Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living in Freedom

Excerpts from Isaiah 53

"He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..."

"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace;
and with his stripes we are healed."

"Yet it was the will of God to crush him;
he has put him to grief."

Does Jesus know my sorrow and relate to my grief?  If ever there was a question (and there was), this passage answers it.  He not only knows it, it says he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.  He became the afflicted one so that we could know freedom and grace.  "With his stripes we are healed."

Lord, help me live in your freedom!

Speaking of living in freedom, my friend, Rushika, and her mother from Sri Lanka visited me today.  Year's ago, Rushi's mother lost her 16 year old son and then lost her baby during labor and delivery shortly after her older son's death.  You would think that this woman's life would be completely defined by sorrow.  But quite to the contrary, she lives in absolute peace and joy!  She hands out encouragement and comfort like lifelines to those around her.  Because she is so closely acquainted with grief, she now knows the Lord's character very well and makes it her mission to extend his love to others.  I was so blessed by her today.  She spoke truth to my soul and prayed for my empty womb that it would be blessed with Cora's future brothers and sisters.  She said, "God is not testing you with sorrow, he is trusting you with it because he knows you can handle it"...without losing faith in his goodness.  Such a perspective makes me feel almost as though it's a privilege to carry this grief.  I pray I will be like her one day, encouraging those around me with blessings and truth.

Thank you, Rushika, for setting up our meeting today.  And thank you, Lord, for the Body of Christ near and far who extend your love in amazing ways!


Anonymous said...

What an amazing woman! So glad you could meet with her and pray with her. God does know you can handle this and you have already blessed so many with your words and faith. You are an encouragement to us all :)

Clay Thomas said...

Joy, the faith given you that allows this "trusting" is mentioned by Paul in Romans, chapter 4 and 5 which sums up: "Having been justified BY FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have obtained our introduction BY FAITH into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. AND we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that they bring about perseverance, proven character, hope (that does not disappoint), because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us."

Please be encouraged that, although you may not fully feel God's love through taking Cora (gem that she is) for His own, He DOES love you and "demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Your posts are evidence of the fact that God is performing a great work within you, and that work is a great encouragement to those of us who are watching and praying for you daily. With much love, Dad

rushika said...

i was so encouraged reading your post today that the meeting between you and my mother gave you strength. After hearing about Cora, I couldnt rest till i got the two of you together that day and i can see now that it was the nudging of the holyspirit that compelled me to arrange that meeting between the two of you. your strength amazes me. My mother actually had the baby two years after the death of my older brother but now even after 23 years after my older brother's death and 21 years after the baby's death the pain of that experience and all that God worked in and through that pain is so close to all our hearts. we love you joy with a love that God places on our hearts. I can vouch for the fact that my parents now pray for you every morning, and they will pray for you always. thank you for allowing us into your home and into your experience.