Thursday, January 26, 2006

Aliens...Because of Faith

One of the more common themes that arise out of horrific events in life is the “how could a loving God allow that to happen” syndrome. I usually find it interesting that many of folks who take this position are the same people who claim to have no belief in or regard for God either directly (atheists) or by behavior (the uncommitted fence-sitters). The latter group intellectually believe in the all powerful God, but refuse to bend their knees to Him…which will inevitably occur at a later point either in worship or in unimaginable fear - prior to their final judgment: Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NLT).

The most disheartening group however who also ascribe to the “how could God…” syndrome described above are Christians, who at least have been exposed to the Word of God. These are the folks who you would think should at least know better. However, at the sign of trouble or calamity (no matter how small or great), they are quick to forget God’s faithfulness at keeping them breathing every minute of every day. A section of scripture that I recently studied I think would be very illuminating for all who at one time or another may fall into this valley of doubt. It comes from the great “Faith” chapter in the New Testament (Hebrews 11): All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. By faith…others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated, the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:13 & 35-40 truncated NIV)

It is clear by the above scripture that God never promised Christians a “bed of roses”. In fact it is obvious that for some of His people, there will be incredible difficulties and loss. However, God is also constantly telling us – if you read His Word – not to seek your comforts and rewards in this world; “aliens and strangers in this world” He calls us. If you are a Christian and have made a comfortable life free of many pains and hardships, then more power to you. But never forget to thank Him for whatever you have. But if as a Christian all you seem to face is difficulties, disappointments and disillusions, don’t despair: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV).

I would strongly recommend reading Hebrews 11 & 12, to allow God to encourage you greatly if the struggles described in this post is something that you may be living through. May God Bless you tremendously.

3 comments:

Min. Lisa said...

Excellent truth! I believe it is insulting to GOD when we as believers (NOT new converts or weaker Christians) but the ones that confess to be "Born Again believers in Jesus Christ, Baptized in the Holy Spirit and so on..." who face hardships and blame God. They see calamity in the world and begin to blame, question and even become enraged that "GOD COULD DO THIS". Most often Christians who fall into this are forgetting that GOD IS SOVEREIGN AND HOLY -- HE WILL DEAL WITH SIN! It will not be left not dealt with. But HE is also a FORGIVING AND MERCIFUL GOD and as such, regardless of what we may face in our lives we have the blessed assurance of His love, mercy and our salvation through Jesus Christ! I'm blessed to know that GOD IS FOR ME AND NOT AGAINST ME! He gave us that hope in Jeremiah 29:10-11. But He also is a GOD that requires obedience Job 36:10. He told us in His word that "obedience is better than sacrifice". He also told us that "without faith it's impossible to please Him and those who come to Him must come by faith and believe that He is God and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him". Often people try to humanize God if you will, thereby not reverencing His complete authority. A deeper understanding of who He is is necessary in the American Church today and that comes through the desire to seek Him in worship, study of the Word and through yielding to the Holy Spirit and TRUSTING that His ways are perfect even in the midst of trials, tribulations and hardships. "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until that day" Hallelujah!

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answer-man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

A God who sends people to Hell?