Thursday, February 1, 2018

Some feel that if they become a Christian, nothing bad will happen to them.  If some crisis does hit, they believe God has failed them, or they have failed God!

Most find it easier to worship God when everything is going well.  Solid job, great salary, nice home, outstanding spouse, exceptional children, great parents, siblings and in-laws, wonderful church family, memorable vacations, the best cars, and things always being available.  God is good!  Life is great.  God blesses the faithful with health and wealth!

Everything is great until the proverbial rug is pulled.  Then the cries of desperation are heard.  Blaming God begins!  Why has God done this to me?  Will we abandon all hope and chose skepticism?

Satan is always looking for a few good men, women, and children to pull their rug (Job 1:7)!  God asked Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” (V.8).  Notice God’s accolades for Job were, 1) blameless, 2) upright, 3) fears God, and 4) shuns evil!   Someone with those qualifications should never be a candidate for a rug pulling, right?  Job lost everything, except his wife!  Usually wives are helpful.  The helpful advice this one gave was, “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9).  His friends weren’t much better.  They advised him to repent because these disasters were his fault.   Sometimes that’s true, but in Job’s case it wasn’t.  It may not be in your case either.

If God was supposed to protect Israel under the Old Testament, why did they build walls around their cities?  Why did they have an armory for their shields and other instruments of war?  In the New Testament, why was Saul of Tarsus allowed to arrest and drag Christians from their homes?  Why did James die at the hands of Herod?  Why was Paul preparing himself for death at the hands of the Romans?  Was God a failure in fulfilling that protection?  Why does He allow bad things to happen to His children?  Why did He allow the Roman emperor Nero to use Christians as torches to light the city streets?  Why did Rome use Christians to delight Roman audiences in the Coliseum?  Did God promise, “Become a Christian and nothing bad will happen to you?” No.  Jesus promised rejection, persecution, being hated, and even death as our reward for having faith.

Bad things will test that faith.  We may falter as Peter did (Matthew 26:74).  Later fear knocked his faith out from under him (Galatians 2:11-13).  Yet, Jesus did not give up on Peter.  He does not give up on us.  Even when persecution comes, and we stumble, God does not turn His back on us.  We are learning trust!  Trust in God.  Jerusalem put her trust in her walls, armory, and an alliance with Egypt, but discovered it was misplaced!  When our rug is pulled from under us, the question arises, “Who will I trust?”

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV).