Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the partnership with the Father during adversity.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Partnership with the Father During Adversity
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." John Chapter 26, Verse 28
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we share some insights into the partnership with the heavenly Father through his Son, Jesus, during adversity. Jesus said that "if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him." Thus we know that the Father and His Son are living within us not only during the sunny side of life but during the midnight hours. The partnership during the midnight hours of night is what we want to examine. Jesus said that he would not leave us comfortless, that he would come to us via his Spirit of Truth. His Spirit of Truth now surrounds our souls to instruct and guide us during the storms of adversity.
But before we move further, let’’s clarify the nature of these instructions and guidance. Jesus said that in this world we will have tribulation but to be of good cheer because he has overcome the world. Now it is clear that the Father is not going to take us out of the tribulations of this mortal life any more than he took Jesus out of them. It is clear that we are to live our lives from the beginning to the end. So the instruction and guidance must be of a nature that assists us through this life. The Father is interested not only in the pleasant aspects of our lives but desires to go through all aspects of our lives with us, teaching us the vital spiritual lessons of love and mercy as we move through it.
From a general perspective, Jesus’’ instructive life exemplifies the truth that the Father wants us to live our lives from the beginning until the end. We can, therefore, expect no considerations that violates that principal. Jesus also lived his life just as you and I must live ours. We, too, must live with the ups and downs of life. We are mortal and we must cope with our mortal state in every sense of the word. No special provisions are made for dealing with the hardships of life, as Jesus demonstrated. He had to learn knowledge just as you and I must. He learned to function successfully in this world without the aide of superhuman help. He lived by the same mercy ministry by which you and I are privileged to live. He traversed all the stages of maturity-- intellectual, moral and spiritual. He, too, had to adjust his emotions to the unpleasant facts of living a mortal life, just like we must. From a material perspective, his life was no different than ours. He reacted to material reality just as you and I do.
To "follow”” Jesus means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. ““Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.”” In the spiritual aspects of Jesus’’ life, we see the Father-Son partnership perfected.
We know that Jesus grew in his consciousness of the heavenly Father. Before living life in the flesh, he emptied himself of all knowledge of pre-existence. Consciousness of the heavenly Father was a gradual growth in his mind until the time of his baptism, where it became perfected. This was acknowledged by the Father, who said, "This is a beloved Son whom I am well pleased." It was at this time after perfecting his partnership with the Father that he began the demonstration of the partnership as he brought the good news to mankind: That man is a son of God and therefore qualified for the blessed and eternal privilege of being in partnership with the Father. Man is to provide a channel for the Father’’s eternal manifestation in this world through Jesus. Jesus went about doing good. And we can do the same thing.
The analogy of the vine and the branches demonstrates the nature of this partnership. In our material lives, we may have many material functions; but in our spiritual lives, we have only one function and that is to reveal the Father’’s character to our brothers and sisters. "When there exists this living connection between divinity and humanity, if humanity should thoughtlessly and ignorantly pray for selfish ease and vainglorious accomplishments, there could be only one divine answer: more and increased bearing of the fruits of the spirit on the stems of the living branches. When the branch of the vine is alive, there can be only one answer to all its petitions: increased grape bearing. In fact, the branch exists only for, and can do nothing except, fruit bearing, yielding grapes. So does the true believer exist only for the purpose of bearing the fruits of the spirit: to love man as he himself has been loved by God--that we should love one another, even as Jesus has loved us."
We are to unselfishly love our brothers and sisters as Jesus loves us. This love knows no bounds, knows no obstacles, knows no circumstances. It is eternal in its manifestation, and its very manifestation contains the power that drives it. It can only be blocked at our end, and that is because the Father has given us free will as to whether we will allow Him to be manifested through us. The flow of this divine love is a beautiful thing to see, for God is love, and the flow of this love is the flow of God through us. It is beautiful to see during the summertime of life, but it is an astounding thing to be observed during the winter months.
The perfect demonstration of this love during the winter of life was observed throughout a vast universe when Jesus was being crucified. Jesus' only words, as they nailed him to the crossbeam, were, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He could not have so mercifully and lovingly interceded for his executioners if such thoughts of affectionate devotion had not been the mainspring of his life of unselfish service. ““The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis. Jesus’’ devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, "Lay not this sin to their charge."
Here in adversity, we witness the power of the Father’’s love. In adversity this power reveals itself. In adversity we come to realize that we are in partnership with the Father. As His merciful love flows through us during these times, we become convicted of our partnership with the Father, become convicted of our divine oneness with Him through His Son, Jesus. For we know that of ourselves, we have no power to perform in this way. Without partnership with the Father, we would be like the two brigands who were nailed to the cross with him, cursing and spitting on their executioners. But thanks be to the glory of God, our souls can sail through the waters of adversity without being disturbed at all.
Yes, we must live this mortal life and die the mortal death. We may undergo tremendous suffering, deal with baffling diseases, and be horribly mistreated by our benighted brothers and sisters, as has been demonstrated down through history. But because of this partnership with our Father, our souls cry, "Our vindicator lives." And this partnership is ours for the taking. It only requires that we believe, submit to His will, and allow Him to do the work through us. In submitting to His will, our will, the human will, is effectively checked. The desire to submit is the proof that we are submitting to His will; in submitting we have all of the power for His will to manifest itself.
This concludes today's message on understanding the partnership with the Father during adversity. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.