Earlier today, I read a blog entitled We May Not Always Like God's Answer To Our Prayers by Kirk M (@blessings2you). While reading his blog, I thought about a blog I wrote and published here at CB on June 15, 2008, nine days after my last chemo infusion. The blog is entitled Why Do Christians Get Sick Or Have Disabilities?
There are those who would argue that a "loving" God would never allow things like sickness, disability, hardship or anything unpleasant ever happen to his children. Whenever I hear someone talk like that I think of people like Joseph who was sold into slavery. I think about people like David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Stephen, James, Peter and Paul. Every single one of these people experienced some sort of extreme hardship and yet they were people who were called by God. I think about Job, a man whom God, not someone else but God, calls perfect and upright (Job 1:8). If God says this about Job, I would never have the audacity to suggest that Job's difficulties, including illness came upon him because he sinned or lacked in faith. His friends did just that. God's reaction to that is found in Job 42:7-8.
We are too quick to judge one another. We are too quick to assume that we know best and so of course, God must do things our way. We need to beware of that.
The writer of Hebrews writes:
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.- Hebrews 11:32-38 (NLT)
These people did not just say they loved God and wanted to follow Him. They proved it by remaining faithful and trusting God, regardless of their circumstances. Some of these people were delivered from the Midianites, the giant, the furnace and the lions den but some of them spent a lifetime enduring suffering and were even eventually executed. All of these people, whether they were delivered in their lifetime or after death were living testimonies that regardless of their circumstances they were going to serve God.
Are we living testimonies as well, regardless of what we face in this world? Living testimonies that give glory to God?
The greatest witnesses of all time were those who continued to love and praise God no matter what happened to them in this life. That witness is far greater than the empty and vain promises of only good happening in this life.