Quotes by E. Stanley Jones
If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.
This dark problem of unmerited suffering lights up as we see what happened at the cross. Jesus did not bear the Cross – He used it. The Cross was sin, and He turned it into the healing of sin; the Cross was hate, and He turned it into a manifestation of the love of God. The Cross showed man at his worst, and there Jesus shows God at His redemptive best. The cruelest, darkest word that life ever spoke was at the Cross, and Jesus took all that cruelty and darkness and turned it into pure love and pure light… What a light it sheds upon the tragedy of life to find such a fact at the center of our faith.
Don’t bear trouble, use it. Take whatever happens – justice and injustice, pleasure and pain, compliment and criticism – take it up into the purpose of your life and make something out of it. Turn it into testimony. Don’t explain evil, exploit evil; make it serve you. Just as the Lotus flower reaches down and takes up the mud and mire into the purposes of its life and produces the lotus flower out of them, so you are to take whatever happens and make something out of it.
He cleansed suffering! It was no longer a sign of our being caught in the wheel of existence, as Buddha suggests; no longer the result of our evil deeds of a previous birth, as our Hindu friends tell us; no longer the sign of the displeasure of God, as many of all ages and of all religions have suggested; no longer something to be stoically and doggedly borne. It is more than that. Suffering is the gift of God.