The August 10th entry in Oswald Chamberâ€™s My Utmost For His Highest is a commentary on 1 Peter 4:19, a difficult verse to read, understand, and live: â€œLet those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing goodâ€¦â€
Chambers says, â€œChoosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing Godâ€™s willâ€”even if it means you will sufferâ€”is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses Godâ€™s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or notâ€¦ (Jesus) refused the sympathy of people because in His great wisdom He knew that no one on earth understood His purposeâ€¦ Look at Godâ€™s incredible waste of His saints, according to the worldâ€™s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless placesâ€¦ Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use.â€
This kind of thinking has no place in much of the literature I read these days. It is considered too austere, too morbid, too depressing. It is treated like the yeast of old that had to be completely abolished from the household, lest the smallest amount leaven the whole lump of dough. If we allow even the slightest degree of this theology to enter into our thinking, everything changes! Everything has to readjust. Everything must be questioned.
We can no longer entertain ideas and theologies that donâ€™t make room for Godâ€™s freedom. We can no longer flirt with triumphalistic notions of faith. They are just escapisms in religious garments.