Tuesday, November 3, 2009
No Free Passes
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Some people believe that as Christians, we are exempt from human suffering. They think that bad things happen to unbelievers, but not to Christians. But inexplicable things happen to godly people. Christians get cancer. Christians die in auto accidents. Christians have all the problems that other people in the world generally have. And it comes as a shock to us. We are surprised when we have problems in life—problems in our career, problems with our family, problems with our kids.
After my son Christopher went to heaven, I had people come up to me and say, "I can't believe this has happened to you of all people." The idea being that I because I am a pastor and preach the gospel, I should somehow get a free pass on the suffering experienced by the rest of the human race.
The Bible teaches that we all will have hardship. The apostle Paul wrote, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment . . . " (Romans 5:3-5).
You may look at some tragedy that has occurred in your life and think, Well, I don't see any good right now. But maybe a month from now you will see a little good. Then a little bit later, you might see a little more good. And it may not be until eternity that you see the big picture and the complete good.
But until that day, there is a God who promises that despite the worst tragedy, He can bring good out of bad.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.