Welcome to Txt Tuesday…the day we we reply to all the incoming text messages that don’t get a response during the Sunday morning service. You can text your questions/comments etc. to the number on the screens any Sunday morning…
Txt: Why, when u follow, love and obey God in every area u can, does life go from bad 2 worse? And often all u get from others is “I’ll pray 4 u”.
Don: This question alone makes all the effort of taking incoming txt messages during the service worth it…what an honest and thoughtful question. You might expect that I would question whether you were truly “following, loving and obeying God in every area u can” if your life is going from bad to worse…But I absolutely believe you…I’ve personally experienced what you are describing.
Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Throughout scripture you will find God saying “you will have trouble”, “you will experience hard times” , “you will experience loss”…but I will be with you…I will protect you…I will make sure that you are cared for.
The problem is, whenever we experience “hard times”…life going “from bad to worse” whenever we go to our friends they often either say “I’ll pray 4 u” or they may even wonder if you are sinning in some area. Most want to help…they are just unable to deal with the reality that you are “suffering” while doing all the right things. (Think it’s a new thing? Check out the book of Job) It makes us wonder if God is “there”…if he cares for us. Why is it that the more we desire to serve him- the more “trouble” we experience. It seems “backwards”…shouldn’t you be rewarded for “doing the right thing”? Don’t preachers talk about being “blessed by God”? Where is that “Blessing”?
God created life to be lived in “seasons”. There are “seasons” of testing. Times when our enemy (Satan) is doing everything in his power to discourage us from carrying out our desire to follow God. Times when God “withholds” from rescuing us to build our strength and endurance. Times when God is “silent”. For Michele and I the past couple years have been like that. We have devoted our lives to being obedient to God in starting actionchurch….yet we have never experienced more financial, physical, personal (etc)…pain and difficulty. Many times we have wondered “Where is the blessing?”. “If this is the right thing-why is everything so hard”?
The Great news is that every “season” of testing and trouble ends. God does bless us. And over the “long haul” there is nothing better than serving God. Michele and I feel very fortunate right now to be part of what God is doing at actionchurch. But there are times…lots of times…when it just sucks. When it doesn’t seem like anything is ever going to “turn out all right”. The main thing is never to give up…to miss the pay off. Here’s some verses from my favorite scripture to read during seasons of testing. Psalms 37. We will also be dealing with this exact “dilemma” in our upcoming sermon series about Joseph that starts in 4 weeks.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.