He Leads Us Through, Not Into. "...we went through fire and through water: but thou brought us out into a wealthy place."
Ps 66:12b KJV
The life of a Christian is often filled with many ups and downs, twists and turns and bumps and bruises. An ex-inmate told me about how broken up he was when he entered prison. He said a Christian inmate had compassion on him and began telling him about Christ and how the "truth would set him free". The new inmate actually thought he would be released from prison when he learned the Bible! How often we expect God to rearrange all consequences because we just decide to trust him.
In our zeal for the Lord, we often mislead new Christians into thinking that by placing their faith in Christ, they will never have another bad day. Christianity is neither a "primrose lane" nor the "yellow brick road".
Healing Requires Sickness
In order to have victories we must experience battles, so why do we claim a victorious life, while refusing to admit conflicts. Faith is only needed when we cannot see why something is happening. Forgiveness is only needed where sins and failures have occurred. We want to claim healing without admitting any sickness ever happened. Humility can never make us proud.
Christ promised tribulation in this world. The fact that we can rejoice in that Christ has overcome the world, does not make us immune to the tribulation, it only makes us endurable. Moses chose to "suffer affliction with the people of God (Hebrews 11:25). Paul proclaimed, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:19). James said we should count it a joy when we have trials (James 1:23). Peter said these trials were "more precious than gold," (1 Peter 1:7) not something that should be denied or shunned at all cost. He said we should "rejoice" in that we could be partakers in Christ's sufferings, (1 Peter 4:13).
Today Shall Pass
The path of God's children leads over peaks and through valleys. Each will experience peace, joy and victory. Each will also experience heartache, disappointment and defeat. Does the latter always mean that God is punishing us... that we are failures... that Satan is in control? No, no, no!
A gospel song says, "Some through the fire, some through the flood, some through great sorrow, but all through the blood. God leads his dear children along"
Job went from wealthiest to poverty in one day. Later on he went from abject poverty to twice his former wealth in one day, yet God's love for Job never changed in either situation.
Most of the people who receive our newsletter are hurting. Prisoners and their families are suffering today, but there is life after prison. Many ex-inmates realize that suffering and problems are left at the prison. It sometimes takes months, even years, to reestablish family relations, return to the job market with any success or overcome the stigma of being a felon.
People who have been in prison or have a loved one in prison also hurt. Age takes its toll and though "the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16) the old man accelerates toward disability and death.
A Better Day Coming
Should we despair because of tribulation in this world? No. We can learn to appreciate God's Son even more. It is because of these trials that we long for "the glory which shall be revealed" (Romans 8:18).
"...we went through fire and through water: but thou brought us out into a wealthy place."
Ps 66:12b KJV
Keep Looking Up.
In loving memory of Leland Maples.