Jan. 9, 2021

Chicken Little Christianity

It's Chicken Little time for Christianity! The sky is falling, so - people keep pleading for Jesus to come back and make it stop. Or, just beam me up! So how about taking an old fashioned look at how the Apostles understood trials and suffering? This is nothing new, but it sure has gotten lost these days.

In the first place, it seems to me that before physical lift-off, Jesus promised He'd never leave us or forsake us - that the Counselor, the Comforter would be sent. So, how do you know He's not working out some higher purposes right in the midst of the fiery trials? He doesn't always make appearances the same way, and especially not as a "have it your way" Burger King Jesus.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 2:2-4.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9.

It’s time to study and pray also about the book of Job, the go to tale of all adverse events, and to stop looking for escape hatches like the ones televangelist charlatans, other liars, prosperity peddlers, and deceivers have used to hoax their devotees for probably a century and a half at least. 

There won't be any shortcuts or detours on the Narrow Way that leads to life. It's the broad and easy way that leads to eternal destruction. We’re going to have some solemn reminders of this that are already entering the picture of our events. 

God is in the business of making sons who "look like" Him. The goal is a spiritual resemblance to Jesus, the maturing or perfecting of the saints, partaking of His holiness. It takes fire, forge, crucible… apparently to make that happen.

 "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:5-11.

Christians in the USA have never known what Russian or Chinese Christians or many others all over the world have endured for decades. Who’s read about the martyrs down through the centuries lately? It might be time to wise up and realize that He intends to see us through it for His own reasons, not snatch us away from it. Testing is on the way here. In fact, it is here. This isn't about Trump or any of them. The hand of God has written all over the wall. But who can read it? Who wants to read it?

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8.

“strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John:16:33.

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