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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Whine (05/23/13)

TITLE: The Man in the Purple Robe
By Shanta Richard


There He stood in the Stone court of Pilate’s palace, wearing a thorn-crown and a purple robe. And Pilate said, “Here he is, the man.” This is the one scene in the Bible that has encouraged and inspired me the most. Despised and disowned, humiliated and scorned, my Savior stood tall and straight, facing His accusers and tormentors. Agonizing pain inflicted by the inhuman torture ripped through every part of His frail body. Blood drops sparkled like rubies on the thorns in His crown. His purple robe was painted red from the blood oozing from His broken body. Yet He stood there majestic and dignified always the Sovereign monarch.

There are times in life when defeat, fear, failure and pain can break a man’s spirit and force him to wallow in self-pity and whine in despair and dismay. Even in the Bible there are stories of great men who at one time whined. Moses whined when God called him to save the Israelites. He had murdered an Egyptian and he was scared to face Pharaoh. He pleaded and whined that he had a speech impediment and could not speak fluently.
In the belly of the fish, Jonah whined pleading with God to save him from certain death. When the angel of God called Gideon a mighty warrior and told him to fight the Philistine army, his whining reply was, “Me, a mighty warrior? Have you forgotten that my clan is the weakest and I that I am the runt of the litter? What makes you think that I can save Israel?” But God changed all these whiners into warriors. Through them He worked out his plans for men’s salvation.

On the other hand there are stories of heroes who have stood the test of trials and temptations, and who have been persecuted and imprisoned, beaten and tormented, humiliated and broken in mind and body. They have persevered in hope and faith, refusing to bow down and whine and whimper. Job, David and Paul are a few of these warriors.

Today there many who are following in the footsteps of that man in a purple robe. Joni Earickson Tada is one of them. As an athletic teenager, she had met with a freak diving accident that left her an incurable quadriplegic. Prolonged and painful therapy coupled with the feeling of hopelessness and uselessness could have produced deep depression and left her whining in dismay. But she learned to smile through her tears and to use the faculties that she still had to sing and proclaim God’s love. All over the world disabled and paralyzed people have been and are being blessed and encouraged by her message of hope and courage.

Nicki Vujicic is another one. He was born with no arms or legs. His response to his predicament is, “No limbs, No limits.” Countless people hear his testimony on TV and over the internet and are encouraged and inspired.

Then there is Dave Roever, who was injured in the Vietnam War. A phosphorous hand grenade had exploded in his hand destroying his face and hands. He did not let that cripple his spirit. Today he is an evangelist sharing his faith with wounded veterans and disabled people.

What makes these heroes to rise above their tragedies and brokenness, like a phoenix over ashes? I imagine that it is the vision of that thorn- crowned Man in a purple robe facing a hostile and unruly mob with awesome dignity that can only be from God,Almighty.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/13
This is an interesting mini-sermon. You make some great points. I have some health issues that leave me reeling in my pain. It's easy to want to wallow, but the strength of many of the people you mentioned gives me the courage to go on. Nice job.
C D Swanson 05/31/13
God never ceases to astound me with His ways, and when there are stories to be told, countless ones, that reflect people of faith, who use their afflcitions as a living testimony to the Lord, it completely overwhelms me. Praise God.

Thank you for this inspiring story...It blessed my heart.

God bless you~
Genia Gilbert06/03/13
This is very thought provoking and well written. Joni Earickson Tada has always made tears come to my eyes as I hear her wonderful testimony and see the sparkle in her eyes. To follow Jesus, as you have stated, means not giving in to self-pity or despair. Good job.
C D Swanson 06/06/13
Congrats! God bless~
Lillian Rhoades 06/06/13
Your article was well constructed with excellent illustrations that were so applicable to the topic.

Congratulations on a great job and your "highly commended" placing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/06/13
Congratulations for ranking 4th in your level and 21 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)