Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. And God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in your sight . . .”
“And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it for the oxen [stumbled and] shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for his error, and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah.”
“You shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it with dung that comes out of a man in their sight. . . . Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, my soul has not been polluted, for from my youth up until now have I not eaten of that which dies of itself or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth! Then He said unto me, Lo, I have given you cow’s dung for man’s dung, and you shall prepare your bread therewith.”
Ezekiel 4:12, 14-15
We don’t serve God because all His decisions make us feel good. Sometimes, in fact, His decisions may break our hearts. I remember becoming aware, several years ago, of how deeply the heart of a precious saint of God had been crushed when he was young. It was too much for me; merely feeling a portion of his overwhelming loss made me feel as if I was suffocating with sorrow. After getting up from the floor where I had collapsed in desperate prayer, I began my hour-long drive home. Somewhere on the highway, through tear-filled eyes that were trying to see the highway through the rain and darkness, God suddenly spoke to me about the life-altering pain which that dear saint had suffered. He said, “I did it.” I was stunned. Then He added, “If he had gotten her, he would never have wanted me.”
All God’s ways are perfect, but they do not all give us pleasure and joy. We don’t serve God because all His decisions make us feel good. We serve God because of who He is and who we are. And, we need no other reason but that.