Christ Followers have perfect pain free lives

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 Are you kidding me?  Where does either Scripture or experience give credence to the viewpoint that Christ Followers have perfect pain free lives?

How many people honestly can claim to experience the following formula? To live without sickness, heartache and financial trouble all that is required is to ask Jesus to forgive your sins and be one’s savior. After that, it is clear sailing.  Are you serious?

God said Job was “blameless and upright” yet all of Job’s livestock were stolen, his servants killed, his children died when the house they were in collapsed from a storm, and his body covered with painful sores from his head to his feet.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble”. One of the greatest apostles, Paul, was shipwrecked then bit by a poisonous snake.

Sometimes we get so used to the “cheer-up” mode in Christianity that we become unreal.  When Charlie’s daughter had her leg amputated a well-meaning friend quoting the Bible said “all things work together for good”.

He wanted to reply, “Tell me about it when your daughter loses her leg.  Come back when you’ve gone through something like this, and then we’ll talk”, but he held his tongue.

A few days after her surgery, however, he could not keep silent.  He walked past a guy in a restaurant who grabbed his coat and said, “Jim, I think God has allowed this to happen because it has brought about a revival in our church.”  Speaking up this time, Jim said, “So what is God going to do to bring another revival when this one passes, chop off Becki’s other leg?  Then her arm and her other arm?  There isn’t enough of Becki to keep any church spiritually alive, if that is what it takes.”

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.  A hug or a handshake speaks volumes. An important lesson often learned in tragedy is that there are only two choices to make.  One is to be angry at God and follow the path of despair.  The other is to let God be God, and somehow say, “I don’t know how all this fits together. I don’t understand the reasons for it. I’ve chosen to accept the fact that You are God and I’m the servant, instead of the other way around.”

Scripture teaches and experience validates the truth that God loves us, desires the best for us, will guide, lead, and direct our lives, will empower us to LIVE, will give us free choice, and will never leave us or forsake us.  Sometimes it is not the facts we struggle with but perception.

An old mystery program on the radio told the story of a man who was condemned to solitary confinement in a pitch-black cell.  The only thing he had to occupy his mind was a marble, which he threw repeatedly against the walls.  He spent his hours listening to the marble as it bounced and rolled around the room.  Then he would grope in the darkness until he found his precious toy.

One day, the prisoner threw his marble upward—but it failed to come down.  Only silence echoed through the darkness.  He was deeply disturbed by the “evaporation” of the marble and his inability to explain its disappearance.  Finally, he went berserk, pulled out all his hair, and died.

When the prison officials came to remove his body a guard noticed something caught in a huge spider’s web in the upper corner of the room. That’s strange, he thought. I wonder how a marble got up there.”

There are times we cannot harmonize all the facts.  The prisoner didn’t have a problem with facts.  He had a problem with perception. What is the conclusion in this matter? Shake it off. Run to the Father when life is tough, not from Him.

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