August 15

My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch. Mark 14:34

…that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10

Of all the privileges of the sons of God, this is the greatest – to enter into the love of God in its highest expression at Gethsemane. For this, we have to allow God’s love to wean us away from having the mentality of beggars, into the mentality of supreme generosity. While suffering is in itself a negative factor, in the hands of God it has become a tool to fashion our warped and twisted souls back into His image. There are needless sufferings that are bottomless pits of sheer human loss and tragedy. These are the sufferings of those who turn their backs on God, and the worst form is the blackness of despair that engulfs lonely people. But as soon as we fellowship with God, we become aware of a triumph and a victory that comes to us in suffering. Rather than crush us, these things then lift us and ennoble us. We are never to ‘enjoy’ sufferings, but we are to trust God, love God, and fellowship with Him in the midst of them. We will then see that Christ carried burdens of suffering that were free from the misery of self, and full of the liberty of love. We are set free from everything negative as we look up in trust throughout the trials of our faith. The tragedy of the world is the loss of meaning. The wonder of faith is to know that the love of God is in control.