I have been thinking about this for a while now.
Many of my friends have Christian leaders giving encouraging words on their Facebook feed. I want to start out with saying I am all for uplifting and encouraging. God knows that we should encourage each other.
There seems to be a lot of “feel good” preachers. They will tell you that if you do this or that… then God will make you rich. They will tell you that life is going to be wonderful… that there is good just around the corner! They will tell you that all you have to do is ask and believe.
These are the reasons that I always caution people who lean on those promises and many others.
First, only God has the right to promise you anything. I don’t care what Joel Osteen promises you.. if God didn’t promise it then it isn’t a promise.
The Bible tells you there WILL be trouble in your life. John 16:33. He just says that He has overcome the world.
God views us as children. Now I don’t know when the last time was you spent time with a child… but there are things that just upset Wyatt’s world and he is just sure that it is the end. We as adults know that the thing he is crying over will be forgotten in 15 minutes. He will come to me and want to be held while he cries…. this is EXACTLY the relationship we have with God. He knows what is important to ETERNITY and that the things we are upset about will be gone in ETERNITY.
Yes, people will hurt. People will die young, There will be horrible things. No way around it.
So Wyatt falls and skins his knee. I clean it up, put a bandaid on it, dry his tears and say …”good as new” God views death so differently than we do. We see it as being away from our loved ones. God sees it as his child is coming home! I LOVE when my kids and monkey are here. When we get sick, even terminally, God promises us he will make us “good as new” actually He will make us BETTER than new. All we can see is now, he sees this as a vapor …. so short is our time here.
There are people who truly believe that blessings are ONLY money or material things. How sad! How truly, truly sad. Oh, my blessing breath and walk and talk and hug me. Another blessing laughs with me and wears blue makeup. Another blessing is that I am able to stay home and be the homemaker I love to be. Another blessing is that we have more than we have enough… in food, shelter, clothes. Blessings can be found everywhere…. you must have an open heart. When they are told “give me your money, and God will make you rich… well we have all heard stories of people giving all their money to evangelists . The thing is that the people start to wonder when the money doesn’t show up… does God hate me? Am I not giving enough? This is NOT a God promise, he NEVER promises you money.
Oh then there is the faith thing. Faith takes trials, it takes practice and a lot of prayer before you can do it on first instinct. So you hear “if you just have enough faith God will give you a new car, or house, or boat whatever”. If you just have enough faith God will heal you” If you just have enough faith… So more promises that God didn’t make. Now the people are assuming that they don’t have enough faith. They try harder… nope…. another thing…. nope … so now what do these people think? Doesn’t God HEAR my prayers? Why doesn’t God like me? It has to be me, that is failing!
So if you think life will be easy and a great time is just around the corner …. go get your Bible. Now read Job. Job was a Christian and Satan got permission to do anything to Job to prove that he would curse God. He lost EVERYTHING… I mean EVERYTHING…. family included. Yet, Job stayed true to God. In fact he leaned on God more. God uses trials and hard times to bring us closer to Him.
So you may think… doesn’t God want me to be happy? Sure he does… just like a child, he likes to hear you laugh and “a merry heart doeth good, like a medicine” He just also wants you to remember this old Earth is NOT your home. He doesn’t want you to get too comfortable. He wants you to long for home. Oh I don’t mean you get up in the morning and say “I hope I die today” but that place in your heart that will never be whole until you see God.
I DO understand the need to encourage… but I also worry that people who are not Christians that study the Bible will believe that stuff is from the Bible and God. It isn’t. God is more concerned with your soul than your body. He is more concerned with your eternity.
*** I used Joel Osteen as an example but there are many****