He Still Bears the Scars

You suffered for us; we join our sufferings to Yours & trust. You alone can grow a fragrant rose of great beauty from the midst of thorns.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2012       www.holyspiritpress.org     www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”   But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”  26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  (John 20:24-28 NIV)

Human wisdom sends out a constant, subconscious message that if we do everything right, all life with be good.  But this is not reality and when we experience the opposite, it is hard.  When beyond hardship we encounter evil, our world can begin to crumble for God did not create us for evil, but for good and we cannot make sense out of that which we are experiencing.   As more happens which doesn’t seem to make sense, we can be tempted to crash and burn…

Last week as I walked and listened to the Lord, looking for whatever He would have me see, He whispered a powerful reminder.  The wounding Jesus received on the cross is still there. The nail scars on His hands and feet have been part of who He is since the crucifixion.

God has used all that Jesus suffered for extreme good!  (By His wounds we are healed from the sentence of death so that ALL who believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord and His sacrifice for us on the cross will receive the gift of eternal life.)  Yet when Jesus rose from the dead, the wounding He received was not gone. It remained.  Thomas put his finger where the nails had been.

Jesus the King of heaven and earth was wounded for our transgressions.  We need to be reminded that suffering is a part of life.  Often, but not always its source is evil.  It grieves us; it wounds us.  But God will redeem it.  If we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, contemplating His promises (who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross), He will lead us through it, and use everything for eventual good in light of His eternal plan. Eventually the pain from where we have been wounded may be less, or even fade away, but the scars will remain.  They are part of our sacrifice.

If we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us lay aside bitterness and forgive (again and again), without condoning that which was wrong, we will receive a great blessing.  Our sufferings will be joined with those of Christ.  As Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. “ (John 15: 18-19 NIV)  and “22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. “  (Matt. 21:22 NIV)  We may be battle-weary and scarred, but He enables us to dwell in the peace and joy of the ever-present, promised and eternal victory of our King.

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.   (Acts 2:23 NIV)

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  (Isa. 53:5 NIV)

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.  “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.  (1 Peter 3:13-18 NIV)

…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  (Heb. 12:1b-3 NIV)

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.  (A current outreach is The Japan GRIEF Project.)  For information visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.  Thank you for your prayers and support!

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s