Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Sun, July 08, 2012
Determining the Cause of Pain
But how can we tell in a given situation whether our pain is from the cross or the rod? Pain is pain from whatever source it comes. Jonah in flight from the will of God suffered no worse storm than did Paul in the center of God’s will; the same wild sea threatened the life of both. And Daniel in the lion’s den was in trouble as deep as was Jonah in the whale’s belly. The nails bit as deep into the hands of Christ dying for the sins of the world as into the hands of the two thieves dying for their own sins. How then may we distinguish the cross from the rod? I think the answer is plain. When tribulation comes we have but to note whether it is imposed or chosen. “Blessed are ye, “ said our Lord, “when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you” (Matt. 5:11). But that is not all. Four other words He added: they are “falsely, for my sake.” These words show that the suffering must come voluntarily, that it must be chosen in the larger choice of Christ and righteousness. If the accusation men cry against us is true, no blessedness follows.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
C. S. Lewis wrote of God shouting to us in our pains, using pain as a megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Pain is a loud summons to self-examination. Are we suffering for the cause of Christ or because of personal sin?
Father, when I am experiencing pain due to my sin, help me to recognize it. When it is for other reasons may I accept it as fromYou.
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A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.
His books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the That Incredible Christian, Chapter 35 - Chastisement and Cross Carrying are Not the Same
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