, which happens the very moment we trust Jesus Christ as Savior, it is eternal and will never change.
    B. Then daily sanctification (cleansing) which is the daily state of our lives -- which He does as a means of discipline (teaching).

    I know they will receive a blessing from your post. I will follow your Blog via my RSS feeds.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,
    Jack Weaver