THE UP AND DOWN OF STRESS
By Martha © October 1996
Excerpts Taken From The Up And Down Of Stress
Book Listed In The How To Cope Books Section
Chapter 1 THE ROLLER COASTER OF STRESS
Definition: strict, pressure, force exerted upon a body that tends to strain or deform its shape or reform its shape, or direct or re-direct its path, resistance, urgency, importance, tension, strained exertion.
To examine the word stress itself, it seems it would be and could be a very productive force, or movement, or motion. I have known a lot of people who have allowed stress to be a negative force, causing them to give up, change courses that they ought not to change, or they use stress in situations to cast blame, or to excuse their own selves from doing anything about the conditions, or even to cause them to forsake responsibilities, those burdens that are common to all flesh. And then I have seen many that stress produces a positive force, a power and force that causes them to excel, and to overcome obstacles, and to perform what seems like impossibilities.
Remember what the stress factor is.
I have seen even in myself, that sometimes stress is a positive force, and sometimes a negative force. When it is running the tracks in a positive force, it is easy to get myself scattered into too many directions at the same time, and derail myself, creating a negative force that will overthrow all my positive actions, or at the least, hinder them and even cast some down as useless when they ought to be useful. It is like having too many spokes in the wheel and they tangle around each other and the cart goes nowhere, and its wheels break down, or fall off, nothing getting completed. And when stress is running in a totally negative force, I find that I have to struggle to think rightly, strive to speak lovingly, and make myself care even about the little things, like combing the hair, or picking up the laundry, or even saying good-night or good-morning. I have found that my reaction to everything and all things, depends totally on if I am running positive or negative in my stress zone. If I have too few things in my mind, it makes me stressful. And if I have too many things in my mind, it is even more stressful.
We all develop stress zones, or stress circles, into which we will not allow certain things, nor can we allow certain things, we knowing that we cannot endure or tolerate certain things. For each one of us it is a different circle, and a different zone. To identify this stress circle, each one of us must examine our own faith, our own strengths, and our own weaknesses. We must examine our purposes, our goals, and our destinations.
And as our faith grows, our circle grows, and as our strengths grow, our circle grows, and as our weaknesses become strong, or are overcome, our circle enlarges itself to be able to be a carrier of others’ weaknesses, and others’ sorrows, and others’ sufferings, and even burdens, great burdens, heavy burdens, that we in our former little circle days could hardly carry our own selves.
We must first of all, lay upon ourselves no more than we can carry, or bear, or lift honorably, perfectly, and successfully. Secondly, we must be more aware of others’ strengths and weaknesses more than our own. So actually, the second becomes the first. We must first become aware of others. For Jesus said . . . . .Matt. 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
1st Cor. 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
We should have no partiality toward any, and should show no preference one over the other, but give the same care unto all, whether a prisoner or free, whether a rich or poor, whether a black or white, whether a high or low, whether a prophet or servant, ministering the things of this world and the things of the Kingdom of God unto all, without partiality. For there is no respecter of persons with God.
2nd Cor. 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
We are able to comfort others because we understand their sufferings, we having suffered likewise, and in the same manner. How could one sitting at the king’s table in a palace understand the hungers of a stable boy? or how cold he gets sleeping in the straw on the floor? How could a mistress being tended to by a maid in a palace, understand the pains of a woman giving birth in the field? So there are not many called who are in king’s palaces, and not many are called who are even tending those in king’s palaces. For these are without understanding in the sufferings of life. They are without understandings in the denials of life. They are without knowledge of the normal, common, every day hardships of life.
The stress of poverty, the stress of hunger, the stress of clothing, the stress of shelter, all of these, are done away with in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For Jesus said, Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
These are the blessings of the Kingdom of God, the abundant life that is promised to the righteous. They shall neither hunger nor thirst, nor shall the cold harm them nor the heat hurt them. And in the ending of it all, they shall not die, but live, having eternal life and immortality in the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
Rom. 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself: but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
We are to bear one another’s differences. We are to not divide or schism the body purely for difficulties’ sake in the affairs of this life. If someone desires the sanctuary to be painted blue, please the brother or sister. Paint it blue. If someone wants roses on the pulpit next Sunday instead of the traditional mums, get roses, and double the roses. Go the first mile and then the second. Please the brother or sister. Live in peace. How for the sake of paint or roses can brothers and sisters divide the body of Christ, and cut from it arms and legs and poke out eyes that it cannot see where it is going, having no hands to labor with and no feet to walk with and no eyes to see with. A body having no hands or feet and no eyes has little left, only a big mouth that ought to have learned to hold its peace.
1st Thess. 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Because of the work’s sake, and because of the work, live in peace with one another. For where admonishings are, where exhortations are, where rebukes are, will dwell a stress to revile, justify, and if of a long duration, and harsh enough, separate out from the work, cutting off the eyes, and hands, and feet of the body of Christ, making impotent the work or causing the work to fail all together.
Remember what the stress factor is.
Remember what the stress factor is.
Strict and straight
Pressure to agree for the sake of peace
Force to change direction or purpose
Resistance to change
Urgency without delay
Importance without denial
Tension without breaking
For every called work is a body of Christ in its own fulness, with a head, and heart, and soul, and spirit, and hands, and feet, and legs, and ears, and eyes, and all body parts necessary for that work. Can a head stand alone? Can an eye do what the head can do? Can one foot be a hand and a leg an arm? Do your own body parts quarrel for position on your bones? Unruly members of the body are envious, quarrelsome, backbiters, and judges of the righteous called work. For the work’s sake, walk in peace, and know your place and abide there in your appointed perfect body part, faithfully performing your duties and responsibilities, meddling not in the works of other members of the body, knowing that though all are members of the same body, the parts as well as their functions are diverse, nothing being excluded, all being included, nothing being greater or lesser than the other, only different.
Now, I have seen many who are bothered by nothing, troubled by nothing, and stress is neither positive or negative. Stress does not motivate them to do anything. They simply are floaters. Floaters are going to eventually drown, for the waters are going to become rough, and the winds are going to blow, and the waves are going to roll, and those who have simply been floaters are going to drown, they never having learned to swim, or row a boat, or clean barnacles off the bow, or paint the deck, or hoist the sail, they simply floating everywhere the soft winds blow them, soaking up the sunshine, fishing for fish, being unmoved by stress, ignoring stress, that force that can motivate them to do good unto others as well as their own selves, and that very positive force that teaches survival in all circumstances and all situations. Those that are not motivated to the good by stress, sit and watch the bugs eat their crops, sleep while the weeds overtake their fields, eating and sleeping their lives away while others labor putting the food in their mouths and the roofs over their heads. These let others carry their stress for them, both carnal and spiritual. These demand the church to do it, the government to do it, and many are motivated only to rioting in the daytime and speaking evil of dignitaries, walking after the luxuries of the flesh, with all of its passions, lusts, desires and gluttonies.
And then we have the stress negative that is motivating many in our nation to take up arms against their neighbors, against the government, and even against their own flesh and blood. These are not taking up arms against foreign powers, or ungodly nations that are slaughtering their own people, lest they have to lay down their own lives for a stranger. These negative stress carriers are taking up arms against their own country, their own neighbors, and their own people. So we have come around the field to the other side and see two factions, the positive stress motivations that are motivated by the Spirit of God to do good, and we see the negative stress factions that are motivated by the evil spirits of this world, through greed, through envy, through covetousness, and through fear, they desiring power. And then we have that explosive negative stress factor that causes someone to take up weapons with violence's and hatreds and murdering many, or raping or molesting women, or kidnapping and raping and murdering and torturing young boys and girls, and young men and women. We even now have people raping the dead, and raping those in nursing homes. The stress factor can cause us to do unspeakably horrible things, or can cause us to do magnificent and glorious things.
Remember what the stress factor is.
Remember what the stress factor is.
Strict and straight
Pressure to agree for the sake of peace
Force to change direction or purpose
Resistance to change
Urgency without delay
Importance without denial
Tension without breaking
The roller coaster of stress runs on a designated track, and sometimes is slow, sometimes fast, sometimes breathtaking, sometimes fearful, sometimes exciting, sometimes calm, and even sometimes death defying. However, it runs on a designated track, and as long as you stay in the car, and do not stand up or get thrown out, you will come to its ending, and it will stop, and let you off, safe and sound. It will run in the nighttime, in the daytime, in the rain, in the sunlight, and in the snow and sleet. No outside force will stop it from running its designated course. When we are born we are placed into that cart of positive and negative stress, and we will not be able to get out of it till we die. Get used to it! Understand it! Deal with it! Respect it! It cannot overcome you unless you become it!
You will become in the ending, that positive or that negative force, they both being stress motivators, one of the spirit of life, and one of the spirit of death. The positive stress factor and the negative stress factor are directly opposed to each other in intents and purposes, one being the factor of hatred and the other being the factor of love, yet both operating on the same spiritual and carnal principles. For every single stress, both the positive and negative forces, are at work, operating on the very same principles, and your own free will and choices will determine the outcome of every and all things, large and small, good and bad, holy and unholy, clean and unclean, true and false, evil and good. You must understand what spiritual force is behind the stress, and understand what kingdom it is coming from, the Kingdom of righteousness, or the kingdom of evil. They are both, powers. They are both, voices.
Ever since death entered into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden of Eden, all flesh is born under the curse of sin and death, and therefore, damned at birth. Every soul is born damned, but every soul can be saved. All flesh can be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. But a man damns His own self by doing nothing about his natural birth. All flesh is born in sin, but no soul born in sin need die in sin. Jesus said, Without me you will die in your sins. Now, dear reader, that is really, really, heaven sent stress! Jesus said . . . John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Let me tell you, dear reader, contrary to what all the false teachers and preachers and prophets say, Jesus is a roller coaster ride from the earth to the heavens, and you need to understand this thing called stress, this reproach called salvation stress.
You will come to understand its every pitch and corner, its every up and down, its every fast and slow, even to the creaking of its great beams. You will become familiar with every single click of its wheels, and every breathtaking fall, and every rest as it climbs. You will learn, and very well learn, to take the ride without jumping out at the top of a climb, to certain death below, all because of fear. The truth is a simple truth. 1st Tim. 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
And the second truth is likened unto it, There is nothing to fear except God Himself! That’s Martha’s saying #1.
Chapter 2 THE STRESS OF SALVATION REPROACH
Reproach.....Definition: to accuse of and blame for a fault; rebuke; reprove; censure; upbraid; to bring shame and disgrace upon; be a cause of discredit to; a source or cause of shame, disgrace, discredit, or blame.
The prophet Jeremiah said . . .Jer. 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Now, the same Word that corrects, and rebukes, and reproves, and upbraids, also cleanses, heals, delivers, and forgives. The same Word that is a reproach to one, is a drink of living water to another. The same Word that is a stench to one, is a piece of bread to another. The same Word that will bring life to one, will bring death to another. For concerning the Word itself, it says . . . . .Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. The scriptures present to us both life and death, both blessing and cursing, and we choose either life or death, choosing to bear the reproach of the Word in the world, or become as the world, cursed, lost, condemned, and damned. Jesus Christ came into the world, not to condemn the world, nor to condemn us, but to save us from our own natural condemnation and damnation, that destiny into which we are born unless we reject sin and receive righteousness. Righteousness brings with it much reproach.
Now, I know of no prophet in the old testament that was not slayed, slaughtered, murdered, persecuted, tormented, rejected, or despised. And they were but bearers of the Word, were but ministers of the Word, were but messengers of the Word, were but prophesiers of the Word. Jesus Christ was the Word. If they hated the prophets, slayed the prophets who were but prophesiers, what of the prophesier Himself? And, to add a further reproach, what of the prophesier’s prophesiers? How can they escape the same fate as the prophets before them? How can they escape if the prophets did not, and if Christ Jesus did not? How can they be loved if Christ was hated? How can they be received if Christ was rejected? How can they be honored when Christ was dishonored? Jesus said, Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
The Apostle Peter said . . .1st Pet. 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
Christ’s sufferings were reproaches, night and day, everywhere and at all times, reproaches, He being wickedly spoken of, being mocked, reviled, persecuted, despised, hated, rejected, and then, accused, imprisoned, tried, spit upon, beaten, and crucified. Jesus said . . . .John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
When we are reproached and suffer those things that Christ Jesus suffered, He is glorified. For they speak evil, not of us, but of Him. When we walk in Him and He in us, He is glorified in us through the same sufferings in us that He suffered when He was in the flesh. We repeat His sufferings, and every generation that glorifies His name, will enter into the same reproaches, the same sufferings, the same sorrows, the same hatreds, the same jealousies, and the same persecutions. Therefore did Jesus say, He who endureth to the end shall be saved.
For the more glorified in Him we become, being transformed from image to image in Him, more and more becoming conformed to His image, the reproaches intensify. The persecutions intensify. The losses increase. The forsakings multiply. The rejections grow. The hatreds abound and the accusations and abuses and jealousies and envies all increase and increase.
Jesus said, Matt. 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. . . . . . . . . . .18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it: which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The Word becomes a reproach . . . . . But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. The Word rebukes, exhorts, corrects, chastens, scourges, teaches, guides, cutting to the very marrow of the bone with its straight and narrow path of righteousness and holiness, purifying the body, the soul, the spirit, and the heart and mind, creating out of our natural born evil natures, Sons and Daughters of God, creating us into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, with all of His righteousnesses, and with all of His sufferings. The Word of righteousness smites our iniquities. The Word of righteousness offends our sins. The Word of righteousness disciplines our evil natures. The Word of righteousness overcomes our wills, and must, or we will perish in our own wayward, sinful, destructive path. The Word must convert us from evil to good, and from hatred to love. The Word of righteousness cleanses our mouths, our hearts, our minds, our souls, our spirits, our flesh, purifying us through and through that we might inherit eternal life in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Concerning the crucifying of Christ Jesus . . . .Luke 23:18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) John 19:15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Concerning what happened to the Apostle Paul . . .Acts 21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. 31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul. 33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. 34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. 35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.
The Lord said unto Paul . . .Acts 22:21 And he said unto me. Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. 22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
Now Jesus said . . . . .Matt. 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Jesus also said . . . Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
The circle of reproach widens and broadens as one walks in Christ and Christ in them. For Jesus also said . . . .John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Friends become few, and then fewer, and enemies become many, and more. Brethren that were brethren, become strangers, and know you not. You are a reproach to them. Your family truly will become those who hear the Word of God and obey it. And your family will become smaller and smaller, and you even, will have to strive to remain part of the family of God in Christ, working out your own salvation in fear and trembling. Because the same gospel that took Jesus Christ to the cross, will also lead you all the way to those same sufferings, and through those same sufferings, and through that same sanctification and purification. Jesus is the only way. Jesus is the only salvation. Jesus is the only truth. Jesus is the only life. Jesus said concerning becoming a Son or Daughter of God . . . . .John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. And Jesus then went on to say what the manifestation of this righteousness would be, what the image of this righteousness would be, what the eating of His flesh would be and what the drinking of His blood would be. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. Now when Jesus said that, that only way, that only truth, that only life was His life, His flesh, His blood, His righteousness that would inherit eternal life, the multitudes turned away. It was too hard. It was offensive. It reproached them. John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Now, the Apostle Paul said . . .Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (and daughters) of God. Now being led by the Spirit of God is being led by righteousness, being led by the Holy Spirit into these things. Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. And again Paul says . . .Eph. 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Make no mistake concerning God’s justice toward His children. Col. 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
The stress of salvation’s reproach .........We must be in Christ to partake of both, His sufferings, and His salvation. Paul said . . .2nd Tim. 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Now, we have come fully around the circle of the reproach of salvation, and see that many are the sufferings of reproach, and great are the sorrows of reproach, and magnified are the hatreds against reproach, and increased are the lies against reproach, and increasing daily are the wicked magnifying themselves against the Word that entered into this world with deadly reproaches, with death defying reproaches, and with the righteousness to destroy all wickedness, and even death. In His being reproached, He returned a deadly reproach. Jesus said . . John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Now what is this believing? That righteousness is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. And there is none righteous, no not one, and all our righteousness is but a filthy rag in the sight of God. Even Jesus said, when those present called Him good, There is none good but God. There is righteousness only in the Spirit of God. The flesh profits nothing. The Apostle Paul said, I have come to find that there is nothing good in my flesh. That reader, is the presence of the knowledge of salvation, and is its beginning and its ending. In us, there is nothing good, absolutely, nothing. If we are righteous, it is because Christ is in us. And then begins the stress of reproach. That Apostle John said concerning Christ . . .1st John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. And again John said . . .1st John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. We know that the righteousness in us is of Him, and not of ourselves, for we know that in us dwelleth nothing good, for the outward flesh wars that inward flesh, and the outward mind wars that inward mind, and the outward passions are reproached by that inward righteousness. And daily do we fight the flesh, the world, and our own minds and hearts, yielding to that righteousness within that we might attain to that eternal life that is hidden in Christ, and that immortality that is hidden in His very flesh and blood. And the more we know these things, the more magnified does His righteousness become in us, and the more His righteousness becomes magnified in us, the more the weaknesses of the flesh become apparent and visible to us, and its anger at discipline and temperances becomes very painful. And His Spirit is able to lead us and guide us into His righteousness and cleanse us from all iniquity, till we become bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, and blood of His blood, and even, mind of His mind, we being able to bring our whole being into the subjection of the Holy Spirit of the Living God that enters into us through Christ Jesus. The gospel of Jesus Christ is righteousness alone, very narrow, very straight, very hard, a reproach to the world.
The Apostle Paul said . . .2nd Cor. 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? So we are to the one a reproach of life unto life, and to the other the reproach of death unto death. Those being saved, the Word will reproach continually, from life unto life, and to those perishing, the same Word will reproach them from death unto death. It is still the same reproach, the same savour, yet to one it is life, and to the other it is death. So we must always be a savour, a reproach, that we might be a savour of life unto life to many, accepting the sufferings of being a savour unto death for others, seeing that to God, we are a sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved and in them also that perish, a sweet savour in Christ being formed in the image of His Son. And who is knowledgeable of who is being reproached unto life, and who is being reproached unto death?
Seeing that we are changed from image to image in Christ Jesus, reproaches also are borne from image to image, for the saved, as well as for the perishing. For the Word will reproach the perishing, continually, often, always, God desiring that none perish. And the Word will reproach the saved, continually, daily and often, that they continue to the ending being filled with the Word, with the Spirit, and with righteousness. Sweet savours to God in Christ are those that bear His reproach. For God looks down upon the seeds of Christ that bear His like sufferings seeing souls being saved, and His Son did not die in vain nor without purpose. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
The Apostle Paul said . . .2nd Cor. 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
Chapter 1 The Roller Coaster Of Stress
Chapter 2 The Stress Of Salvation Reproach
Chapter 3 We Are Left No Choice
Chapter 4 Sin, The Devil's Advocate
Chapter 5 The Contemptible Candlesticks
Chapter 6 Earth's Greatest Sorrow
Chapter 7 It Is So
Chapter 8 Learn To Let Go
Excerpts taken from THE UP AND DOWN OF STRESS
Written by Martha ©