— John Piper
— Romans 8:28
We keep our confessions long, but when we pray we keep it short.
When we say: “God, I trust that you are going to give me the hopes and expectations that I have in this life-time.” Is that really trusting God?
We trust God when we say “God, do as You will. I wither as the grass and I know only what I see. I lay all at Your feet. What You take from me, I freely give to You. What You give to me, I will graciously receive. My whole life is Yours. Whatever cross You give me, I will bear. Whichever path You lead me on, I will follow. All I need is you.”
That is faith. Not expecting God to operate in a man-made system, but instead trusting that He will do what is right and good, no matter how much that disappoints us. No matter how much we lose, sacrifice, change, or suffer, God is enough. He satisfies.
Anonymous asked: I tried for the longest time to be one with the church. I tried so hard to feel the way everyone else felt. Praise and worship I saw faces of pure joy, everyone looked so breath taken by the feeling that they had been given to them in that very point in time. But here I am, not feeling a thing but the sadness I walked in with. When I called on a paster to be he scolded me which made me turn my back from even the thought of Church….I just need something to cure my pain. Is church for me?
If what you say is true, then it is no wonder that you turned away from even the thought of church! That isn’t church at all. Church isn’t about how we feel and what we feel, it’s about the gathering of people who love Jesus to read Scripture and worship God. But to answer your question specifically: Church won’t cure your pain; Jesus will. Now for my lengthy footnote…
This doesn’t mean that you will be happy all of the time. Jesus isn’t some magic drug that you take twice a day to keep the tears away. Worship isn’t some happy time either. Did you know that God gets sad? Did you know that He weeps, and His heart can be broken? This is why we experience sadness, anger, happiness, etc.
You may have been told that there are good and bad emotions. I want you to know that idea is a lie. Emotions are neutral; it just depends on what you do with them. A couple of examples: If you are angry, you don’t need to yell or hit somebody. If you are sad, you don’t need to harm yourself. It is not the emotions that are evil, it is just our responses to them sometimes. There are so many Scripture verses of God being sad or angry, and there are so many Scripture verses of Godly men being sad or angry. So don’t think that Christians are supposed to be happy all of the time, because we’re not. We go through pain. We are human beings, and this world is full of pain and suffering.
Now listen to me very carefully: Jesus knows the pain you are going through, and He wants to help you. From the language that you’ve used, it sounds like you’ve been hurt by a church, but you have not mentioned God at all. So let me ask you this: Could you just try talking to Jesus instead? And telling Him how you feel and everything that you’re going through? I’m not saying you’ll be happy, but He wants to help you!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
These are the words of Jesus. He died for you so that you can have a friendship with Him. He was nailed to a cross, suffered there, and died for you. He loves you. He understands pain. He understands what you’re going through. He’s seen you and I do horrible things, even though all He did was love us. He watched us turn our backs on Him and blame Him for things that He didn’t do. And yet He has not moved; He stands in front of you with arms wide open. I’m not asking you to go to church and try to get those happy go-lucky feelings that you may have seen. I’m just asking you to give Jesus a true, sincere chance.
There is a sarcastic video I want to show you. It’s comedic and funny, but just understand the message: It is stupid to believe that Jesus makes you happy all the time and that you will never, ever be sad.
Messy Mondays: IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME
I promise you, you and I both struggle emotionally. Everyone does. Some people just hide it behind a fake smile. I’ll tell you this though: Jesus brings true joy to my life. Let me explain. There is fulfillment in accepting the love of God. There is comfort in trusting that He will always take care of you. There is hope in knowing that the suffering in this world won’t last forever. It sure doesn’t make the suffering in this world go away, but you know what? Jesus will change your life forever.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’m praying for you.
God bless and much love!
If I am at the height of success, or in the depths of misery,
In my prime of health, or suffering with sickness,
Having many dear friends, or losing them all,
Abounding in riches, or barely eating in poverty,
And in all of the places between these extremes,
I will serve the Lord my God, and turn no other way.
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:15
Too many Christians are always preaching about how Jesus saves, but they never preach how Jesus saves us from Hell.
Let’s bring back the Gospel, the whole Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel.
— John Piper
— John Piper
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:7-11
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7
Every single thing happens for a reason! Whether it is sickness, death, loss of a job or friend, or any other kind of suffering, We need to remember these Scripture verses!
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more."
— Psalm 103:15-16