"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: July 1

"In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old" ~ Isaiah 63:9
"In all their afflictions he was afflicted ..." "And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased." When Jesus got into the ship with his frightened disciples, the storm stopped!  The value of this first "purple stone" vers to us is, however, the unalterable fact that Jesus is in our troubles with us. "In all their afflictons he was afflicted." A marginal reading tells us: "He does not afflict." He is sharing, not causing our suffering.

At the beginning of these "purple stone" meditations on God's answer to our human suffering, I [Eugenia Price, the author] believe it is of the utmost importance that we realize that God does not send suffering. Surely He permits it, and as we shall see as we go on sharing these verses, He very definitely uses our suffering, if we give it to Him to use. But not only does He not afflict, He is actually involved in our suffering Himself. I do not mean that the suffering of the Cross continues, but the same heart still beats in the breast of God, and in a very definite sense, Christ suffers with us. Someone expressed surprise when I said I believed this. Their surprise "surprised" me. How could we believe Christ could be so contradictory as to yearn over lost sinners and suffering Christians and still be shut away from us in paradise where He feels no pain? His identification with us is complete. It in no way diminishes the glory or the power of the ascended Christ to know that in all our afflictions He is also afflicted. It gives me great courage. I rejoice that I have God's own word for it ---
"In all our affliction he was afflicted ... and he went up unto them into the ship."

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