Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Cost of Obedience

Hebrews 5:7-9 NKJV — who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned (experienced) obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected (that is, completing all that was required of HIm), He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey (or hearken to or believe in) Him.
The Garden of Gethsemane
Satan’s attack in the Garden was so severe that the Lord said HIs soul was exceeding sorrowful even unto death (Matthew 26:38). His disciples were of no help but an angel came and strengthened HIm.  The Lord was spared death in the Garden (HIs prayer was answered positively) so that He could fulfill HIs mission by going to the cross.
Sorrow in the World
Likely we have all seen people suffering great sorrow.  I remember being in a cemetery where a lady was sitting by a headstone wailing.  She had lost her husband and was in great sorrow.  My wife and I tried to comfort her and pray with her but we could not change her circumstances.  My family buried a two-year-old and a six-week-old child.  But these sorrows are the natural result of living in a sin-cursed world.  The sorrow that really hurts is the sorrow caused needlessly because of the hatred of one human for another.   Wars, recent genocides, and racism all contribute to unimaginable sorrow.
Why is there such sorrow in this world?  Part of the answer is because man is the most dangerous creature that God has created.  Mankind has the ability to do great good but mankind also has the ability to do great evil.  We are reminded in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.  And of course this all started with one “little” sin in the Garden of Eden when Eve took a bite from forbidden fruit and then gave some of that fruit to her husband.  
The Cure for Sorrow
In John 11, the Lord was able to cure the sorrow of Mary and Martha who had buried their brother by raising Lazarus from the dead.  Of course, the religious leaders weren’t happy about that and wanted to kill him because many people were believing in the Lord because of the miracle that had undoubtedly occurred. (See John 12:10-11}. They didn’t worry about the sorrow of the sisters, or about the promise of life that was found in the Lord. They only worried about their own positions of authority.  It sounds a lot like our day.  The heart really is desperately wicked.  
The only solution to these problems is the new birth which comes about by believing the truth that Christ died and was buried and rose again the third day in order to provide sinners a home in heaven.  The new birth changes the sinner into a saint, it changes the deceitful heart into a believing heart and it changes sorrow to joy.  The Lord suffered in the garden and then willingly went to the cross so that we don’t have to suffer for eternity.  Our earthly sorrows can be changed into heavenly joy.
John Ferguson (whom I know little about) said it well in his hymn:
There’s a story ever new, It is wonderful and true,
And the best thing you can do, Is believe it;
It will calm your troubled breast, And will give you peace and rest,
it’s of all the news the best,
Oh, believe it.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of August 20, 2020

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