Monday, June 22, 2015

Only A Prayer Away!

It's hard when bad things happen in the world, especially to us that are believers in God. The world wants answers and so do we. We want to know Why God Why? Where Is God When It Hurts? If God is a God of Love, why doesn't He do something? If God can do anything, why does evil still happen in the world? Can't He stop it? Why do good people have to suffer? Why do believers in Jesus need to suffer? How can this be happening to me?

So what do we say? The world even more now than every before is crying out for answers to these questions "Why?" Many people are asking the right questions, but too few Christians are providing them with answers because either they're not being taught or they're not listening.

Look at what is happening all over the world. In fact, it's hard for me to wrap my head around everything I've seen in just the last couple of years, from school, mall, movie and church shootings, to imminent threats of war on the horizon from Iran, Iraq and even Russia, to the persecution of Christians and beheadings in the Middle East, even to the US rejecting Israel's right to be recognized as a nation or as one of our allies. For the first time, since Israel has become a recognized nation in 1948, we, as a nation are walking away.

We must remember, we follow a God who defend us with the ultimate defense. We don't "join" a church, we come willingly. There is no membership requirements to gain entrance. Our God saves!!!

Our God doesn't nee us to riot, to besiege, to defend to the death, the Bible, Jesus or God!

Our God is alive!!! He takes care of Himself!!!

Our God is not threatened when someone mocks Him or Christianity or puts forth a picture of Jesus covered in human waste and declares it art! Christians don't storm embassies or behead people because Jesus' name was used in a curse word. We don't need to defend our God!

If we need to defend our God, then we got the wrong God!

Our God is enthroned and He is able and one day, by His power and His own might, He will settle the score. Until that time, we are Christians, living in a world that is hostile to Christ, towards the gospel and towards us!!!

So Where is God When It Hurts? If He is truly a God of Love, why doesn't He do something to stop all the evil in the world? 

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 ~ "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (NIV).

God is enthroned in Heaven as we can see from verse 3 above. He knows where trouble is in verse 4. He shows us in every single situation we face, sometimes we know Him the most through our greatest difficulty. He is where it hurts. He is everywhere in any pain dealing with issues. If you have trouble, Jesus is there in the midst of it with you.

So why do we have a hard time seeing God in the midst of our trouble?

Have you ever misplaced or lost something, like your keys and searched everywhere for them, becoming more frantic and stressed out the more you look, only to realize you had them all along in your hand or someone points them out literally right in front of you?

Our emotions rise up so quick when we are in the midst of suffering, we are often blinded. God is right in front of you but you can't see Him. It's like Him saying, "Hello? I'm right here!!!"

Why do good people have to suffer? 

2 Corinthians 1:5-6 ~ "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comforts, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." (NIV).

Suffering brings awareness! Bad people face suffering too! God is simply using it to bring them to Christ. In the midst of our suffering, Jesus is there to comfort. It opens our eyes and awareness for our need for Him. When we face suffering as believers in Jesus, we often cry out, "God, where are You in this? Help me!"

Nothing happens without God being aware of it.

So why do Christians have to suffer? 

Because God breeds character into our life that can only be obtained through suffering.

Romans 15:4 ~ "For everything that was written in the past was written to each us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might  have hope." (NIV).

True believers in some way, shape or form, will suffer trouble, that will bring glory to God. We should be praying, "may the sufferings of God abound in my life to bring honor and glory to God."

Hebrews 4:14-16 ~ "Therefore, since we have a great High Priest, who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (NIV). 

Meaning Jesus gets it. He understands what we are going through. If we are in need, we need to run to Jesus! Our eternal self always wants to know what will happen to us when we die, the question you need to ask yourself is "Do you have a High Priest, that will stand up for you when you die? As believers in Jesus we know we do.

When we get to heaven and stand before God and He calls your name, you will probably step forward with your head bowed in disgrace. He will simply lift your head with His finger and say, I know exactly how you feel, but remember that time, when you were going through that really difficult time, when you cried out to me in despair and help, you turned to Me, and prayed for my help. Now Gabriel, let's show her what is behind door number 1, just for her faith in Me!"

Okay, it might not happen like that, but in sufferings our faith is tested in a way that can't be tested any other way to see if it is genuine and true, not perfect! Whenever we suffer, God's comfort level will never be less than our suffering level, but greater than it. That is why the Bible says, He won't allow you to go through something that is too much to bear. God's comfort will be greater than the pain. You will still have pain, you'll still need to get through it, but Jesus will grab your hand to walk you through it.

Hebrews 2:9-10 ~ "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and  honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for who and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering." (NIV).

What this means is whatever you are going through, Jesus can say regardless of what it is, He knows exactly how it feels.

1 Peter 5:8-10 ~ "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (NIV). 

Hardships always open us up to Jesus. It can't work any other way.

Without the storm, Peter would have never seen Jesus walking on the water, or would he have gotten to walk on the water himself. It's in the times of difficulty we can find our faith.

Suffering and affliction creates ministry! Your faith is built up when we suffer and see others suffering.

Psalm 34:19 ~ "A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;" (NIV).

Romans 5:3-5 ~ "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God ha poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us." (NIV). 

Our God is bigger than whatever we are going through. When we live for Jesus, people will hate us!

James 1:2-4 ~ "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV).

People hate absolute truths when it bothers them but they want absolute truths when it benefits them such as engineering a rocket or car.

Those who are profound hypocrites have not gone through real sufferings. That is why we need to embrace trials and sufferings.

Philippians 3:10 ~ "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." (NIV).

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ~ "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (NIV).

If someone is going through a difficult time, ask them how they get through it. It is often said we learn more through what others are going through.

Is this really happening to me? 

Do you ever wake up after going through something extraordinarily difficult like the death of a loved one and wonder or hope, that it was simply all a bad dream? That it really didn't happen. It's can't be real? For just a brief moment until you are reminded that it isn't just a dream.

This is the human side of us, trying to reason with the spiritual side. Our faith must undergo testing.

2 Corinthians 1:7 ~ "And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." (NIV).

Your end, is the first step into an absolute eternal realm.

Satan's false doctrine is two-fold. (1) to get you to believe that Jesus can't be God, and (2) that there is no such thing as Hell.

To get you believe this is the doctrine of demons, to believe that there is no consequences for what we do, therefore, live it up!

Take a look at the Hubble Telescope pictures to see some amazing stuff. God reveals His glory. Wouldn't it be funny if one day, God opened up the heavens, and said, "Here I am!" and then a picture was taken? LOL!

We know Jesus is real and one day He'll return just as the Bible has promised. He won't come as a thief in the night to the believer who knows what signs to discern and look for, but to the non believer, he will come like a thief in the night and they won't believe anything that is happening around them is a sign from God. So take heart, Jesus Christ has overcome the world, and He is only a prayer away!!!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Powerful post! This line: "Meaning Jesus gets it. He understands what we are going through. If we are in need, we need to run to Jesus!" This is exactly what my heart wrote about this week on my own blog. Jesus knows. All of it. And He did indeed do something (everything) about it on a Cross.