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January 18, 2023

Praising Our Father in the Midst of Difficulties (1)

Matt 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I extol You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. (26) Yes, Father, for thus it has been well-pleasing in Your sight.

[Part 1 of 3] Matthew 11 speaks of the Lord's experience and attitude on earth...The entire chapter is about heartbreaking matters. First, John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask the Lord Jesus: "Are You the Coming One, or should we expect another?" (v. 3). This meant: "Are You the Messiah? Are You the Christ?" The forerunner of Jesus was now in doubt as to whether He was the Coming One! According to man, this was a very disappointing response. John the Baptist came neither eating nor drinking, and men said that he had a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking; He came among men, communicated with men, and desired to save men. No one should have had anything to say about Him, yet they said that He was a gluttonous man and a drunkard [v. 19]. They could always find something [critical] to say about Him. The Lord Jesus was criticized as being a gluttonous man and a drunkard. He performed many miracles in Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Chorazin. But in the end, the people of Capernaum would not receive Him, and the men of Chorazin and Bethsaida rejected Him [20-24]. Everything in Matthew 11 shows us the Lord as One who was distrusted, reviled, and rejected. Brothers and sisters, what would you do if you encountered such a series of difficulties in your life, your work, or among your acquaintances? You would inevitably feel heartbroken and discouraged; you would feel that everything was over. But our Lord was different. In verse 25, "At that time" means at that very moment. Under these circumstances and at the moment that He was doubted, reviled, and rejected, our Lord was able to say, "I extol You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth." He had no bitterness, hatred, indignation, or wrath in His heart, and He could say, "I extol You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth." The time to extol Him is not when we gain something. The time to extol Him is not when our work is prosperous and we are welcomed and admired by many. We should extol Him when we are being doubted, reviled, and rejected for no reason. Brothers and sisters, can you extol Him at such times? (Continued tomorrow)

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, General Messages, Vol. 37, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, pp.202-203. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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CWWN - vol. 36 (Central Messages)