The way of the Lord is always death first and life follows

(A letter)

Thank you for the message.  I share the joy the Lord has given you.  It’s a deeper joy that lasts even during the difficult times like you are facing now.

When I first became a believer, I didn’t understand why God would allow difficulties in our lives.  I understood and even believed that God would help us through difficulties, but I thought it would be so much better if there weren’t any such trials. 

But gradually I started to see how amazing it is that God’s hands work in the lives of His children.  He does not desire that His children merely fare well on the earth.  Instead His true desire is that His sons and daughters grow up and be like His only true Son, Jesus Christ.  When we start to see that, we are no longer afraid, but instead looking forward to the days and times ahead of us, regardless of what the situation is.

Every time when a brother (or a sister) is in need, I not only pray that God in His mercy deliver him, but also that he gain life and grow in stature through the trials.  It amazes me that with just a little bit of our faith, no matter how imperfect that faith might be, a miracle of life always takes place through trials.

We know that God’s only way of giving us life is through Jesus Christ.  But as your brother, I wish to share with you that the way through our Lord is always death first and life follows. 

By death I mean our being nailed to our own cross, manifested in our willingness in the sufferings to humble ourselves, to obey the Lord and to let go of our rights, even all rights.  It is not that God takes pleasure in our suffering through death, but that only when the old dies, the new may come forth to live.  This is the principle of the resurrection life and the foundation of our growth.  The principle is forgotten, even despised, by too many Christians who as a result easily doubt God’s will when trials come. 

I am often overwhelmed by a sense of humility and indebtedness due to my weakness and lack of faith.  But once I saw God’s grace through His working hands, I can only praise God.  And we all need each other’s fellowship.

May the Lord keep you and your wife’s faith and preserve you for a glorious end which is being revealed to all saints.

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