Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Fall 1984
A Secret in Suffering
Betsy McKelvey
Pinecrest Graduate

“Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4)

In our walk of faith, I have come to realize that there is a divine and glorious secret behind our suffering. This secret has little to do with our individual trials and tribulations, except as these testings serve to prepare us for our acceptance of the burden of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. We recognize that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. However, He is also the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world. If it is truly our hearts desire to be conformed to the image of Christ, we must come to understand that we are to identify with, and become like Jesus, the Lamb who suffered humility, shame, and reproach for the sake of righteousness.

As we follow the Lord, we must be careful not to be deceived into thinking that the furnace which was heated seven times is only for an elect few who have the strength, grace, and courage to pay the price. This kind of thinking is in error. This error is exposed when we reflect upon the life changing drama that took place 2,000 years ago. I refer to the magnificent God-ordained miracle of Christ that was divinely instituted to change the destructive course of mankind.

On the dreary, black, ominous day the victorious nature of the King of Kings was submerged and yielded obediently to the lowly and docile nature of the Lamb who did not resist death upon the cross. There upon the tree, He surrendered and found Himself alone, battered, naked, and stripped of all pride and self respect (Isa. 53:7).

I have come to learn that the “fellowship” of His sufferings is an intricate and very necessary part of the process of perfection in Christ. The Word of God in Romans 8:16-20, reaffirms this necessity: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us . . .For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.”

The word hope indicates a trust or confidence in security with a guarantee. Being subject to vanity indicates that we are subject to error, folly or uselessness, and given to vain things that lead us away from our Lord. Therefore, suffering is not a choice, but rather the inescapable result of vanity, folly, and error. But God has given us a confidence, a hopeful security with a guarantee. This hopeful security with a guarantee is Jesus Christ, who made a way for sinful man to come unto the Father by way of the cross.

Can we see that there is no substitute for suffering, nor can suffering be tossed aside as something left to our individual choice? As a follower of Christ we cannot choose to remain comfortable, while a handful of others suffer for the cause of Christ. This is consistent with the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”

In any denial of self, as we consider the cost of coming after Christ, suffering must be considered a significant part of the process. The third aspect to the cross life, “Follow Me” completes the cycle of suffering, and brings us to the indisputable fact that “pain is gain” in the kingdom realm. God’s high regard for the Lamb nature is best expressed in Revelation 5:9, 13: “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood . . . Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Through the wisdom of God, our suffering is not a form of penance which is inflicted upon us. The secret of suffering is this: our suffering is part of a process whereby God begins to birth in us His burden for mankind. As suffering silences the self in us, we are free to decrease, that He might increase. After this process of self denial is well underway, it is then in the resulting silence that we begin to hear the agonizing cry of God for a people who will serve Him, follow Him, love Him, and carry His burden.

Christ Himself calls us to accept this burden as we read in Matthew 11:29, 30: “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” A yoke is a cross bar or band used in a servile condition to manage a burden. Therefore, He provides the means for us to manage the burden which He requests us to bear.

If one would follow Christ, there must be a conscious acceptance of the process of suffering. However, this yoke is a profitable yoke, a good and agreeable yoke, brought to a heart that longs to know and experience the will of the Father. May God grant His church the wisdom, grace, and courage to listen to the silence of God. Perhaps then we will hear the voice of the Father calling us into His service. “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, who shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8).


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