Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands. In Christ we see God suffering – for us. And calling us to share in God’s suffering love for a hurting world. The small and even overpowering pains of our lives are intimately connected with the greater pains of Christ. Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.
The devil can get you through your flesh. He knows the button to press on your flesh and have a way into your mind. The flesh becomes a transport medium for evil things if not killed for God. If Christ makes a home in your mind, satan can't get there.
A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!
Desperation is a great giver of clarity: Bartimaeus needed no time to decide what to do next. “Jesus! Son of David!” he shouted. “Have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). The crowd turned to him in disgust. “Shut your mouth, son of filth!” But Bartimaeus knew what it meant to be despised. He also knew that the chance of a lifetime was literally passing him by, so he called to the Savior all the louder. (From: Bartimaeus)
If we are to believe he is really alive with all that that implies, then we have to believe without proof. And of course that is the only way it could be. If it could be somehow proved, then we would have no choice but to believe. We would lose our freedom not to believe. And in the very moment that we lost that freedom, we would cease to be human beings. Our love of God would have been forced upon us, and love that is forced is of course not love at all. Love must be freely given. Love must live in the freedom not to love; it must take risks. Love must be prepared to suffer even as Jesus on the Cross suffered, and part of that suffering is doubt.
In Matthew, Jesus declares, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” In Mark, he says,“Whoever is not against us is for us.” Did he say both things? Could he
mean both things? How can both be true at once? Or is it possible that
one of the Gospel writers got things switched around?
What are all these?" Clary asked.
"Vials of holy water, blessed knives, steel and silver blades," Jace said, piling the weapons on the floor beside him, "electrum wire - not much use at the moment but it's always good to have spares - silver bullets, charms of protetion, crucifixes, stars of David-"
"Jesus," said Clary
"I doubt he'd fit."
"Jace." Clary was appalled.