The Cause and the price: the bitter cup

Ever feel like all you do is pour out your heart, your prayers, and your gifts for people to only share in their sorrows, to lift up hands when the battle is failing, and minister life into dead places? Ever feel like you miss out on the victory and the joy that comes after travail?  Ever feel lonely? Ever feel exhausted? Ever feel falsely judged by your lament?

Well guess what: a gift is only a gift if it’s free. A gift is only free if there are no strings attached.

Love is only a gift if it’s unconditional. Strength is only beneficial with love backing it up. Intercession is only life changing if it doesn’t require reward.

It would be hard to rely on strength that thinks of applause.

It might be a rough road for a while, (sweat, blood, and tears) but let’s not be shallow. Let’s be gritty. Let’s be real. Let’s pray in secret. Let’s be strong without reward. Let’s throw burdens at the cross without blame. Let’s just throw it all down for Him. With Him, we are never alone.

This life was never promised to display our good works in a museum. No, this church is a hospital where the sick find healing.

Offer something! But first, you’ll have to receive. Receive this deep, outrageous grace, this jealous fire of Savior, this mighty wind of Spirit, this kind, Father favor.

Of course the price brought about freedom and a crazy joyful reality, but that doesn’t mean the cost doesn’t hurt.

Jesus didn’t enjoy His cup of sorrows. It poked thorns into his head and spit saliva on his face. It tore flesh from His ribs and gushed water from His side. It abandoned Him when sin separated Father and Son. It stripped Him of status and made Him a criminal. It sold His clothes and left Him bare and exposed. It suffocated Him as He hung by His hands on a splintered cross, with wounded feet offering little support. It left Him to face hell alone for three days.

He went unnoticed. He suffered alone. No applause. Just sweat drops of blood and a heart that said, “Your will, Father.” But that surrender shook hell’s gate’s. Death could not hold Him; He conquered the grave and has given us His victory! Our surrender is our victory.

“If we die with him, we shall also rise with him”

There are seasons of considerably elevated sorrow and cost, but surrender is not a season; surrender is a mandate that transitions us from one season to the next. If you want to stay stuck, remain unsurrendered. How well I know that one.:/

There comes a time to learn surrender. There comes a time to want His heart more than our selfishness. There comes a time to suffer in secret. There comes a time to go unnoticed. There comes a time to say, “Your will, Father” and drink that bitter cup of tears.

Though seasons change, God has never left us abandoned.

On the third day, there was rejoicing because no longer was Christ bruised. He was glorified, and all heaven acknowledged him.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -! Corinthians 15:55-57

He who humbles himself will be exalted. Those who pray in secret will be regarded openly. Ironically, there is a brilliant reward for the cost. He is the biggest one. 🙂

Blessed Monday to all my readers. Praying He meets you in your season. Praying He transforms curses to blessings. And if this season has been especially painful, I pray it soon transitions to a season of deep healing and wild joy.

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