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A Rod A Staff A Cup A Cross A Yoke

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things, (yes, even our trials).       1Corinthians 13:7

What does a cup; a rod, a staff, a yoke, and a cross all have in common? Give up? Let's take a look. Have you ever wondered how life can seem so painful at times? I was contemplating this very matter the other day when God quickly reminded me that the instruments He chooses to use in the shaping process of a believers life may have a lot to do with it.

For instance, In the Old Testament (Psalms 23) we have a rod and staff carefully constructed for our comfort . And if those weren't enough all by themselves, there's a cup involved, it's drink, "the wine of astonishment."

Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment
Ps 60:3

When we move to the New Testament we see yet another set of implements awaiting the serious believer. And what would those be, you ask? Well, they are called a cross and a yoke. Oh, by the way, there is also a cup involved here as well, and Jesus ask us as He did His disciples, Are ye able to drink it?

But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask Are ye able to drink of the cup that shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
Mt 20:22

Sounds like fun? But believe it or not, these instruments were especially engineered for our preservation.
Wow, who would have thought that a cross and a yoke would be so vitally important in the making of a believer?

Notice the order here, a cross, a yoke. And it must be exactly in that order. For it is only when we have climbed up on the cross, and have crucified the flesh with all of it passions that the LORD will then invite us to team up with Him in this contraption called a yoke. And by the way, I have heard it said that, 'there are no padded crosses.'

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
Galatians 5:24, Matthew 11:28-30

So what is God up to in all of this? It's called PEACE of mind, REST for our soul; and until we take God up on His offer, we will never experience neither of these. Don't believe me then take a look for yourself.

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it
Luke17: 33

Do you understand how powerful this is? Do you know how liberating this can be? It's only when we realize we are completely dead, useless, and have nothing to offer God, that He then ask us to team up with Him as a Co-laborer. That way He will receive all the glory in our lives.

Only God could come up with a plan like this. I guess that's why we're reminded, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 Yes, Jesus wants to live His life through us. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me Galatians 2:20

Are you under siege, feel like giving up? Take courage and know this, that what you're experiencing is all part of the shaping process God is using to conform us to the image of His Son. It may seem painful now, but oh the wondrous benefit from having trusted Him. So take up the cross, put on His yoke, lift up His cup, and allow yourself to be comforted by His rod and staff. You'll be glad you did!

In his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

THINK ON THESE THINGS ACT ON THESE THINGS

May God grant you His peace 
If I can be of any assistance
please don't hesitate to drop me a line.
Dan

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Now I commend You Brethern To The Word Of His Grace That Is Able To Build You up And Give You An Inheritance Among The Saints Ac20:32