Thursday, February 26, 2009

No pain ... no gain?

I have to agree with the following illustration. So often, I experience difficult life circumstances, sudden turmoil, or emotional pain, and am certain that God has taken a vacation, at least from me. In my head I know that's really not the case, but I'm guessing you understand what I mean. As Christians today in America, the idea that happiness equals godliness is often mistaken for the "Gospel Truth." I guess some folks forgot to talk with Job, or any number of our biblical ancestors. Their quest wasn't for more happiness, but for more of God. Consider the following ...

In his sermon on dealing with trials, Nashville pastor Byron Yawn points out: "For most, especially American Christians, even the remotest suggestion that there could be value in our suffering is viewed as uncaring and insensitive. We have been conditioned by our culture to believe the opposite. A collective attitude that exalts comfort and views personal happiness as the end of all things has blurred our perspective. There is no place for pain in American Christianity. "Because of this distorted perception, we rarely stop to search for the ’hand of God’ in the midst of our trouble. Seeking to understand God’s purposes in our pain is all but foreign. As a result, embracing pain’s role in our sanctification is usually the farthest thing from our minds. As one so aptly put it, ’Most people count it all joy when they escape trials. James said to count it all joy in the midst of trials.’ We need to come to grips with a significant truth: God’s will is not our happiness, but His Glory. The two may, or may not, be directly related."

SOURCE: PreachingNow Vol. 1, No. 20. Tue 9/3/2002.

Just a little something to chew on. May God show Himself to you in mighty ways precious Princess Warriors.

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