So, are Christians supposed to be miserable wretches?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by LadyEagle, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    If God is no respecter of persons, why do some Christians have more heartaches in this life than other Christians do?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Rippon

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    You changed the title of your thread from "unhappy' to "miserable wretches".

    God having no respect of persons ( replete with biblish ) has nothing to do with our respective lots as Christians.The Lord is not influenced like people are by those who may have riches, good looks, charm etc.

    It is up to His sovereign disposal of things as to why some believers are given more to bear than others. His providence dictates why. In this life we will not know completely."Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." ( 1 Cor. 13:12, NLTse )

    There have been some good books written on the subject such as "Behind A Frowning Providence" ( John J. Murray)and "The Mystery Of Providence."( John Flavel )
     
    #2 Rippon, Jun 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2008
  3. StefanM

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    I like the phrasing, LadyEagle :).
     
  4. Rippon

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    No, we aren't 'supposed' to be. But we are in all our sin. Do you remember Newton writing "a wretch such as I". We are worms of the dust when we realize our actual state prior to regeneration.
     
  5. Cutter

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    Seems you are indicting God on meting out heartaches. Heartaches are a product of the curse we live under brought about by the fall of man.
     
  6. nunatak

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    Yes, God is no respecter of persons. If he was, I could never be saved.

    I will also ask this: Are we, the created, allowed to ask the Creator, Why did you make me like this?
     
  7. Rippon

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    No, we aren't. Romans 9:21 :"Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use?" ( NRSV )
     
  8. Steven2006

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    Mat 20:15 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?'



    Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
     
  9. Steven2006

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    I agree, and when you put both verse 20 & 21 together it is even more clear.


    Rom 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
    Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
     
  10. Sopranette

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    It's because Satan and his army are constantly scouring the earth like a roaring lion.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  11. David Lamb

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    I don't see the connection between God not being a respecter of persons, and some Christians having more heartaches than others. The "respecter of persons" verse is Acts 10.34:


    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"


    But the context there is not how much some Christian suffer compared to others, but rather, the fact that (unlike the false gods) God is not limited to a particular geographical area, ethnic division, or anything like that. Peter had had to be persuaded by God (in that vision of the sheet lowered, with ceremonially clean and unclean animals in it)
    that the gospel was for gentiles too, not just the Jews. So God does not look at two people and say of them, "He is a Jew; I must save him, but the other is a gentile; I will not save him."

    As to the matter of why some Christians suffer more than others in this life, I don't know, but of one thing I am sure, that, as Romans 8.28 says:


    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


    I try to cling to that little phrase, "all things" when I am going through a particularly trying time.
     
  12. superwoman8977

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    Okay well with all I have been through in the last 10 years I just get the impression that God chooses who He wants to bless and who He wants to curse and apparently I am one He wants to curse. Its very hard when you see friends and family around you marry and buy homes and cars and have kids and here you sit day after day struggling to make ends meet and letting such lonlieness get to you. And then I ask myself what did I do to lose everything. Follow God, go to church, what did I do wrong, that to me is very frustrating.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Trials will come for all. We can either miss the blessing in the midst of them or see it.
     
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    God wants us to wear a hair shirt and wip our backs with cords of rope.:laugh:

    Life is life hard ships come an go and no its not equal. Some people suffer more than others. Some are self inflicted and others are not. Thats why it is so important to take care of those in need. Remember Jesus spent a lot of time healing the sick and healing the broken hearted.
     
  15. annsni

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    Your perspective is way off. Do not look at the "successes" of others as a blessing from God. God may be needing to use your affliction to get your attention and you're looking to the wrong places to get answers. You might want to read some Psalms and see that David struggled with the same idea - but came out with a totally different solution than Joyce Meyers.

    Psalm 22
    Psalm 26
    Psalm 37
    Psalm 40
    Psalm 42
    Psalm 73

    and more. I think it will help.
     
  16. TomMann

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    I don't claim to be exempt from any of lifes difficulties. I don't know of many families that are not in some way under affliction.... some more than others. At 59 years of age I'm doing cancer treatments again after some good years of remission.

    I understand that this will be a difficult read for many of the folks who will look at it, but it is something that I think deserves a good look. The book was written in 1862 by a preacher "Gardiner Spring". The title Mission of Sorrow.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Read the book of Job and then ask the same question.
     
  18. gb93433

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    James 1:2-4, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
     
  19. TC

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    Maybe you are asking the wrong questions

    I have been thinking about your situation that you have shared with us. You seem very focused on what others have that you do not have. You look at others situations through rose colored glasses - not taking into account the whole picture. I think that this has caused you to ask the wrong questions. Now, do not take me wrong. I speak from experience. I have been through one hard time after another. Just when it seems that things are looking up, BAM - I am more behind than ever. This has been going on for about 40 years. What I have learned is that God is faithful and he has taken care of me in the midst of all these things happening.

    Jesus said in Matthew 5 "He (our Heavenly Father) causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." and in Mathew 7 "24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." We see that good times and great storms hit believers and unbelievers alike.

    Yes, you have been going through a long season of hard times and struggle, but the way to get though it is not to compare yourself to others. When Peter asked Jesus about John, Jesus told Peter to nevermind what would happen to John and follow me. We are not responsible for everthing that happens to us. We are only responsible for how we respond to what happens to us. James puts it this way James 1 and 2. "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." and "5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

    Paul wrote this to the Phillipians while in prison. "12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength." I encourage you to quit focusing on what think you lack compared to others. Instead, thank your Heavenly Father for what he is teaching you through these experiences and giving you the strength to endure. If you do not know what he is trying to say to you, then ask him believing he will give you an answer. James puts it this way - "5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

    All scripture quoted is from the NIV.
     
  20. David Lamb

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    Superwoman, I pray that God will help you through your struggles. I don't know you personally, but it seems from your message that you are mistaken to imply that things like not being a home-owner, not having a car,not being married, not having children, and not being well-off financially, are results of God cursing you. I am also a little puzzled when you talk about the "friends and family around you," and then say that you are lonely. Please don't misunderstand me - I know that some families can ignore a particular family member, and that friends can forsake us, so maybe that is what you meant.

    You mentioned "going to church". Are actually a member of that church? Does the pastor know of the difficulties you are facing? I am sure he knows you better than members of the Baptist Board do, and for that reason alone he'd be in a better position to offer advice.


    Rather than concentrating your thoughts on those Christians who you see as better off than you, why not think about the many, many Christians in the world who are severely persecuted for no other reason than that they are Christians? You could go to the Open Doors "Country Profiles", at: http://www.opendoorsuk.org/resources/country-profiles.asp where you would see the following, and much more:
    North Korea: For the sixth year running this is the most difficult country in the world in which to be a Christian. The government isolates the population from the wider world. Christians face brutal persecution and may be beaten, arrested, tortured, or killed. There are up to 500,000 believers; at least a quarter are imprisoned in prison camps. Some join other North Koreans in taking enormous risks to flee to China, but police in both countries often arrest refugees and those helping them.

    Yemen: The constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but citizens are not allowed to convert from the state religion (Islam) to any other religion. Non-Muslims are not allowed to run for government. The Yemeni government allows expatriates some freedom to live out their faith but converts from an Islamic background may face the death penalty if they are discovered. Evangelism of Muslims is prohibited. During 2007 several Christian converts were arrested and physically harmed.

    Eritrea: Border struggles with Ethiopia have made life difficult for millions. Almost half of the population belong to the Orthodox Church, but other denominations are marginalised. Small evangelical churches have been closed and cannot be registered. More than 2,000 Christians are imprisoned for their faith, some held in windowless shipping containers. Sometimes a church group is rounded up and imprisoned. One believer was tortured to death when she refused to renounce her faith.

    I know that could sound a bit like my mum when I was a boy, and when I said I didn't want to finish my food, she would say, "There are plenty of children in the world who are starving; they wouln't make a fuss about their food!" :laugh:

    But think of the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave up the splendours and riches of heaven, to come to this earth to die a cruel death, and He did it to save those who believe on Him.

    Hopefully, that might help you to get your current situation into perspective. May God grant that it will.
     

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