Tag Archive | revelation 21:4

the problem with faith.

For years, years, I have been troubled with people who prayed and “believed God” for a miracle, got healed, and proclaimed their experience for others to believe, too.

Don’t misunderstand. I was happy for them. I understood their thankfulness and desire to make known what prayer can do.

I was not troubled with them.

I was troubled with the people who believed God, too, and did not get healed.

In my 40 years of being surrounded and involved with understanding faith and prayer, I can count on one hand how many people have been healed.

We have to do something with this. Because there are a whole lot of people who are confused and discouraged. And I think God cares about this.

I believe in prayer simply because the scriptures are clear.

Yet, I think we should be careful about isolating a scripture and building so much upon it that we have created inaccuracy. Because God cares about those people who were not healed and are broken-hearted.

It only poses questions such as, “Doesn’t God love me?”, “Didn’t I have enough faith?”

I don’t believe God wants that for anyone.

I have struck a balance in my life of praying for good but accepting the bad. Too much either way causes problems.

Many contemporary churches emphasize Bible believing Christians doing greater works than Jesus.  

Hmm. If that were the case, where are all the miracles, healing, and deliverance?

If some can proclaim what they see, some should be able to proclaim what they don’t see. This is not a lack of faith. In fact, I think it reflects a very deep kind of faith which is not based on personal experience, but acknowledges that we do not see and understand everything.

Faith isn’t always visible. Faith can weather many disappointments and still rest firmly on God’s promises, and ultimately, the last chapter of the book when everything concludes:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain,

for the old order of things has passed away.

I often think about the people who endured suffering throughout the centuries. Read their biographies. Sing their hymns. They still speak to us today, “the great cloud of witnesses”. What truths did they build their life on that contemporary Christian thinking has all but ignored?

What ever you are facing, let your faith find its place. And while I cannot promise a miracle, I can promise wherever you plant yourself, your roots will go deep and sustain you for the rest of your life…

until God fixes everything in eternity.

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remembering.

Tomorrow will be 12 years.

Christopher heard the call and was loyal and committed to the purpose and destiny he heard all of his life. Yet, the mixture of his zealous personality (do it right or don’t do it at all), and the certainty of purpose and assurance of destiny, fought with his tender heart.

With the tendency of feeling disqualified, it became too much.

I’ve been writing here for awhile now, with the purpose of being a small but steady light telling of God’s care during tragedy. I have not written solely about suicide, but the heartache of suffering in all its shapes and sizes.

I cannot speak to every heartache, but I do know the One who can.

I’m just a beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. And when you are hurting, you are begging for answers.

But we don’t always get answers, do we?

Some say, how could a God of love allow pain? I say isn’t it amazing how a God of love will comfort us in the pain.

It’s always been easy for me to see the big picture and not get lost in the details. That said, I have often found strength learning of the suffering which has come to mankind since the beginning of time.

There is a bigger picture. One that is difficult if not impossible for humanity to grasp. Try as we may, though, we form intellectual opinions based on what we see or understand, not realizing (or accepting) that just as the immensity of the universe cannot be understood in our finite minds, we will not understand why we suffer.

God’s ways are not ours. And in this I find comfort. Because it tells me someone is in charge of all this.

He has the answers.

The Bible speaks of the great cloud of witnesses” who surround us – those who spur us on to continue with perseverance  the path marked out for us. Men and women who faced intense adversity: ” … 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 …”

We can continue with world history and current events which reveal so much pain and suffering, along with many, many who have endured and persevered, because they have grabbed hold of something bigger than themselves.

I do not want to minimize pain by sounding trivial in the conclusions I have come to.  But even in my worst first moments of receiving the news, suffocating and pulling me down into an abyss of hopelessness and despair, I found a brief moment to catch my breath and see the big picture of human suffering. Looking back, this was God pulling back the curtain to show me a truth that would help sustain me.

I was not alone. Countless others have faced this and more. God wasn’t picking on just me. He wasn’t punishing me. He wasn’t rejecting me.

Pain will isolate us, particularly from God. It, like death, is an enemy. An enemy that God will deal with one day when he wipes away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death.

This is truth.

The truth sets us free from the limitations of how we see things.

And so we wait.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 

chris-peru

 

Christopher Moulton

November 30, 1981 – September 26, 2005

memorial day.

I haven’t lost anyone close to me who gave their life for our country.

But I know many of you have.

What a noble act for your loved one to protect all of us.

When I am feeling annoyed over something small – even sorrowful over something big – I think of the 15 and 16 year old young men who fought in the Civil War and beyond.

They never got to experience life.

These are difficult things to grasp, no matter what your story is.

Christians have hope; a certainty and assurance of knowing there is life beyond here on earth – where God says he will wipe away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death.

My prayer is comfort and peace for you today as you remember the loss of your loved one for our nation.

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focus.

While driving today, once again I found myself marveling at the splashes of autumn color.

It never gets old, does it?

Then I thought about what is coming : winter.

That can mean lots of snow, negative temperatures, and a bitter cold wind.

It means long, dark days that stretch into early March.

But set before, is this spectacular show that God paints across the landscape. I thought about how God does those kinds of things – like giving autumn before a pretty but often brutal winter and then the hope of spring.

The father heart of God toward humanity: He is with us.

It’s understandable how anyone would want to run from him, shake a fist at him, or worse yet, deny his existence. And still, God loves. Because if anyone understands pain, it’s God.

Yet, his world his filled with beauty in the midst of it. He made it that way purposely. And everything has perfect timing.

We can focus on the pain.

Or we can focus on the beauty.

And you can only focus on the beauty if you know the rest of the story.

 

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photo credit: kathy moulton

death.

a531bcaec2c71734101cdb348047f5ea Death is like a storm.

The winds howl, the rain plummets, the sky is black.

Beyond the threatening sky, there is blue sky and sunshine. You just can’t see it. But it’s there.

Death is not the end. But for now, it feels like it.

This Bible verse gives the Christian hope-

He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter / CC BY

The Bible says God set eternity in our hearts. That’s why we wonder about life after we die.

The one who put eternity there is the one who has the answers to our wondering.

Only believe.

beautiful strength.

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You can’t fix grief.

A paper cut will heal quickly.

A gun shot wound requires more time.

Sometimes the bullet cannot be removed.

People live with bullets inside of them.

People live with broken hearts.

This isn’t hopelessness.

It is acceptance of what is.

Once accepted,  you carry grief with  strength…

beautiful strength.

~~~

Photo Courtesy:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mait/5184718154/