Northern (for a FL Gal) Exposure
This is the place Romans and James calls out for patient perseverance, for counting it joy in the trials of life. This is when Faith calls us to look up and hold onto the Hope of our Calling. This is the work of our sanctification. There is purpose in the pain. He has higher, better, purposes for us than we have for ourselves. The LORD does not waver or change like shifting shadows; He is always, always good. (James 1:17)
"Every generous act and perfect gift is from the Father of Lights, with Him there is no variation or shadow of turning."
Life is hard, He forewarned us of this. We still carry around a fleshy body that is prone to sin. He often uses these times to show us our great need of Him. His grace allows us to be exposed for the imperfect person we are -- not sure how I forget that one .
Number one fear on my list: exposure of my imperfections. *smirk* I see the pride of even thinking I could pretend I was perfect! How, like Eve, I attempt to make my own covering, to shift the blame and say, "I was deceived... " He lovingly sees through my own deception. He uses a gentle barb at times, a strong nudge at others, to point out that I can only be healed as sin is brought into the Light.
"....who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,..."
How often we freak out because we are so fearful of being exposed, and being "shamed." Gripping tightly to our self made covering to hopefully avoid the exposure. This is pride. "I can't let them know how bad I really am!" Many times the deception is even over our own eyes; we can't believe we are really that bad. With exposure, we get the opportunity to confess our pride, releasing our covers, so we can be covered in Him. (And a by produce, experience FREEDOM FROM FEAR now having nothing to hide!) Hopefully an even greater blessing is received when we can also experience love, forgiveness, and acceptance from the Body of Christ. It's glorious! Being exposed is then quite a gift of grace.
I can't overlook this point in the above quoted Scripture. "...despising the shame..." the very thing that drives us into hiding, HE despised. Think of it, He was literally exposed, naked before everyone. "Why were you hiding? We were afraid because we were naked..." He clothed himself with our humanity, humbling Himself... Phil. 2, he became a man, faced our shame. He understands what it feels like to be uncovered for every judging, unforgiving, unloving, wrathful eye. Woah... connect those dots for a bit. He has conquered every enemy that separates us from the Father! We have nothing to fear, what can man do to us!?
Exposure by His Loving Light: It is a generous act that leaves me in awe of the LORD. He is a pursuing God; He wants to replace our tattered, dirty, clothes with His rich robes of righteousness so we may know complete forgiveness, precious mercy, complete acceptance, total freedom, perfect love and sweet relationship with the Father.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.