Wouldn’t that be nice?
This lie was discussed last Sunday in my Sunday School based on our current study of “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
This issue can make or break someone’s whole outlook on life, shaping their view both of themselves and of God. Because the bottom line is, believing this lie means we’ve declared ourselves too good to have to suffer, and defined God as either a wimpy God with matters out of His control, or an unloving, distant God.
If we think suffering is undeserved and unnecessary, we will resist and resent it. Keeping an eternal perspective may be the only thing to keep you sane!
It’s easy to see why this is a misconception, because the “religious” culture of our day has taught a wealth and health gospel that’s very agreeable to the ear. To quote Arthur Matthews, missionary to China in the late 30s and 40s,
“…When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek his perspective, but to ask him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through the trouble…” [pg 222*]
But not only should we reject this notion that we deserve a care-free life, we should embrace the pain and suffering that occurs! It is a foreign, but Biblically reality. Because, the TRUTH is:
- It is impossible to be holy apart from suffering. There is a redemptive fruit that cannot be produced in our lives apart from suffering.
- We have been called to suffer. (Acts. 14:22; Heb. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:21, 3:9)
- True joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain. Suffering is a pathway to sanctification, a doorway into greater intimacy with God. (Ps. 23:4; Heb. 2:10, 17-18; 1 Pet. 5:10) [pg 236*]
“God is far more interested in our holiness than in our immediate, temporal happiness–He knows that apart from being holy, we can never truly happy.” [pg 223*]
“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
*All page number references are quotes taken from “Lies Women Believe”.