What Is Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions?

Colossians 1:24 ESV

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church

I was reading this the other night and I got real offended by Paul’s words “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” because from my understanding, Christ’s death was more than enough for me. There is nothing lacking. But yet, those words are still there in the bible. Why? Doesn’t the bible state over and over again that Christ’s death paid for all of our sins in full?

I did some searching online and find this article by John Piper. Read the four sections  (If you want) titled: What Does Paul Mean?, A Hint in Philippians 2:30, One Thing Lacking, and God’s Strategy for Completing His Commission.

I was looking at it wrong. Of course Christ’s suffering is and will always be enough. But not everyone knows that, not everyone knows and has experienced the freedom and peace we get from His suffering. What is lacking is simply that not everyone knows about what Christ has done for us and as Christians,  we still suffer, but our suffering is not in vain. There is hope in our suffering, there is (can be) still peace in our suffering. Our suffering is only the beginning of something beautiful.

I believe what this verse says, or maybe rather tells us, is that as Christians we shouldn’t hide our sufferings from the world. We shouldn’t cover our suffering. Instead, be very open about it, let the world see it like they saw Jobs suffering, like they saw Paul’s suffering, like they saw Jesus’ suffering. And more importantly, with the open honestly and truth of our sufferings, the world will be able to see how even though we suffer, we as Christians can still find joy, hope, and peace in the midst of our storms. Let the world know we suffer, but let them know we as Christians don’t suffer in vain and show them our character, our integrity throughout our sufferings. Because I believe our character through suffering speaks louder than our character through perfect times.

So the only thing lacking in Christ’s suffering, is our own suffering.

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Living In A Place We Don’t Belong

Yesterday as I took a quick glimpse outside of the window, I realized a deep truth that the bible clearly states over and over again, I do not belong to this world. I belong to Christ.

John 15:9

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

I totally get that now!

Matthew 10:22

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

John 17:14

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

James 4:4

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Now with all that being said, I want to start this post over again. When we are not fitting in with this world it makes it easy to believe that there is something wrong with us, that we just aren’t right, something is wired wrong. Ultimately, the devil uses this truth to make us feel inadequate about ourselves. But no no no! We can’t allow ourselves to believe that!

The case of us not fitting in with this world is because we weren’t made for this world! “Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” isn’t what we are made for. But it goes beyond that. We were made to live for Christ and living for Christ means being hated by the world. It simply means not fitting in.

Why is it then that as humans our most basic emotional drive is to fit in, to be accepted but Christ calls us to be “hated” from the world? It’s confusing, it’s tough, and it definitely isn’t easy to deal with at times.

Matthew 12:20

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

I think that is the answer right there. God wants our love, but not just a part of it, He wants ALL of it!

Matthew 5:37

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Either love God or don’t, He doesn’t want us to love Him only when we are comfortable, He wants our love ALWAYS. He deserves our love always. Following God is a full time job plus more!

Revelation 3:15-16

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

The conclusion that I see is that, following God comes with a price. That price is to be hated by the world! And if your heart can’t handle being hated by the world if you can’t give God your full heart, then He would rather have you just serve the world. You are either for the Lord, or against Him. No matter where you are, you can’t fool Him.

Genesis 18:15 (This verse makes me laugh)

Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

God will call your bluff straight out, He knows. We were made for so much more than what this world has to offer. We don’t fit in, because we don’t belong to sin, we belong to Christ. With belonging to Christ comes not fitting in with the world. This forces us to have to trust in God always. We can’t trust the world because we know how sinful it is, we have to keep our eyes focused on Christ.

The world and all its lies will do it’s best to lead us always from Christ. It wants us feeling like we are inadequate. When we feel inadequate we have a harder time accepting Christ and His love and have a much easier time accepting the world. But the world only serves to tear us apart. It does it very successfully. And in the end, it leads to hell.

But Christ loves us, He wants us. He heals us. He takes away your pain. He gives you eternal life with Him, AWAY from sin! He has a joy that can only be achieved by following Him and trusting Him with ALL of your heart. The ache in the bottom of our heart that we cannot find from this world, can only be found in Christ. And that is because His love is never ending for us. His blood set you free.

Amen.

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People

I hear this question a lot “Why do bad things happen to good people?” In a few cases, I have seen people use this question to attempt to disprove God. I want to address this question right away with another question. Can you truly show me a person who is without sin? If not, what merits someone to be called “good?” Aren’t we all fall of sin and in need of God’s grace?

But from a human standpoint, there is such thing as a good person and a bad person. So why do the “good” people have to suffer harm?

Answer 1

Let’s look at Job. Job was very good in God’s eyes.

Job 1:1

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

Yet he lost everything he had, all his family, livestock, money, slaves, everything. He even suffered physical pain. So why did this good man have to suffer? From my understanding, his suffering served God by teaching us and the rest of the world what a man of God was really like, that the ‘best’ of us, is still going to have to suffer and to teach integrity. The second reason was to receive a blessing. When Job finished suffering, God blessed him with more than he had at first.

Job teaches us integrity and that God is with you and will bless you.

Answer 2 

This is the answer I really wanted to present. Bad things happen to good people because of our sin. We all fall short of the glory of God, and we all sin daily. It is because of our sin, and because of original sin that we suffer. Now we must pay the consequences of our sin. Jesus died to save us from eternal damnation, but not to save us from all of our daily consequences of sin. It is because of our sin that good people suffer. Sin knows no right or wrong, sin does not know the difference between good people and bad people.

The question I think we should ask ourselves is not “Why do bad things happen to good people”? but rather “Why do bad things happen to God, and why did He have to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our sins?” Think about that. God is perfect. Why does God have to suffer the pain of His lost loved ones day in and day out. When we suffer, He suffers. Why did God have to sacrifice His Son to pay for our sins? Why do we blame God for everything that goes bad? Why are we as a nation abandoning God? God doesn’t deserve us, He deserves much more than us. Yet He loves us the same. Yet He chooses to suffer with us, so that He can be closer to us. He doesn’t have to, He choose to, long ago, before He even made us, He knew we would betray Him, but He choose to make us anyways.

What love is this that we don’t deserve?