Sunday, October 26, 2014

Does God punish our sin with sickness...

Does God punish sin with sickness? I, personally, do not agree.  Could you imagine correcting your own child for something they did wrong by injecting him/her with a virus?! That would be pretty appalling, wouldn’t it? Could you see the news headlines?!?!

If God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children, I cannot see Him giving us a sickness as a form of correction or punishment.  And furthermore, according to Scripture sickness is NOT of God, so there is no way God can give us a sickness.  In fact, as His children, you have every promise of protection from plagues and illnesses.

So, why do God’s children experience sickness, if we are protected? I am not sure there is a distinct answer to this question.  I believe God is in control of everything, which was the purpose of Job’s account in the Bible.  I believe there a number of reasons as to why God’s children will fall to sickness and disease, but I do believe that these people were chosen for a purpose, just like Job.  See, Job was dangled in front of satan in the throne room of God and satan challenged God to let him attack him, so that Job would blame God for it.  This was the whole purpose of why Job went through all the turmoil, attacks, and loss that he experienced.  It was a test of faith!

I believe all things that we experience in our lives that seem unfair or as a “suffering” all can be summed up as a “test of faith”! It is easy for us to say, “I have faith and no sickness will come against me”.  But when we get actually get tested, how you respond reveals the exact level of your faith.  Faith has to get beyond head knowledge.  See, faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.  If your faith level is not up to par, then you need to get back to hearing! That means get back in the Word of God.  Read those verses over and over and over and over until it sinks inside into your heart that it changes your actions, your words, your beliefs, your motives.

When Paul was travelling from town to town, there was one town he spent a couple days in and there was this lame man that sat there listening over and over to what Paul was saying.  Paul noticed this man and watched him.  Finally, after time had gone by, Paul looked back at this man and saw the “faith” within him and at that time said to him, your faith has healed you and the man walked!!! That man sat there hearing the Word of God over and over and over till it sank within him and the seed of faith that every person has within them became ALIVE and he was healed, instantaneously, not a process, but in an instant!

Why do we not see these things today? Because our faith is lacking! The measure of our faith is that of Peter’s that when the waters become rocky and the winds begin to blow and fear rolls up, you find yourself sinking instead of standing.

So, if you wonder why hard times come upon you, don’t look at the problem, look to Jesus and let your faith be strengthened and your roots sink deeper into Him.

I know it is not easy.  I know it is super hard at times.  Depending on the situation, you could feel like you are in the deepest darkest pit or on the verge of death.  God has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens in our lives.  He is not going to destroy you.  He is not punishing you.  He is building you.  He is getting ready to lift you up out of the miry pit of clay and burn away the dross and make you anew!

I know what it feels like to be in a dark place where you feel so weak and all you get from other people are fingers pointed at you and condemnation.  It doesn’t make it any better.  In fact, if it wasn’t for my faith, I truly believe I would have made a rash decision that I would have regretted for the rest of my life.  There is one thing I learned through this dark place, when people begin to point their finger, they have three pointing back at them.  Judgement is not what God wants us to do.  Actually, in fact, right now in this day and time we are NOT even under God’s judgement, that day is STILL yet to come!

You never saw Jesus roaming around from town to town pointing His finger at people.  The only ones He ever remotely condemned were the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Even when satan tempted Him three times, not once did He condemn him or judge him, He spoke the Word of God to him instead.  Maybe, just maybe as Christians, we need to learn to hold our tongues more, be less quick to judge and actually learn to walk in love, like Christ.  Jesus exerted love that none of us can fathom or understand.  It’s a love that is so deep, so wide, and so unconditional.  We do NOT have to do anything to gain it, it is already given. 

You are only expected to lay down your life for Jesus, pick up your cross and follow Him.  When you do that, you are given a covering of grace over your life.  This grace covering covers ALL yours sins, those that have been committed and the sins to be committed.  We are not perfect, we will fall short and we will fail.  We all have shortcomings.  That is why God’s mercies are brand new for us every single day.  That is why you were covered by grace from that moment you decided to follow Jesus.

So, why do bad things happen? I have to look to the Scriptures… have you ever noticed that the more obedient someone was in Scripture, the harder things got?! Look at Stephen, Paul, Moses, Daniel, and the list could go on… though they were obedient, though we are obedient, we will experience lions’ dens, fiery furnaces, shipwrecks, beheadings, nailed to the cross… God didn’t promise us that our lives would be free from suffering.  In fact, the Bible tells us that we will suffer just as Christ suffered.

Don’t look at your problem as the end or the worst thing ever.  Face that problem head on.  If that means you need people to surround you in prayer because you are weak, ask for it, don’t hesitate, reach out and ask for it.  There is nothing wrong with that.  There is strength in numbers and where two or more are gathered in His name, there He is amidst!!!

You will come out stronger than the problem and you will see a new level of faith and you will be given new eyes to see the world with… get ready, you are a world changer meant to do greater things!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 3: Gentleness Challenge - Anger Management

Anger management… WHAT?!?!?! Yes, I read the post for the week 3 challenge and was like… “YES! I can do this!” and I’d like to say I immediately pulled out my Bible and highlighted all of the Proverbs passages and applied them to every day… buuuuut, that’s not what took place, instead I failed miserably this week.

I did pull out my Bible and yes, I did read the passages every morning – but it seemed the words went in and right out.  Every time I heard a whine or another dog bite on my kid or another potty training mess (not from my son, but the DOG) or hearing from my husband “CALM DOWN” – I was ready to explode!!!

AND unfortunately, the issue that made me more than angry ended up being a planned party for my son’s friends to come over to celebrate the joy of winter… I worked hard, my son anticipated this night… and we were expecting 5 families… and NO ONE showed up! To see my son’s mouth quiver when daddy came home and then asked him where is everyone… and then his reaction, which he seemed to take it alright, but his reaction was FAR different than I thought it would be… he pushed buttons ALL evening long.  I could have just cried… actually, I did after I put him to bed.  Then I was so outraged I was literally ready to list the house and MOVE!!! I’ve had it with this area and trying to make friends and friends for my son and to realize that people have the attitude of a depressed state… you know that attitude of… “oh yeah, that would be FUN (for the moment)” then when it’s planned, set in stone, people say “yes” to come, then never show because that “day” they just don’t feel like it and then you hear all the lists of excuses AFTERwards.

I didn’t know what to do, I pulled out my Bible and began to read this:

Matthew 5:22
But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgement!
If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought
before the high council.  And if you curse someone, you are
in danger of the fires of the hell.

You probably read that and did what I did… (jaw drop)… “Did I REALLY read that, right?!” Oh yeah, I had to read it over and over and over and over… and then I just dropped the Bible, threw my hands up in the air, and literally prayed this prayer:

Dear Daddy,

I really needed this verse tonight.  An anger rose up so deep within me tonight, that I truly lost sight of what was right - seeing my son hurt because of others was not right to him.  But my anger was not right either, and I ask for your forgiveness.  Father, help me to teach my son through this and show him that there is no disappointment with You (Romans 8:5).  I am one with You, Jesus, may the seeds you planted within me grow, weed out the things that need to be taken out, reveal to me roots that need to be completely pulled out, and may I reflect You to others around me.  Thank You for showing me that the ultimate power is with You and that power resides in me! I have nothing to fear! I praise You, Daddy! May the words of my mouth, the actions of what I do, and the thoughts I think bring glory to You! In Jesus' name, Amen!

I may have failed this week in being a “gentle” mommy, but I am so glad that I was able to teach my son through the disappointment – people may fail us, but God NEVER does and we can put our FULL trust and hope in Him because He never disappoints us! I had to take the anger to the cross and allow God to show me how to teach through this situation and God took me back to Romans 8:5 – a verse that I turned to after a miscarriage and the hope of having baby just seemed hopeless, but it wasn’t.  And I got to bless my son in the same way, God blessed me with that verse.

I am SO thankful God is truly slow to anger and I pray that God will continue to change me and help me work on anger.  I am praying for the roots of it and God is showing me things, little things, here and there on what to work on…

  • Praise More!
    God showed me a glimpse of a weekend, my husband and I struggle on the weekends when were together as a family, the buttons seemed to get pushed more, everyone is tired (except the energizer bunny son) and God let me realize that we correct MORE than we actually PRAISE.  We are constantly saying, “sit still, eat your food, stop that, don’t hit, don’t squish the dog, don’t pull on the dog, be kind, be gentle, stop, stop, stop, stop…” Ugh! I’m exhausted just writing it out.  So, I’ve put reward charts BACK up – I have lots of them.  One for good behavior, One for Kindness, One for Gentleness, One for You’ve Been Caught (being good), and they are all over the house and even one in the car and one in my purse (for when we are on the go).  I realize how well the kindness jewels worked and now God is showing me my next challenge – 30 Days of Appreciation.  I can’t wait!

So, this next week… I am going to praise, even it means I can’t think of something to praise over, I have created a box of praises to pull out and read in those moments – and I have to say it really does work to calm you down and realize “I am making an impact, even if some moments don’t make me think so.” J  I encourage you to create a praise box – put all the things you can think of onto slips of paper that are for praise to your son or even funny moments that make you laugh – when you pull this out, you’ll soon realize all the emotions come back into check!