We are called to suffer. This is the difficult thing about Thin Within–gosh, the difficult thing about following Christ at all!

At first (the freedom phase) we are thrilled that we are free to eat whatever we wish between the parameters of hunger and satisfaction. We delight in what God teaches us about freedom in Christ.

Then, like many of the ladies in my live class discovered this past week…something happens. After three weeks or so, the honeymoon is over. A crashing halt, in fact. We begin to feel…angry, dissatisfied, resentful possibly…The truth is, we are called to forsake sin. We are called to give thanks in all circumstances. Contentment is our calling.

Whenever we deny ourselves what we *want*…what we are feeling a lure or urge to do, say, eat, think, feel, it is suffering. (Ok, some may see that as a wimpy definition of suffering, but if we didn’t think it was so hard we would say no to sin all the time!)

If we just give in to our urges and impulses, it seems like life would seem so much “easier.” But God says in Titus that the same grace that brings salvation teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions.

On this path, we HAVE to HAVE to HAVE to…say NO to temptations, to what our flesh wants. We have to make costly choices. We have to be willing to deny ourselves.

I hate to say it…I hate that it is true! But the fact is, we are called to live a crucified life. In this way we share in the fellowship of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. We count everything else as rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.

He laid down his life. He shed His blood. He forsook His kingship in Heaven to take on the flesh of man that He might share in our flesh and blood and experience humanity…ultimately dying as a servant for sinful man.

I find the following passage HUGELY convicting…

Hebrews 12:1-4 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. [Emphasis added.]

I complain so readily…and yet *I* haven’t yet resisted to the point of shedding my blood…not even close. Wow…When I think of how much I have grumbled during the past two weeks, how apathetic I have been toward sin, how I have allowed food to regain more and more focus in my life…how I have not been vigilant against the enemy. Gosh…I have an ENEMY who has a will for my life. His will for my life is to regain all my weight, experience defeat, failure, and become impotent in my testimony. Satan’s will is that I be a blight on the name of Christ. I WILL CHOOSE TO REJECT SATAN’s WILL FOR MY LIFE. I am renewing my commitment to reject that will…RIGHT now. I want to ask you who read this…will you join me? Will you reject the Enemy’s will for your life? Will you embrace God’s will?

He who knew no sin became sin for us…and suffered accordingly…we are called to identify with him in his death…and say no to our flesh…Oh, this penetrates my heart. Will you join me?

He waits. He receives us! There is NO condemnation in Christ!!!! If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness!

Let us arise from the dust. Let us let him trade our sorrows for his joy!