10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
I'll be totally honest with you. When I read this resolution I thought "Oh no! What on earth am I gonna write for this one?!" I tried to think of a million reasons I could come up with for "accidentally" jumping to resolution number 11, or just blogging on my bathroom plans, or posting pictures of Ava... or just changing my "Monday Resolutions" posts. Everything inside me cried out "I don't want to blog on this!" Why? A number of reasons... firstly, I know a lot of you reading this blog aren't christians, and I don't want talk of martyrdom and hell to send you running from what I believe is genuinely the best news you'll ever hear. Secondly, because I'm chicken and I don't want people to judge me, or think I'm some bible-bashing fundamentalist. Ultimately, it's because I care more about what you guys think about me than I do about what God thinks of me... and that's my issue.
Hell, in the Bible, is not meant to be scaremongering... it's not a place God delights in, or enjoys, or wants people to go to. The Bible says its where God isn't present... everything fundamentally good about God - justice, goodness, mercy, love... that is absent. And the whole of the Bible is all about God's massive rescue plan, to provide an escape route so that people don't have to go there! But ultimately, he gives each of us a choice... to accept the escape route (Jesus!) or to decide we actually don't want God in our lives... we'd rather live life our own way... and that's what hell is. Ultimately, it's God saying "Here you are then... have it your way" and in Genesis 6 we see that people's rebellion literally breaks God's heart. He "hands us over" (Romans 1) to what we want... and all its consequences.
So I haven't really blogged on what this resolution is all about. I think, again, its Edwards trying to put present suffering and pain into perspective and seeing that any earthly pain we experience - sickness, grief, death, suffering... is temporary and cannot compare with the pain of those who reject God, and that God has done everything it took (to the extent of allowing his own son to die on our behalf) to make it possible for people to be able to be in heaven, where there is no sickness, no mourning, no crying and no death... he literally longs for people to take the escape route.
So, no, I don't enjoy blogging on this topic... but God reveals it to us because he wants so much for us to jump onboard the rescue plan and instead see all that life was meant to be... in Him.