April 30, 2019 at 10:06 pm #4292Boulder95Participant
I’m back in my cynical stage of my faith.
Ya but Scott you’re just not focused on Proverbs 3:4-5 Trust in the Lord God with All your Heart and Lean not on your understanding.
Got it. I understand But I don’t understand?
I can honestly say I dont know where my faith would be if I was in Venezuela and we’re starving asking for the lords help?
Which leads me to my second long thought out thought. Which is, its not about this life but the millennial kingdom.
And if that’s the case why do I care about death? I don’t really.
I mean why do we long to raptured? Are we just hoping to cheat the wages of sin? Which is Death?
I’ll be the first to say I deserve death. In fact being hung upside down would probably be too generous in the eyes of the lord for me like Peter was.
Which leads me to my next question, “Why would the Lord care about my prayers if he can’t even address the prayers of the meek in these countries which are starving?”
I know I know!!
April 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm #4293
Indeed the Lord deals with individuals, as well with nations and blood lines. The Lord saw fit to firstly send the Flood, then eliminate certain whole groups of people. Men, women, children, livestock, et all.
Curses against individual actions lasting for generations, and curses against nations also continue, IMHO. With the wide variety of “false gods” that people worship, I have no problem typifying the poverty and squalor that some nations are engaged in.
Can I say or identify certain nations are cursed of God? Maybe not, but whether it involved ancient cultures and societies, then why not today. Were not Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other three cities in the plain utterly destroyed by God?!
Suffice to say that Hell will be filled with “good” people, but not righteous people. We all being in the same family of man and we making the determination of who is good and who isn’t doesn’t mean that follows after God’s righteousness!
Though nations and individuals suffer, those that belong to the Lord will surely be raised on that day! This is a determination that only God can make. Didn’t Job teach us not to presume all that suffer are evil, and those that don’t suffer are good?! Even just as Solomon touched upon also.
Who can know His thoughts and ways??? We are truly fortunate to live in the age of Grace. But God help those when this age of Grace ends. To this end, we shall all be judged by God.
And is also why I can summarily reject a lot of popular teaching permeating within he Church. I don’t know if I am right or wrong in so doing, but am certain of one thing.
I shall never demand anything from the Lord! I refuse to waive my Bible into God’s face and tell Him His business. Deserving nothing, yet grateful for what is given! I approach the throne of God humbly beseeching Christ’s tender mercies, not arrogantly claiming that the Lord owes me anything!
It is with fear and trembling the prophets of old approached God. Many today seem to have lost that approach. Rest assured however, should the Spirit plant a word or a promise of scripture into my spirit, I will fully appropriate it with all the faith I possess!
May 1, 2019 at 12:45 am #4294Geri7Blocked
As long as there is a devil and demons that roam free, there will be heartache, trials and tribulations in this world. In this life we are being tested but as Christians we have Jesus to cling to and his promises in his Word. The unsaved though don’t have that.
This is a promise for believers only:
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
However, keep in mind God will not answer the prayers of the believers if they are living in unrepentant sin or fail to forgive others. Matthew 6:12, 14-15 makes it plain that even a Christian’s prayer may not be heard as Jesus testifies by saying that we are to “…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Therefore, a believer that is living in sin or fails to forgive others has their prayers blocked since they are out of fellowship with the Father. They will never lose their relationships but continual sin can affect their fellowship. God will never answer the prayer of a Christian while they are regarding sin in their heart (Psalm 66:18).
For the unsaved ….the Bible clearly says that God will not answer prayer requests of those who are not saved nor will He even listen to their prayers (John 9:31). “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”Proverbs 1:26-29 speaks to everyone who does not believe in Him and gives a warning for those who don’t that “…when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.”
I feel for those who are living in harsh environments and suffering greatly from the greed and evil of their appointed leaders … whether its China, Venezuela, North Korea, the Middle East, etc. I believe though if a Christian is living in those countries and if they are praying for food, the Lord is providing and perhaps using the birds to drop food down to feed them or raining down manna or has an angel administering to them. We don’t know the miracles that are happening behind the scenes. Those who are tortured and martyred for their faith, I look at it this way … it was the Lord’s will for their life to end and they will be rewarded greatly with a martyred’s crown and will hear the words “well done thy good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord”.
I believe our trials and how we react to them determine what job duties we will be assigned to in the next life.
May 1, 2019 at 12:46 am #4295YohananModerator
It is something that I have wondered about in the past, also Boulder. But I finally came to realize that God deals with everyone in a different way and everyone has a different level of faith or endurance for each circumstance. I live in the richest country on earth so it is not possible for me to relate to the experiences people deal with in places like N. Korea or Venezuela or elsewhere. They have always known difficulties compared to what I have known so I can only imagine that God has given those He chooses a higher level of faith. As TR alluded, it is not for me to demand that God explain His business to me. I have to rest knowing that He is more loving and compassionate than I can ever imagine and trust that He is in control and knows what He is doing. Things we see as awful have purposes that we cannot know. But God sees all things and knows all ends. This is the very same God who allowed His own Son to suffer inexplicably for us and yet Jesus knew the joy that His own suffering would bring.
May 1, 2019 at 9:20 am #4304
False gods, rebellion, unbelief and as Geri7 rightly points out, the Lord has and does decide who prayers He will answer, and who’s He won’t.
As He as often has done with Israel. Speaking of Israel the nation that God created and loves, have and will suffer many things. (Holocaust). Let alone the sins of the Church!
And the Lord has specifically taught there are three things necessary to the having of prayers answered. We cannot pray amiss, we cannot pray without faith, and we cannot pray against the Lord’s will! This holds true for all peoples. He knows the hearts of men as well as the future. He even gave Jezebel space and time to repent, she did not.
Though there is are no formulas, these three are minimum requirements, a very important distinction here!
May 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm #4320MyWhiteStoneParticipant
Hi my old young friend. We’ve missed your cynicism for a few weeks.
I don’t quite know where to begin to respond, Scott, so let me just try two high level thoughts:
1 – you seem to be laying the evil of the world at the feet of a thoughtless, uncaring, or impotent God. Wrong culprit, my friend! Best to pick your enemy and use your few weapons most effectively.
2 – I strongly suspect you do not know a single Christian believer in Venezuela who is starving, but you are quick, armed with your own assumption plus your personal pain, to call on that to explain and maybe justify your cynicism.
I get it, Scott. Hope gets really old!! The second most painful thing(s) in my life have been all my unrealized Rapture hopes — my and my family’s ultimate relief from all pain whatsoever. And if you put all the misery in the world, even my minor pain, your own major pain, and including Venezuela’s / Maduro’s evil regime of corruption and abuse into a container, you could rightfully consider it small part of Hell.
I’m still genuinely sorry for all your pain, Scott. I indeed love you, bro. And I’m not trying to discourage your expression of disappointment. And God Almighty certainly does not need my puny defensive protection afforded via this website. But as a brother of yours I sincerely ask you to stop unjustly implicating and impugning our (my) Abba! Unfortunately you are stuck with this family.
May 1, 2019 at 6:24 pm #4322
May 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm #4323KolleenWStoneModerator
You are not the first Christian to have felt angry at God. And you will not be the last to feel the urge to blame him.
We Christians can be prone, in our pain, to point a finger and raise a fist at heaven. If we believe in God at all, we should believe he is bigger and stronger than we can even fathom. Our Bibles are filled with what we might call “big God” verses. We’re told God does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3; 135:6), nothing happens outside his control (Lamentations 3:37–38; Job 2:10; Proverbs 16:33; Matthew 10:29), he will accomplish all his plans (Job 42:2; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35), and not even a rebellious human will can thwart him (Proverbs 21:1; Revelation 17:17). Even when others mean evil against us, God means it for good (Genesis 50:20)…
We talk about God bringing trials into our lives, and God testing us, and we should. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). And yet we need to be careful, as our vision of his sovereignty expands, that we not attribute something to him in a way the Scriptures do not. James himself, sensing a possible misunderstanding of his powerful rally to count our trials as joy, wants to make sure we know God is not the dispenser of evil in the same way he is the giver of good...
God Himself Tempts No One
In the same opening section of his letter, and just eight sentences after his now famous charge to “count it all joy,” James makes his strong and pointed clarification. God is indeed sovereign over all our trials, and uses them for our good, such that we can count them (even as we don’t naturally feel them) as “all joy.” However, he says,
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:13–14)
….What James hopes to maintain for us in both our external trials and the resulting internal temptations is that God is never the one to blame. God is indeed sovereign over evil, but in such a way that he is never the author of evil. He is never the one to blame for our pain, but rather the sovereign one to whom we turn for help. That’s where James 1:5 comes in: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” God is the generous giver of wisdom for navigating our trials, not the one to blame for them, even as he reigns over them. James 1:16–17 has this very clarification in view:
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Jm’s 1: 16 ….
….He stands directly behind every good gift (James 1:17) but not directly behind evil (James 1:13). He is the giver of every good and perfect gift, but never the author of evil….
We never have just cause for blaming him. He is always in the right. In him is light, and no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
Anger at sin is good (Mark 3:5), but anger at goodness is sin. That is why it is never right to be angry with God. He is always and only good, no matter how strange and painful his ways with us. Anger toward God signifies that he is bad or weak or cruel or foolish. None of those is true, and all of them dishonor him. Therefore, it is never right to be angry at God. When Jonah and Job were angry with God, Jonah received God’s rebuke (Jonah 4:9), and Job repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6).
….But if we do find, as many Christians have, that we have anger in our hearts toward God, let it be said loud and clear that we should not add the sin of hypocrisy to the sin of being angry at God. Let’s be honest about our sin, confess it as such, and not rally others to celebrate it. We should never cultivate or seek to stir up anger with God in ourselves or in anyone else. Anger can be righteous, but anger with God is never righteous. Our anger with God always betrays some fault in us, never in him.
May 1, 2019 at 10:26 pm #4333Geri7Blocked
Praying for you Scott that you receive healing from your difficult trials.
Life can be very hard at times. I personally had to deal with 10 years of sexual harassment in the workforce up here in Vermont and the sad part was it was coming from a so called born again Christian. He portrayed a squeaky clean image and would even offer to pray before our conference luncheon meetings. He had a split Jekyll and Hyde personality and would show his evil side when the others had appointments or took vacation. I knew upper management would never believe me – I had no proof or eye witnesses with the awful things he put me through. I kept it all to myself and just prayed to the Lord for protection. I often quoted Scripture verses out loud and then he would snap out of his evil advances. My mistake was not reporting it sooner because I kept saying to myself it hast to get better. I live in a rural area and good jobs are not plentiful and I loved my job despite facing this horrible abuse. Then when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, the stress at home and at work became unbearable. I finally told my parents and was about to resign and my godly mom said don’t do that. Let’s pray and watch the Lord fight your battles. So we did that and I filed a complaint …. typed up all the situations that occurred though the years. I handed a 14 page double sided document to upper management. Of course they didn’t believe me at first until they had a meeting with him. By God’s grace, he confessed to it all and they immediately fired him and my family and I were praising the Lord for victory in this situation. I find now I’m able to help out others through the trials I had to endure so something good did come out of it.
Praying for you and that you’re able to forgive those who caused you a lot of pain. I know its hard but that is the first step to healing. Keep renewing your mind with verses showing God’s love for you and the life He has for you in heaven! Hang in there, soon the Lord will wipe away the memory of all the bad things in this life.
May 4, 2019 at 9:34 pm #4418
Bless all the hearts of those precious to the Lord who suffer. He is always mindful, He is ever watchful, and He never stops gathering our tears. As our tears speak of all that hurt us, I believe there to be a twofold purpose for His gathering of them.
Firstly, great are the rewards for those that overcome. Indeed the Lord shall abundantly compensate those who have suffered!
Secondly, I believe that the “testimony of our tears” shall also be used as an indictment against those who caused us to weep. And for those that don’t know the forgiveness of Christ, judgments shall be appointed accordingly!
Jesus wept!!! Rest assured, our tears matter to Him!
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