Saturday, April 28, 2012


Therefore, let those who by the purpose of God undergo suffering, keep on in well-doing and in putting their souls into the safe hands of their Maker.  --I Peter 4:19 (self-translated)
I will perhaps over-reach my readers' sensibilities to proclaim that all suffering is of God, even as suffering that comes about as a result of following God is perhaps more noble.  Now you might argue -- then what's the point of believing in God?  The fact is that many of the Bible-thumping preachers today imply, or overtly declare, "If you believe properly, good things will come and suffering will be avoided."  Further, we have been brought up as children of prosperity and abundance to ask the question, "What's in it for me?"  So, we come to our faith and our churches expecting a contract that if we believe in the Good Lord we will be given whatever our hearts desire.  Having faith gets reduced to having belief that I can pray in a right way and get whatever I pray for.  My experience of God does not support this heresy.   There is nothing in the Old or New Testament that has God saying, "This is my covenant: I will be your God and give you whatever you want."  To think our prayer list gives God some cosmic to-do list is just the worst disservice to faith.

All suffering is of God.  But know this: whatever the course we all win with God.  Trusting that is faith.  Logically, even if we could not accept this -- choosing instead not to believe, the experiences of this life will not change.  Faith is about something bigger than this earthly life.  Do you want to be part of that larger eternity?  The only thing for us of faith is, as this verse concludes, to keep on doing well to others and to put your soul in the safe hands of God.  If all the humans in the world would get just that much of the Gospel, what would life on earth be like?

Lord, put us to finding grace in our suffering, magnanimity in our blessings, truth in our faith.  Amen. 

1 comment:

  1. Exactly!Do well to others and rest in the safe hands of God. Thanks!