The Heart of the Father
Could it be that the delay in answered prayer, the longsuffering in broken relationships, the suffering we experience often in the face of affliction or adversity, could all of these things be God’s way of emptying us or our self, our flesh, that we may be filled with Him?
Could it be that it is necessary for us to suffer these things, even as the Bible says that Jesus suffered, that He might learn obedience (Heb 5:8); even as the Bible illustrates that He was tempted in every area just like you and I; so that means He also suffered times of doubt, of lack, and weakness in His humanity, in His flesh while on the earth, just as we do… as the Bible says that He was tempted in every area just as we are… and then finally came the cross?
What is Jesus saying to us today in all these things?
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all,
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
Do you remember the account that is given in the Bible where over 70 of the disciples who were following Jesus were offended, and walked away?
Do you remember how He then turned to the twelve and asked… “Are you going to leave too?”
To which Peter answered:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!”
Could it be that in the course of our preparation and training for God’s service, that our resolve must also be tested, as was the disciples, as to whether we will persevere in the face of adversity, affliction, and whether we will also get offended and walk away?
This experience, which is common to all of God’s children (sooner or later) is called by some the “Dark night of the Soul.” It is here that we each get to test the mettle of our own faith, and see whether Jesus is truly Lord of our lives?
What do we do when the pressure is on, and we are suffering? Do we obey Jesus, and follow what He says in His Word; or do we follow the dictates of our own heart, and are we doing what seems right in our own eyes? That is the real test… isn’t it? Selah
Does not the Bible also say that Jesus is the exact reflection of the Father?
When I first read this devotion by Henri Nouwen, I couldn’t relate to what he was saying at first, and I wasn’t getting the point, that is until I read the last line where it says that: “We are all called to become like that father!”
For truly if we want to know the heart of the Father, we have but to look to the heart of His Son Jesus! Selah
From: Henri Nouwen Society
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 2:45 AM
Subject: July 4, 2010 – The Tears of the Father