Michael continues: Sometimes, the things that we think are "bad", God is using for the good. The ultimate good, as Paul said, is "the furtherance of the gospel." The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “righteousness” as “Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.” This is what it means by having a “right” relationship with God. Our righteousness is not in what we do. Rather, righteousness is revealed in us as we walk according to what He has placed in front of us to do. Our righteousness is only in Him, for He who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him. We are never our own reason for God to bless us. The only reason for receiving the blessings of God is to walk and live inside of His holy word, will and way. He would rather allow our bodies to suffer so that His strength may be made perfect in our weakness.
The worldly value system says that our greatness is a result of our worldly achievements. However, the true way to be exalted is to lower ourselves in humility before the Lord, so that He can lift us up. God is longing to be gracious to us. The prerequisite to receive God's grace and mercy is to approach His throne of grace with a humble and a contrite heart. When we fall on our knees in humility and meekness, then He can lift us up. Therefore rejoice in the suffering. For tribulation worketh patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which given to us. Before we can approach the throne of grace, we, like the prodigal son, must come to the realization of our bankrupt sinful self. When we have nothing left in our own power or of our own possession, then, by faith, we can "arise and go unto our Father." He will then embrace us in his arms. Dr. D; James Kennedy said that “faith is like the hand of a beggar receiving the gift of a King. We don't deserve the gift of eternal life. But we can have it, if we will receive it by faith.”
God's glory is displayed when we rejoice with Him by putting off the self-centered glory of the flesh and glorying in Him alone. Anything done with a selfish motive is still Sin. If done for the purpose of our own vain glory, then the result is vanity, emptiness, and will come to nothing in the end. And “the end” here is what really counts in the prospective of eternity. When Peter and John were beaten in the book of Acts for preaching about Christ, they said “we count it all joy to God to be able to suffer for His glory.”
We cannot finish in the flesh, what was begun in the Spirit. Therefore, I press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. God has called us as his "Holy Baseball Catcher mitts." We have received the Holy Spirit from our loving Heavenly Father when we received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and were “born again” of His Spirit. We have been called to pass the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and His gospel of Salvation on to others, for He has given us the “word of reconciliation” in the gospel and has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. We have received the Spirit of God in Christ in us, so that we can give it away by passing “The Word” along. In other words our mission is this: Give them Heaven!
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael