I always want to rush through pain, I want my suffering gone, rightly so, truth is – bad circumstances feel, yes, b-a-d, especially when comfort is my over-riding goal.
I want my heaven here, on earth, now, those “last day” things I read in the book of Revelation about “no sorrow, no crying, no pain” (Rev 21:4) – I want them in the present, today, but has the Bible promised me that?
The Jesus I claim to follow was a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,” (Is 53:3) somebody in my century is going to call that “negative thinking” – ‘watch it’ they will say, your words create, but isn’t God the ultimate creator?
If Jesus “learnt obedience through the things he suffered”(Heb 5:8). Why do I think I should be different?
Take it to Paul, why would such a great missionary die the way he did, why would he go “cold and naked, without food” (2 Cor. 11:27) – wasn’t Jesus his supplier? Hadn’t they met on Damascus road, yet he talked of going naked, cold at sea? (2 Cor. 11:27)
Don’t tell that to the prosperity preacher down-town, ‘God has created us for greatness, for excellence, we should excel and prosper and build and buy and trade and perform and reign, so that we may become what he created us to be.’ – great!
But wait, preacher, wait, God created us for our own greatness, or to display his? Did you just skip the fall in Genesis 3, when Adam’s sin ruined everything?
‘Well..’ he’ll continue, ‘..but our greatness should display his’ – and what should the end be, his glory, or ours?
Next – ‘As a Christian, I am not supposed to get sick, by his stripes we are healed’ well you are not the first Christian since history, there are generations of faithful Christians in intensive care as I type this, others buried six feet under, sadly, others long dead, knocked out by cancer, diabetes, AIDS, Jesus told them to be more afraid of “who kills the soul not the body.” (Matt 10:28) – Didn’t he?
Paul knew that, no wonder he lays no hands on Timothy to cure his stomach problems (1Tim 5:23), he could have – you know – but he didn’t.
God heals for sure, on his own terms though, like with Hezekiah, he may use medicine, or like Apostle Paul, he may just let “the thorn” be. (2 Cor 12:7) For his glory, you know.
Actually, a thousand more caskets containing Christians, globally, will be lowered by the time we go to bed tonight. Does that mean they lacked enough faith?
Come on, Prosperity preacher, Come on!