At the Cross

   I recently had someone write to me that was concerned that God was only a God to certain people because she had a tough life yet others seemed to have everything and be care-free. It had caused her to lose faith in God and she was desperate. I understand that situation, and I also understand the reasons many are drawn to this conclusion for the same reason. Many people are preaching a false gospel that Christians will be blessed with material things and a worry free life and it draws them in. Then, when it doesn't work out except for the people whose pockets are being lined because they are thieves, people turn their backs on God who never promised that anyway. Let me explain.

   First, individually, anybody that tells you why God either allows or does not allow something to happen in your life is speaking on something they don't know. We have no clue what God's thoughts and ways are, what we do know, is that even when things look dim for us, He is still on the throne, and He is still in control. What I am saying is, if I told you, "Hey, you are going through a sickness right now because God is going to build you up and make you a CEO of a company afterwards"... well, I would be out of line. What I do know is everything happens for a reason, because NOTHING happens outside of God's will, whether we understand it or not.

 

Matthew 5:45

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

   God blesses those who are just and those who are unjust, so you can't measure your self-worth nor the love of God based on material things. Faith is built on something we take God's word at, without seeing. When Thomas demanded to touch Jesus' wounds so that he would believe, Jesus replied that those who do not see yet still believed were blessed. If the sign of being a Christian, and the benefit thereof was material things of this world and a care-free life and all others lived awful lives, then it would not take faith, nor true love of God for people to run to Him. People would come to God by the masses, but it wouldn't be true love, it wouldn't be for a relationship with God, which is what He wants. It would be to make God your sugar-daddy, a cosmic blessing machine. Christians were NEVER promised a carefree life with material things and no worries.

 

John 15:20

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

 

Paul tells us...

 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

 

   There are many more verses like these. The Apostles would not have written these things if becoming one of God's children meant life was grand and you got everything you wanted. The problem is people speaking on prosperity, and though it is true, many have had much wealth in their lives (David, Solomon, Abraham, Job, etc) what they had was used for God's glory and not self gratification. Not saying they did not enjoy things, but rather that they were instruments of God. Surely if Christians were supposed to be wealthy and have everything go their way, the Disciples would have been rich beyond measure. But they were, as are all Christians, if the focus is in the right place. The stuff we stack up here in this world to enjoy is worthless.

 

1 Timothy 6:7

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

 

   If instantly everything in the world belonged to you and was at your disposal, wouldn't that be great? No more bills, brand new everything, a life of leisure, etc. But it would be worthless when you died.

 

Matthew 6:19-21

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

   See, it's a heart problem. Christ told us we cannot serve both God and mammon. You'll love one and hate the other. When we are after material things and a trouble-free life, we are using God, and when it doesn't work out, we blame Him, for something He never promised anyway, and then hate Him. Humans are brats. If we don't get our way, we look for someone else to blame, and when we get something, we still want more. Our focus is wrong. If you live 100 years, that is just a blip compared to eternity, and Jesus tried to shift our focus. God never promised us everything we wanted, He promised us what we NEED in our life, and often what we think we need is just a want anyway. Let's look at another section of scripture...

 

Matthew 5:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

 

   If our focus is on building His Kingdom, instead of our own self made kingdom on earth in our mind of how we think things should be, life looks much different.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

   When we go though troubles, we should be looking for the blessing coming out of it. What blessing? The lesson learned. What it is God is preparing us for. What it is we can use the situation for to glorify God and not ourselves. It's not about us, it's about Him. None of us deserved Salvation, but He provided it anyway, so we certainly don't deserve anything else beyond that, though He still gives things to us here on earth. Does it get distributed equally? No, because it's worldly stuff that really does not matter. Fair? Yes it is, and stop crying out for fairness about those things. You want fair? Fair and just would be that we were all eternally separated from God. Yet, God is the author of love, compassion, mercy, and grace and provided a way through Jesus. Be careful if you want fair…you really wouldn’t like the outcome. The prosperity pimps like TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen, etc would have you believe that your best life should be now. Liars! False gospel teachers! Jesus said to prepare for the life AFTER this one. THAT is what is important.

 

   If we are willing, each time we go through something and get through it, God can use us. Someone comes along going through the same thing, and you can help them and give glory to God. That's why we all have so many different life experiences and not all are cookie-cutter rich and care-free lives. How could we relate as well as witness to a lost world out there? If God's love for us is based on a trouble free life and how much we have, then it would seem He despises those in third world countries that don't have anywhere near the things we have. And that's just not the case. God's love for us is measured at the Cross and nowhere else.

In His Grace,

       Mike Harris Jr.

 

 

 

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