Below is a great piece on this by a dear friend and brother of mine who has lost much for the cause of Christ in His life, so he writes from no mere theory...........
Are We Offended in Him?
by W.E. Smith
Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me. (Matthew 11:6 ESV)
The Word of God does take account of the possibility of our being offended with Him. It does not say anywhere that that possibility should never arise and will never arise. The Lord has no where said that we shall never have any occasion for being offended with Him. He HAS indicated that there will be PLENTY of opportunity for so stumbling at Him, falling over Him, coming down because of Him if you like: crashing because of Him. There will be plenty of occasion or opportunity for doing so. He has never said that it will never be so. It is as well for us to recognize that.
The Lord sent no word of rebuke to poor John the Baptist in the prison when he was perilously near to being offended with the Lord because of his situation. The Lord was not hard on John because of his question. He might, had He been another, have said, But John, did you not point Me out as the Lamb of God? Did you not proclaim Me as the One, the Messiah? Havent you preached about Me to multitudes? Have you not made the strongest declarations and affirmations as to what you believed about Me? And here youre asking a fundamental question about Me. John, whats gone wrong with you? No, nothing like that. The Lord knows our frame, that we are dust. And the Lord, Im saying, takes account of this ever present possibility, in our weakness, of being offended with Him. But He does attach to this matter a particular blessedness if we dont crash over the Stumbling Block of His ways with us, AND blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me. (TAS)
Dear ones - the Lord never minces words does He? He never pretends things are different than they really are? There is a spirit-scraping-bone honesty about everything He did and said while on this earth. He desires truth in the inner-most being, deep down, and unlike religious men and the church by and large today, He is satisfied with nothing less.
I dare say we should be wary of any follower of His who never struggles with the Lord, never grapples with Him and His violent move on their life and heart. All is song and happiness, in other words. All is buttoned-up pretense. Then where, I dare say, is the offense of the cross; where is the blood and sweat pouring out from their old man, where is the authentic disciple experience of life rising up out of death in them? Where is the dislocated hip from such a violent encounter with the Lord? Are we offended when we come across a saint who walks with a limp because he has contended heartfully and violently with the Lord? Why is this? Why has this faith become incapable of dealing with things on such a deeper level, such an honest level? Can we grow from milk to meat, from childhood to maturity with anything less I ask? Why are we so quick to judge, when the Word exhorts us against such things?
Why no hard and bitter questions for Him? Like John, we are only men, only so much like Jacob, yes becoming sons of God, but still mostly just men. "Are you really the promised Christ?" "Why do you sleep Lord when the storm rages all around us and we are consumed?"
It is the cross that is so offensive to the flesh in man, and to this modern testimony of the Lord on this earth. They will have none of it it seems. No self-denial, no loss, no affliction, so-self-emptying, no bruising, no narrow way, no sore affliction, no rejection, no betrayal, no false accusations, no hatred from this world and its god. "GET AWAY FROM ME SATAN!" is how our Lord thinks of such a cross-less pursuit of Him. It is offensive to Him and His Father and so it should be to us.
Yet this is the path to the increase of Christ is it not? This is where His life comes from and how it increases in us. "Unless it dies..." says the Word. Not by more study, more church, more religion, more fellowship with always-happy, water-spider christians, dancing on the surface of life but never plunging into the depths. Does even this word offend you? Does it sound wrong or twisted to you? Perhaps we can go around the Red Sea rather than through it. Perhaps we can build a golden bridge across the Jordan, rather than get our ankles wet. Perhaps we can take up a sword or do anything else in our power to keep death and hell from knocking at the door. Perhaps we can slay Saul so that he will stop hunting us down. Perhaps the baker or the butler will put in a good word for us to get us out of this pit.
I know my friends, how hard this is, how deep these things must go. I know how lonely is this path into His very heart, once so many others have abandoned this narrow way back to the Father's love. I know what it is like to want to sing His praises when only hard questions will come out. I know what it is like to be so blinded by tears that you cant see Him in the storm.
The Lord minced no words in such matters and so how can we? Will He find (the) faith on the earth among His own when He returns? No, because the true faith, the true call has become so offensive to so many in this pleasure-loving generation, who associate Him with the "good life", and the affirmation of everything this world has to offer. The modern church has become little more than a country club serving up psycho-social milk and pabulum to babes who are always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. The milk goes down easy and it is warm in their mouths, no chewing required, no effort, nothing to really digest and become flesh in them.
No, no our Lord in His great love never soft-balled anything to us. He never floated any pitches, or sugar-coated just how serious these matters of life and death really are. Modern-day come as you are, stay as you are, leave as you are preachers do certainly, but our Great Teacher never need, and never will.
My encouragement to all those presently striving with the Lord is don't let go of Him until He blesses (wounds) you. Don't let go. Cling to Him out of a tenacious love. Don't lose heart. Don't listen to those who try to convince you that you are "of little faith", or somehow outside of His will and blessing. Real faith, the faith that will endure until the end, is a faith that is forged in these private struggles with Him and His way. Don't give up on Him, don't relinquish your grip on his heart. Love so often, if it is really a love that has gone down deep into a man - it must be tried and tested. It must yearn for Him, it must strive to know Him, all of Him, all that He is and has gone through for us. It is a love than knows death and silence and confusion - yet it clings to Him, to even a piece of His clothing if that is all you can get hold of.
And stop pretending with one another. Stop holding back your questions and difficulties. The only real fellowship in the spirit we can hope to have is the fellowship in His sufferings. As you see the day approaching (and my friends, it is approaching) encourage others to endure, those who are dying daily to the things of the old man and this world. Hold one another, embrace each others pain and confusion, weep with one another, and let your tears run down together to wash the feet of our Lord. As you watch painfully as beloved brothers and sisters are being emptied and poured out to all the things of the flesh and the world, weep with them, pray with them, ache with them, join with them, minister strength to them as another member of the body. Don't preach! Don't judge! Don't try to explain it all away! Don't be like Job's well-meaning but useless friends! It is, after all, just the Cross doing what it is intended to do. It is the Word becoming flesh in that man before your very eyes. It is newness of life rising up out of death, it is, in the end - the only way home.
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!"
If this way, and truth and life offends you, then turn back now - stop pretending with yourself, God and everyone else! For when the final shaking comes, all that is false, all that is loosely attached, will fall away.
I encourage all of you, and love you and I do understand, truly I do