Monday, November 23, 2015

It could someday arrive at your address, and what will you do?

Trouble, pain, difficulties, sorrow, or suffering.. in this fallen world some of it could actually arrive on your doorstep. Sure I hope none ever does. I want the best to instead, but sadly it probably will. And how will you respond?
You can get ready for it in advance, and if you’re wise you will. 
Paul says, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Read Romans 8:18-29).
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Unlike what false teachers teach (even within some so called christian churches), believers also suffer. Did ya know that more Christians have been martyred in the last 35–50 years (thousands have been murdered–it’s not a skin issue, it’s a sin issue) than were killed in all the persecutions of early Rome. It’s true, see Voice of the Martyr publications. 
Some get mad at God knowing He is able to deliver them or their loved ones from suffering and He doesn’t always.   
“..our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”Daniel 3:17-18 
After being attacked ..and sadly many people have been.. a spiritual believer will turn to and get closer to God knowin’ that He is good. Yes, they will draw closer, but a carnal believer or a nonbeliever will turn against Him ..viewing Him as mean, untrustworthy, mean.. even though God didn’t do the attacking the hurting person will sadly distance themselves from the Lord. So sad. When hurting or blessed, move closer to the Lord. It’ll long-term go good on you. 
I’d say some ninety percent or so of people that go away from God do so because of what they feel is unanswered prayer. But Christians are called to suffer at times and Christians die–and they die differently. We get answer–a “no”, a “wait,’ or a “yes” from God–those are still answers and God does know best. His plan for you is good and His timing is flawless. 
What the false prophets are teaching out there on “prayer” unfortunately gives many people wrong expectations that lead to disillusionment, disappointments and some get really bitter and angry at God. God doesn’t kill em with a lightening bolt, but get’s the blame for what they charge, Chaa-Ching!, say an do. God is merciful and gives so many of us sinner.. time to repent (to turn to away from the wrong-doin’s to Him). Time to believe.
God can work it for good and He does. I think that whenever God allows one person to get the big “C”.. Cancer, He pretty much allows a Christian to get Cancer too so that the world can see the difference in how they suffer or die, and Christians do suffer differently. They die differently–God gives grace for it. We can still thank Him for the good things He’s given even while suffering. The later wouldn’t even be here at all if man hadn’t sinned here, so it ain’t God’s fault. Never has been.    
I heard one grateful believer say, “Cancer can focus the mind–it clarifies your values. You can sorta see the glories of heaven and the presence of God in new ways. Can seem to see better.” 
God cares, but He calls His people to suffer at times. Not sure of all the reasons why. Did you know that the Good News and biblical Christianity would have never have spread if God didn’t allow His people to hurt. 
The Church historian named Ciprian said that, “Christianity would have never encompassed and conquered North Africa if it were not for the plagues.”God allowed the plagues and then brought blessing there. And the reason that Christians die differently than the pagans die.. was made evident. The pagans said, “It’s as if they carry their dead in triumph. Where are you getting all this hope from? We want what you have. this faith always leads to ultimate triumph.”
Remember how John the Baptizer had some doubts near the end.. and was disappointed. He was put in prison and then lost his head. God gave him grace to get through it. What a great no-compromise guy. All his friends mourned a lot, but then they had a new resolve inside to live all-out for the Lord that John lived for. And God can give you His strong grace as well. 
There’s a triumph with unanswered prayer–when you seem to get a no or a wait answer from God yet keep getting closer to Him just the same. Eternity is real long and there are only two places to end up in.  
What kind of outlook and attitude should we believers exhibit when there’s pain or when other things suddenly go south ..as they sometimes do? (Read more...)
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