Monday, June 6, 2016

Adversity - Part 1 - Why?

Matthew 5:45For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

I read that perhaps nothing causes more people to stumble on their faith than the problem of suffering. I’ve had people in my life that have asked me, Why do innocent little children contract cancer and other conditions that negatively affect their quality of life or take their life? Why is there terrorism in the world? Why do natural disasters take lives? Et cetera. We all face suffering, tragedy, or injustice at one time or another in our life because we live in a fallen world.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The wife and I went to the movie’s last night to see the American Christian film “Miracles From Heaven”, which recounts the true story of 10-year-old girl named Anna Beam, who had a near-death experience and was later miraculously cured from an incurable disease after falling three stories into the hollow of a tree. Anna recalled her out-of-body experience where she went to heaven and talked to God, who sent her back to Earth immediately and completely healed. But, a major plot of this true story was the struggling, lose and restoring of her mother’s Christian faith due to her daughter’s declining condition and chronic pain, as she sought and fought for every physical wayspossible to save her. “Why lord?” “Why?” “Why?” Have those words ever echoed through the chambers of your soul? But, is the Lord teaching us something in the trial?

Mark 10:23-26 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”


First, we naturally have the tendency to thinking that God rewards the “righteous” with health, wealth and prosperity, while the “unrighteous” struggle and fail. It would seem to be what we would do. The Apostles thought this of the “rich young ruler” and were shockingly surprised. The Lord knows that if His people were exempt from all adversity, trouble and pain, and were rich, healthy and happy, it would destroy faith and character. Christianity would degenerate into a mere commercial venture … like the children say: “if you do this and that for me God, I’ll be your best friend”. Secondly, we also tend to think that we “pull the stings” and do the work ourselves, without God. This leads to a prideful false independence, seating ourselves on the throne of our life and sadly forgetting Sovereign God. Who save us, pulling us out of slavery to sin, spiritual death and eternal damnation?  


Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” 

Let's countinue this thought on "Adversity" in life on the next post.
Blessings, in Christ, Brian


Karen said...

Thoughtful post. I had so many Christians say harsh things to me when my son was terminally ill and died at age 3. So much confusion and error on the subject of suffering and healing.

Brian Ray Todd said...

This is surely one of the toughest subjects because we desire that life of health, happiness and prosperity. This is not Heaven here on this side of eternity and we do not understand God's larger plan completely, but holding strong to our faith that the Lord is in control and we are on our way to be with Him forever were suffering does not exist will produce in us "the peace that surpasses all understanding" through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Great comment and blessings to you Karen.