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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Did I Do Something Wrong if Everything in Life Is Not Right?

I hear the stories that come from behind pulpits: "Give you life to Jesus and everything will be great from here on out!" Is that true? Is that even biblical?

Sermons are set around winning, being champions, getting your marriage in the right place, your family following the Lord, your children growing up right, being financially fit and a host of other topics that seem to say that everything will be great if these steps are taken. Doesn't that leave a lot of people wondering what went wrong when they swallow these teachings hook-line-and-sinker only to find that things are not going so well.

Sometimes you can do everything right and the wrong thing still happens. (To make matters worse, you can look at someone who has done everything wrong and see the right thing happening though I will admit not as much.) This reality eventually hits us. The rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous. Bad things happen to the good and the bad people. Bad children come from good and bad homes. The only thing we have going for us in these sermons is that the odds are in favor of those who follow their teachings. It does not totally ensure success.

But sometimes the bad things happen to us even when we have been completely obedient to the Lord. Thinking otherwise makes us believe that we have done something wrong when we haven't. It makes us define the most minute offense as a great offense. It makes us rethink our lives until we have no peace.
So, do what the Bible says with all your heart but know that this does not mean that everything will turn out wonderfully for you. You may still have days and nights when people will oppose you, bills will overwhelm you and your health gets progressively worse.

Know that God is aware and caring even when those bad things come your way. Know that you may have been totally devoted to Him without the need of confessing some great transgression. Know that He has a plan for it all. Know that He will carry you through it all.

Sometimes you have done everything right when things go wrong. Stop beating yourself up when you know you have been obedient. It is merely God's test to see if you will continue to be obedient even when your obedience fails to produce your success.

I bet the Apostle Paul understood this. Who else suffered such hardship for his faithfulness?

 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (ESV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

1 comment:

Anthony Chia, high.expressions said...

It is upsetting that preachers are giving the folks what they want to hear, and NOT what the Word says. It is even more upsetting to know that there are increasingly more and more preachers NOT subscribing to, doctrines and theologies should be derived solely from the Word, and the same must NOT be derived from experiences. Our experiences testify to the doctrines and theologies from the Word, and must be used as such. And it is equally upsetting to see preachers NOT distinguishing between true occurrences and truth. A couple of true occurrences do NOT make a truth. Using selected true occurrences to allege a truth, is a mishandling of the Word and truths of God.

What you have highlighted is symptomatic of the 3 failures above, if not more. It is sad. It is right for you to point such out to alert the wider audience, and if it is within your purview, you should intervene. May every believer be like the Bereans:

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11 (NIV84)

Anthony Chia, high.expressions