One of the challenges facing the Church is Christians who present a false message...and there are many of these! The ones we often talk about the most are the Prosperity Gospel teachers who say that God wants to make us rich. Then there are the ones who ask you to send them money as a measure of your faith so that God will do lots of good things for you. Let's consider two passages and see how they fit together:
For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. (Job 5:6-7)
The righteous person has many troubles, but the Lord rescues him from all of them. (Psa. 34:19)
When I gave my life to Christ in 1971, I became exposed to a great many teachings I had never heard before. God wants to heal everyone. God wants to make us all wealthy. God will make all of our troubles go away. I thought, "Wow! That sounds great! If I give my life to Jesus, I won't have any more troubles; that's the greatest thing ever!" One of the problems with this kind of theology is it’s just not true. Another problem is that it can be very damaging to Christians who are having troubles. When I complained about some problem, my Mom used to tell me, "Into each life some rain must fall." In our first passage, we read that trouble comes to us "as surely as sparks from a fire fly upward." Have you ever sat and watched a fire? The sparks always fly upward. Trouble comes to every person; it's a part of life. Our second passage tells us that the righteous person will have many troubles. Guess what? Righteous people and unrighteous people have troubles. In Matthew 5, Jesus told His disciples: "Your Father in heaven makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong." The Bible tells us that God will rescue us from troubles but guess what? We can't be rescued from troubles we don't have! Sometimes God is the Source of our troubles. Sometimes God rescues us by taking us through our troubles. I'm talking to someone this morning. You are experiencing significant trouble in your life and you don't know why. The truth is that you may never know why but your Heavenly Father knows and He knows just what to do about it. Take some time to thank Him for all of the good things He has done in your life and praise Him for who He is and what He does.
Whatever seems to be going wrong, Jesus is sovereign, ruling His universe. He will take care of you and help you through the storms of life...and that's very Good News!