It’s Not All Good

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Sometimes I forget that we live in a broken world.  It’s easy to do when things are going fine.  I get caught up in the joys of my own little bubble of a life and I lose sight of the reality that all around me people are suffering deeply.  And suffering is often only a stone’s throw away from my own front door.

There are many wonderful promises in the Bible.  Things which I look forward to with an eager anticipation.  Things I hope for and believe with all of my waiting heart. Things which bring comfort at the very thought of them.

But there are also some awful promises in the Bible.  Things which I do not look forward to.  Things which I dread with all of my heart and often live seeking to avoid the reality of.  Things I hope will somehow pass over my doorway and which bring deep anguish at the very thought of them.

One such promise is that, in the days before Jesus returns, following Him will cost some  people everything – even their own families.  As the world grows darker and becomes more deeply entrenched in deception, those who put their trust in Jesus and those who don’t, if they are living in the same household, will become enemies.  Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 10:34-39 that, for some, this will be too much to handle.  For others, such a great loss will one day – in the blessed end – be considered a greater gain for having known and held fast to the Giver of Life.

This is hard saying indeed, one I can scarcely imagine and yet have come up against in a recent study of the Word.  What I have taken from it is that this presents a hole in the reality of the one who cannot embrace the thought of their own suffering and persecution. For the one who is determined to believe that it is “all good”, all the time (I once was that person), there is a serious derailing which is destined to interrupt their journey on the yellow brick road.

As I ponder the hour we are living in, and the telltale signs we are seeing on every side, my heart wonders if we have been true to Christ’s commission: to make disciples of every nation?  A disciple is taught to pattern his or her life after their Master, and our Master went to the cross before He rose from the grave. He willingly embraced His suffering and persecution, and endured it in such a way that the Father was glorified by it.  God somehow appeared good after it was all said and done.

To be sure, there is victory waiting for us, and there is wonderful joy promised, even in the midst of our deepest pain.  But there is also the very real promise that we will know unspeakable pain.  Pain that severs relationships.  Pain that crushes the soul. Pain that cannot be comforted by an encouraging word or the distant possibility of circumstances changed.  Pain that must be endured, and which threatens to leave only ashes in its wake.

And though we desperately want to tell each other that it’s all good and it will all be okay, there are some times in this life when it’s really not all good, and may never be okay.  In such times, will we discover a faith that is able to endure anyway?  Will we find a trust that is unbroken by the severest of testings and trials?  When everything is laid on the table – with the stakes so high we’re almost afraid to see what card is laid down next – are we counting on a winning promise, or are we counting on the Dealer Himself?

As we go deeper – because we are – I want to challenge you to examine your heart before the Lord in light of the not-so-great promises He has given in His Word.  If persecution were to strike you within the walls of your own home, if you were to lose that which is most dear to your heart, if all that you’ve fought to hold onto was suddenly ripped away, could you and would you still have a faith which remains rooted in God and His infinite goodness? Or would your life and faith unravel with the picture you have painted in your mind of the way things were supposed to be?

Forgive me if this is hard to consider, but I am becoming more and more passionate about leading people closer to Christ, and further from the wicked deception that leads faith only through the green pastures and not through the Valley of Death.  According to the Bible, the Valley of Death is a necessary part of the journey.  Pain and suffering and sometimes unimaginable grief and loss are a part of the path. And if we aren’t ready for that, we will fall away and lose our life when the holes in our false reality begin to appear.

Dear Woman of Breakthrough, it is time to awake and arise! The hour is late and we must be prepared for whatever may come, setting our hope fully on the One Who is able to keep us from stumbling.  No matter what we must endure, we can do so with a supernatural joy as we choose to trust God and obey His Word, believing that He is able to restore all which is lost for His Name’s sake.

Dare to stand with me today, through whatever fire you may be facing.  And believe that He is present with us, and will cause great and miraculous things to come out of the fire, if we will only refuse to bow to any other Name or any other message.  His Word alone is life.  If your life is bound up in anything or anyone else, now is the time to repent and lay it down before Him. He is a trustworthy God, and even in the taking, He has only our good in mind.

If we can trust that, by the power of His Spirit, we will surely see His goodness!  Then we will truly see the day when, indeed, it is all good!

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}


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