Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joy is not the lack of trouble

Joy is not having what we want when we want.

And prosperity "gospel" teaching is simply untrue.  God doesn't bless you if you get it just right.  He is gracious to you and gives you things you don't deserve.  And He is merciful...He doesn't give what we do deserve.

There are times we are in the will of God and are pressed, abandoned, and in hardship.  A cursory look at the life of Paul will remind us of that.  But it is His grace that sufficient for us, even in the times that are so difficult.  It is disturbing that so often we think we must have missed God's call because it's hard or we are not having the "success" we were expecting.

We do not have His perspective.  Only He knows what effect things are having here or in the heavenlies.  We are to keep our eyes on our Jesus, be like Him, and worship Him.  We are to obey Him.  We are not responsible for the harvest.  We are not in charge of the consequences.  That would be us trying to usurp His place.

2 Cor 11: 22-31 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, inperils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Hebrews 12:1-3
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher ofour faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls

All scripture passages taken from

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