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Even If...Carry Me To The Cross

A recent series of post published here (one about my wife's personal struggle with Anxiety and Depression and another about a local tragedy) brought to mind two songs from the Christian rock band Kutless that I really like.

Best of all, I think they'd both pass the Table Talk Radio "Praise Song Cruncher" too!

This first song is a reminder to us that God provides comfort and hope to those who are hurting as evidenced repeatedly throughout His Word (and regardless of whatever someone's unique circumstances may be).





"Even If"

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come


Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come


You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come


You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come


Boy, do we need to be reminded of those truths today more than ever.

I don't know about you, but it's incredibly comforting to me to know that the Scriptures have so much to say about difficult times in our lives and that I'm not the first (and certainly won't be the last) to go through such times in life.


Psalm 34:19 (ESV) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV) Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Philippians 1:29 (ESV) For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

Philippians 3:10 (ESV) That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Colossians 1:24 (ESV) Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Luke 14:27 (ESV) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:18 (ESV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (ESV)
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

1 Peter 4:12-19 (ESV) 12 
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (ESV) We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Hebrews 12:11 (ESV) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Revelation 21:4 (ESV) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.


See what I mean?

It's in our darkest hour when we need to draw from this well overflowing with truth. It's not easy though, is it? Most times, the last thing we want to do is recall God's Word even though it's the only thing that will truly help us. Isn't that just like us?

Thanks be to God that the Holy Spirit serves us in that specific way as He fulfills His ministry to us by helping bring to mind the Word of God that He's planted in our hearts and minds.

The best part? For me, it's simply being reminded that we're not alone! That I'm not alone! That you're not alone!

It's the reminder that when I'm weak, He's strong (2 Corinthians 12:9), and that He is there to carry me through all the pain (Matthew 11:28-30) by reminding me of the pain He suffered on my behalf (1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 4:10; Romans 3:25).




"Carry Me To The Cross"

When the path is daunting
And every step exhausting
I'm not alone
I'm not alone, no, no
I feel you draw me closer
All these burdens on my shoulder
I'm not alone, I'm not alone
You pull me me from this place

Hellelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross
How your love has moved me, yeah
To the foot of all your glory
I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm not alone

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross


All of these cities you have built
And every cathedral you have filled
To all of creation you gave life with your hands
And with those hands you comfort me
You lift me up from my knees
And carry me
You carry me

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross
The cross
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross


Hallelujah indeed! Praise Him in all circumstances!

Still, how do we wrap our puny little minds around these "backwards" and "incomprehensible" truths that seem so completely foreign to our natural, human brains?

I know we've attempted to answer the question several times already in recent days, but again, we're brought back the question -- Why does God even allow suffering in the first place?


"The theologian of glory observes the world, the works of creation. With his intellect he perceives behind these the visible things of God, His power, wisdom, and generosity. But God remains invisible to him. The theologian of the cross looks to the Crucified One. Here there is nothing great or beautiful or exalted as in the splendid works of creation. Here there is humiliation, shame, weakness, suffering, and agonizing death... [That] 'God can be found only in suffering and the cross'... is a bedrock statement of Luther’s theology and that of the Lutheran Church. Theology is theology of the cross, nothing else. A theology that would be something else is a false theology... Measured by everything the world calls wisdom, as Paul already saw, the word of the cross is the greatest foolishness, the most ridiculous doctrine that can confront a philosopher. That the death of one man should be the salvation of all, that this death on Golgotha should be this atoning sacrifice for all the sins of the world, that the suffering of an innocent one should turn away the wrath of God — these are assertions that fly in the face of every ethical and religious notion of man as he is by nature... God Himself has sent us into the hard school of the cross. There, on the battlefields, in the prison camps, under the hail of bombs, and among the shattered sick and wounded, there the theology of the cross may be learned 'by dying'... To those whose illusions about the world and about man, and the happiness built on these, have been shattered, the message of the cross may come as profoundly good news." 
*- Hermann Sasse, 'The Theology of The Cross: Theologia Crucis, in 'We Confess Jesus Christ'


Pastor Walter Snyder wrote a really good Q&A piece on this subject back in 2005 that I highly recommend that you read since it will help fill in the blanks.

Bottom line? God planned things to happen in just this way because it was only by the death of Jesus Christ that death itself would finally be defeated.

Besides, we know that "a servant is not greater than his master" (John 13:16) and while we are baptized into Christ's baptism, death, and resurrection, in a sense, we're also baptized into His suffering as well.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, when it comes to understanding God's will for us when we suffer, we can speculate, resist, or accept and trust His holy and perfect will, knowing that whatever happens is ultimately for the best (Romans 8:28; Romans 8:38-39).



NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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