The Beautiful Irony of Our Faith

March 5, 2009 | 8 comments

It has been said that ours is an “Upside-Down Kingdom,” where we serve a God who came to Earth as a baby, a King who bore a crown of thorns, a Kingdom where the first are last, and the last are first.

Such irony is this, our faith.

At Bible study Monday night, our teacher, Beth Moore, pointed out this Truth during a video segment. Beth noted that some of the greatest moments of our faith are built on reversals, where a sudden turn of events changes everything. Where the unexpected event turns everything … upside down.

I was awestruck by her statement, and went on a treasure hunt through my Bible, turning up beautiful ironies on which our faith is built. Check these out:

Jesus, who had no sin, became sin for us.

The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone of our faith.

Jesus was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that through his poverty, we would be rich.

His power is made perfect in our weakness.

Are you with me? Here’s more:

We deserve justice. We receive grace.

Even in our sufferings
, we find joy.

He gives strength to the weary
, yet humbles the proud.

The last shall be first
. The first shall be last.

Beautiful irony.

We receive beauty from ashes,

the oil of gladness
, instead of mourning,

a garment of praise
, instead of despair.

Our faith draws down from people like these: common, ordinary fishermen, rather than earthly rulers, and a man like Paul, who traded seats from persecutor to persecuted.

We have been crucified with Christ, yet we live.

But it is not we who live; it is Christ who lives within us.

We don’t live to die.
We die, so we might live.

Our victory comes not in battle
, but in complete surrender.

God’s Word is a gold-mine. Man cannot make this stuff up. In the words of the late songwriter Rich Mullins, I share a final irony:

“I did not make it, no it is making me. It is the very truth of God, and not the invention of any man.”

Friends, would you share your ironic treasures with me? Has God done a complete reversal in you, or around you? Would you be willing to share a Biblical treasure of beautiful irony?

Because of Jesus …

by | March 5, 2009 | 8 comments


  1. mom2six

    My favorite verse (hence my blog title), “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3) The darkness indicated in this verse means literally dark or obsure, secret, unknown. In the dark places of our lives, God gives us treasures, riches in the secret places. This verse has pushed me to look for the treasures, the riches, God has for me when I feel that things are dark.

  2. sharilyn

    love this… very good stuff, jennifer. i love seeing the mysteries of God and the way He works so opposite of how we think He should… 🙂

  3. isumom

    We deserve justice. We receive grace.

    My favorite verse in the entire Bible. I gave my mother-in-law a plaque that says “Grace is when God gives us what we want rather than what we deserve”.

  4. patty

    My hardest irony to live with: Dieing to live. God bless you, friend.

  5. Billy Coffey

    “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”

    I Love that verse. Lots of loss in this world right now, yet sometimes He allows us to lose much so we may find more.

    What a wonderful post.

  6. janelle

    On the cuffs of a trip where I was going to serve this is perfect; because I was served and blessed in that upside-down way.

    Thank you for these beautiful reminders.

  7. Lyla Lindquist

    My favorite? (Well, along with all the others . . .) The dad in Mark 9.

    “I do believe,” he cried out. “Help me overcome my unbelief!”

    My same cry, every single day.

  8. Jennifer

    Oh, you’ve all blessed me so much here with your insights.

    Lyla, Mark 9 is my “life verse.” How could I have forgotten that one?

    Thank you all for sharing.


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