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Monday, 5 December 2011

A life of constant sunshine with no rain?

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” or ‘If we are happy to receive good from the Lord, should we not also be prepared to receive the not-so-pleasant-at-the-time-its-happening-to-us?’

Job asked, admonished AND encouraged his wife with the timeless words above, at the lowest point in their lives. After a happy life together with a good marriage, healthy children, uncountable riches, great health, honour & respect, suddenly, without any warning, on one day, EVERYTHING in their lives was ripped away – children, wealth, possessions, reputation, health. Everything physical that could be stripped away was taken away in the blink of an eye. For anyone who doesn’t know the story, please read the book of Job in the Bible prayerfully. It is a life-changing eye-opener.

Most human beings would like pleasure without pain, love without commitment, riches without work, life without death, summer without winter, a harvest without planting, exams passed with no reading.... However, these wants are actually pretty stupid & harmful to us in the long run.

Babies are an amazing gift – they look cute, cause love to well up in a parent’s heart & give joy to every sane person around em – however, the parent also puts up with loud crying, stinky poopy nappies, constant feeding & sleepless nights. You cannot have the joy of the baby without the work of those smelly nappies! And let’s not even discuss the pain of childbirth! But what mother would forgo the joy of a happy healthy baby to save herself the swiftly forgotten pain of labour or a Cesarean op?

Why do we expect (or even desire) a life filled with sunshine and no rain? Can we imagine what the earth would look, and be like, if there was sunshine everyday with no rainfall? Dry/brown/parched/famine/death! Can we picture endless warm sunny light-filled days with no cool dark nights & no way of darkening bedrooms to get some sleep? What a nightmare! We’ll rapidly become a race of hot, itchy, sun-burnt sleep-deprived, irritable, paranoid humans going around shooting anything that dares move.

So also reflect for one moment on the truly horrendous awful reality of a Christian life filled with everything going the way we THINK we want it? Okay, let’s be truthful here – how many of us would ever pray or turn to God for anything, if everything in our lives, is going the way we want it, at the time we want it? End result? No growth in our lives, no patience learnt, no faith strengthened, no deep love for the Lord that comes only by relationship-building, no comfort received from God, no testimony to share, no dependence upon God, no laying our will on the altar, no sowing good, no joy when God answers prayers, no encouragement with which to strengthen others... in short A SPIRITUALLY DEAD, SELF-CENTERED, SHRIVELLED, DECAYING CHRISTIAN useless to God, himself/herself and everyone else.

Unfortunately, too often we ‘unknowingly’ lust after what Adam & Eve really sought – independence from God and a desire to run their lives their way. Wellllllll, we all know HOW well that decision turned out them and us!

Jesus on the other hand, prayed & sweated blood as he struggled mightily so that He, the sinless spotless lamb of God, the Son of God, could surrender His will to God’s will. “If You will, please let this cup pass away from me, but Lord God, NOT my will, but Yours alone.” And we ALL know HOW amazingly WELL Jesus’s surrender to God’s will turned out for us!!!!!!! (Thank you Lord Jesus!) 

No matter how dark or long the night seems, dawn will finally break & daylight will dispel the thick gloomy darkness. Beloved, Weeping may tarry for the night but Joy is coming in the morning.

This is God’s unshakable promise to you and I. Hold on to God. Hold tightly to His promises. Trust God. Do not become weary of doing good. After we are tried and tested, our faith will come forth like pure gold.

"But for you who fear God's name, surely the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings". Say to God’s people, "Rejoice, your salvation draweth near".

Remember the glorious end of Job!


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