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"Peace amid Pain "
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Why is Pain?
Fourth: The Divine test (2)

When we think of the life of John the Baptist and how it ended, we wonder much as why Herod the king has cut off his head: "because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.” (Mark 6:26, 27)

We get confused also if we look at the end of Jacob’s life, one of the first three disciples whose life ended, killed by sword: "Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.”(Acts 12:1,2)

If we look also at the life of the apostle Paul, we must wonder how it was full of sufferings; he put it short saying: "From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.”( 2 Corinthians 11:24-27).

However, we rest assured and comforted when we realize and trust that our life here is but a short chapter of the novel and not the whole, therefore Apostle Paul testifies about his life here and after saying: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8). Our hope is not in what is now but in what waits for us of glory and honor before the judgment seat of Christ ; He said: "Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor”( 1 Samuel 2:30).

Praise, honor and Glory are not only for us but for the artful goldsmith who made the pot that has no credit for itself but all the favors return  to the fingers of the skillful potter and his proficient hands.  Therefore when we arrive to Him we will give him every Praise, dignity and glory and sing saying:” You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation”(Revelation 5:9).

The pure gold is that gold which when entered in the fire and tested the goldsmith can see clearly his image in it and then gets it out of the furnace. Let’s learn this lesson from the perished gold, for God will not let us out until His image is seen clearly in us. The Apostle Paul says the following words:” until Christ is formed in you.”(Galatians 4:19)

Magdy Samuel

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