It’s an easy cliche to say, “I trust the Lord.” It is a different matter altogether to do so, especially in troubling times. The ‘dark nights of the soul’ roll in like an unwelcome mist accompanying a chill. Life doesn’t seem so bright anymore; my memory of hope-filled laughter seems as cloudy as the evening. I’m mad at myself. Angry at my lack of ability to control my situation and a bit disgusted at my horrible self-control, I tell myself that I need to clear my head.
One thing I’ve never doubted has been God’s sovereignty. Someone shared a video of a pastor teaching on healing. He said that God limited His sovereignty when He granted man a free will and that, since God is good and loves us so much, it is simply our duty to ask for healing and to believe it, by faith, and it is already done. That was the biggest load of crap I ever heard and the propagation of such nonsense has spiritually injured millions. Did the mother of the 4-year old little boy with brain cancer ‘not have enough faith’ to make him well? Did the husband of the 37-year old not ‘believe hard enough’ to save his wife from breast cancer’s hand?
To trust in the Lord in the midst of suffering means that I trust that GOD is in the very center of my pain. He has ordained me for it. It has a purpose for me. My suffering is for His glory, for when I was purchased by the blood of the Lamb, I ceased being my own! I am HIS. My glory is promised in the life to come but as for my life here, on this side of eternity, it’s HIS. What don’t “christians” understand about this? Really, I’m confused. Did you pray a prayer, walk an aisle, get baptized, make a verbal commitment to Christ to then demand what YOU want? American ‘Christianity’ has become the antithesis of the first century believers.
This ‘pastor’ said that to believe that God is sovereign would mean that God gave me this cancer and he, “could not love a God who would do such evil.” Well, that’s a sad story and one that is believed by the vast majority of professing believers. They want a God like Santa Claus; they want a fairy princess to grant them what they want. They preach what they and their followers want to hear. They teach lies that God is at one’s beckon call; that He is their genie. If you simply believe harder, pray more fervently, and give more generously, then God will heal your cancer, your marriage, your finances and you can have anything you ever wanted. This is a LIE.
I find it a bit ironic that those that claim that, “By His stripes we are healed,” taken from Isaiah 53 covers God’s intent and responsibility to keep every believer disease-free and is used to whack people like me over their head when they’re sick. It’s funny that this verse somehow no longer applies when these people age and pass away. If the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ was for the removal of all human sickness and suffering this side of heaven, then explain to me the fact that every Apostle minus John was martyred, all were beaten and tortured, and every human being before us has died. We ARE healed by His stripes. We are healed of the shame of sin and the dread of the deserved consequences.
It is when we make little of our sin that we demand selfish desire from an Almighty God. When we understand the gravity of our utter depravity we can easily praise Him during the worst that this world could cast on us. Oh, that I may see, more clearly today, that GOD is God and I am not, that He, by His grace alone has saved me, not from discomfort to riches, but from Hades to eternal reward with Him. I deserve nothing, but am given everything; I deserve hell, but am granted heaven. Let my life here be less filled with praying for what I want and more praising for what I have and will be given. Let my desires be less to give me comfort and more to bring Him glory.
Lord, give me the ability to trust in Your ways. I thank you that You have ordained me for every circumstance, prove me like gold through fire, purify me and let me bring You glory!
Dr. Kevin Conners