I think one of the major turning points in my faith settled in when my Granny got sick. Nothing made sense anymore. If God rewards believers in His Son with health, wealth and prosperity, why would the most unselfish, kind-hearted, God-fearing person I’ve ever known suffer so badly? It was a question in my heart I never admitted even to myself, but I didn’t “get how God works”… Over a decade later that lingering question was brought center stage and all disbelief was removed… So, removed from the world and enveloped by the presence of God through experiences that conquered all doubt in earth-shaking revelations, I was given an absolute knowing, without question that God is God, God is real and God is sovereign all-knowing and seated on the throne, all the while seeing and living in the midst of utter destruction… So, how do I frame it all up? For me, I found a burning desire for the TRUTH. I couldn’t listen to people anymore. I couldn’t sit in a sermon focused on God’s desires to reward us with perfect marriages and easy lives because LIFE had proved otherwise, repeatedly. I couldn’t hear that I could stand up like David and slay Goliath with a stone because in peeling all these masks off of people that were near and dear to me, I’d seen first hand that sometimes THE BEST fall down… So if the innocent are suffering and the Godly are suffering what is the point of salvation? It was the question that would lead to another desire – to “rightly divide the word” *As spoken in Hebrew “Through Jesus God has something better for us” – as even all of those of great faith that lived BEFORE CHRIST had not yet received the promise. What is this new promise?… that I’d yearned to understand because I know that I’m not David and I’m not Abraham and I’m not Solomon and by the way NONE of the apostles mirrored their lives either. So what does it mean to follow Christ in today’s world? And why did Paul say “TO LIVE IS CHRIST and to die is gain”? Josh’s Grandpa – another example… You could FEEL THE PRESENCE of God in this man when he entered a room. Josh would testify to anyone who would listen about the anointing of God’s healing power that he’d personally experienced when his grandpa Harry laid hands on him and prayed over him. And this beautiful man (Josh’s Grandpa Harry) – what did his life look like? His first wife died in her 20’s to cancer, two of his children later died in his arms, he later lost all of his wealth and then went toe to toe with cancer repeatedly until finally the Lord ended his race and took him home to his inheritance that he’d accumulated in Heaven. He died a physically broken, poor man – just like my Granny did, and just like Jesus did and just like the apostles did. And one of the most beautiful revelations of my entire life happened when I was asked to write the eulogy for my Granny’s funeral and instead of me doing that, the Holy Spirit wrote it through me, showing me exactly in the Word of God what God had accomplished in my Granny’s life and that her rewards were NEVER meant to be delivered here (in this broken world, with the kingdoms that satan had shown to Jesus as a temptation), but that she was seated high in the Heavenly places and her riches were awaiting her there. I pray often now that I could just be a little glimpse of the goodness that I saw in that woman’s life – that my heart could be just half the size of hers. And I know as Josh continues his fight through tragic circumstances his walk is inspired by his Grandpa Harry also, (and he did speak to him while in the hospital)… Believe it or don’t, Josh spoke to many while he walked through the valley and I’m still in awe, trying to wrap my thoughts around some of the revelation he has shared with me. I know it’s true because I’ve had my own experiences with the unseen “spirit world”… Josh told me recently, “I’ve never for one moment been angry with God. It’s just my time to suffer.”… This doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t solve the current afflictions he endures. But he gets it. Thank you Lord!
So, back to my question, How do you frame up living in destruction? You chase after the Truth (the WHOLE Truth). For me, I guess I never cared to until I was seated in the midst of a broken mess that I could never put back together again. I needed to understand “why” and God is so good, when we seek with all our hearts, He reveals the answers. Still today, I come across so many people who want to feed me their ideas – and they mean well. They just want to comfort me, and maybe for some they think it’s doing God a favor to say things like, “God had nothing to do with your suffering.” I guess I would’ve said the same before I knew differently. I know now that God doesn’t drive an ambulance (He’s there and approved it long before we ever get there). I know now that God isn’t concerned with our temporary bodies that are corruptible and dying. He’s concerned with our salvation and the perfection of our faith. I watched this video of John Piper’s reading of Romans 8 last night and just LOVE IT… I wanted to share this – it’s not a sermon… not a strategy… not a teaching… It’s not a solution for itchy ears, it’s just the beautiful reading of the unfailing, unmoved, eternal word of GOD….So I wanted to share it here today in hopes that someone out there will be blessed by this word of God.
If I could add one thing to this, a scripture the Lord has put on my heart lately, showing me the POINT of what’s most precious (Our Faith). 1 Peter 1:7 says “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” I will be writing on the comparison made between faith and gold (and refinement by fire) soon, God willing.
Have a blessed day.