A Total Christ - by Walter Lang
Main Page - http://www.creationism.org/lang/ - Free to Copy for Educational Purposes
Day Nine -- Colossians 1:11, 24
A Total Christ and Affliction
In his book The Coming of the Golden Age, author Gunther Stent suggests that soon we will enjoy the "Golden Age" described by Hesiod more than 25 centuries ago. Men will live like gods "without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief, but with legs and arms never failing," beyond the reach of evil. The Bible holds out an assured hope like that for us, but in this wicked world there must also be tribulation. Evolutionists have hope for the future, but Christians have hope already now, through Christ. We indicate that hope by using it to turn troubles into blessings.
St. Paul and Suffering
St. Paul also paints a picture of suffering. Though we have perfection and assured hope, while we live in this wicked world, we must endure afflictions. But we can convert them into blessings. That is why we read in Col. 1:11 that we need Christ's power to endure suffering in patience and we are to be long-suffering with joyfulness. Christ turned death into a blessing (8:32).
Christ's Suffering for Us
Paul mentions his suffering while in prison in Rome, from where he was writing this letter. While everyone must endure a certain measure of suffering, Paul suffered more than his share in order that others might suffer less. When Christ reigns in our life, we can convert affliction to blessing. This is a unique power which is ours.
Calcutta in India has often been called the hell-hole of the earth. When this writer was there in 1983, he was frustrated because the authorities would not permit him to deplane at Assam where he had planned to meet with scientists, because of "fighting" going on. Then, while staying at the Salvation Army Guest House in Calcutta, garbage in front of the building was not picked up for a whole week and people rummaged through it. Our driver earned $50 per month, of which he spent $25 for room rent. Here was real suffering, but it was a joy to see how Christians turned this to blessing. The Lord provided me with opportunity to present ten talks that week. Throughout the mission world we have seen much suffering, many apparent failures, but we have seen defeat and disgrace converted into blessings. We read in II Cor. 12:9 that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Evolutionists who rely on survival of the fittest as a means of progress deny this, for one cannot genuinely convert trouble to blessing without the hope of perfection restored through Christ's suffering.
Prayer: That God's power in the total Christ give us strength not only
to endure suffering and trouble but to make blessings of them.