This week, I intended to dispel another myth about suffering. I have rewritten such a Blog numerous times, but something else is on my heart. I know so many people who are suffering terrible illnesses or going through very difficult times in their lives right now. I want to encourage them. Pain, in all its forms, is so debilitating. It changes our entire outlook on life and slowly erodes away who we are. How do we endure under such pain? To avoid this Blog being the length of a book, I want to focus on two aspects. One, understanding the character of God and two, understanding our perspective. Again, I emphasize that my audience is intended for those who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, there is no hope.
We continue our multi-part series Blog about dispelling the myths of suffering. I want to repeat that this series targets an audience of people who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet find themselves in painful situations. I endured over 20 years bedridden for weeks and months at at time due to chronic pain and I heard many explanations as to why. Suffering, be it an illness or a difficult circumstance, effects all of us at some point in our lives. The painful circumstance is difficult enough on it's own without the disillusionment and despair that results in believing lies about suffering. This Blog series aims to dispel those lies regarding suffering.
In Part 1, I discussed the myth that suffering is a result of God punishing you. In this Part 2, I discuss the two most common myths why God doesn't heal. One, you lack faith and two, you have sin in your life.
Welcome to our multi-part series Blog about common myths regarding suffering. How do we dismiss the lies and embrace God’s truth regarding suffering in our lives in order to gain strength and encouragement to endure, rather than become stuck in the bog of despair and disillusionment?
First, I write to an audience of people who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be those who have believed for a matter of days or for decades. I wish to speak to those who are children of God yet find themselves in painful and overwhelming situations.
I spent over 20 years bedridden for weeks and months at a time due to chronic pain. I have heard so many reasons and excuses for why I was in that bed. Each week in this series, I will examine another “myth” explaining why God allows suffering.
I will begin with probably one of the most common and most discouraging myths: God is punishing you.
I recently heard a preacher say that salvation is 99% Jesus Christ but 1% us. I have heard this before. God does everything necessary for salvation (99%) but we must come, confess, repent, etc. (1%) to accomplish the last part of salvation. Do you agree?
Although I know that theologically this is ridiculous (how could I ever add to Jesus' complete work on the cross!!?), I must admit that this theory appeals to me. I know that I can’t earn my own salvation in any way, but I live my life many times as if it were up to me to maintain that salvation (how do you maintain a gift after all anyway? Then it is no longer a gift!). Again, theologically, I know that I can’t lose my salvation, but I think at times that God is somehow more pleased with me when I perform well and less pleased when I fail.
As a teenager, I cringed under the definition of grace. I thought it was so unfair! I was an obedient, good, well mannered teenager, who didn’t rebel against her parents like other teenagers I knew. I thought it was unfair that God gave them the same grace and forgiveness as a believer that he gave me. How arrogant and wrong I was!