I first wrote this section right after
this event took place in my life (April 2007). Shortly thereafter,my brother Greg
who helped write the "Psalms Written to Our Lord" chapter on this web-site passed away from cancer after
six month from being diagnosed with this horrific disease. My time of testing lasted six years and since June 2007,
God has begun pouring out His blessings on my family, our finances, and me.
God is good and He has brought me through this long season of testing.
It was not easy,but with my wife, my kids, and myself relying on God's
strength, and not our own strength, we have made it through this hard,
hard season. Thank you Father God and my Lord Jesus for being with
me. I know you always are, but in my weakness, I sometimes fail to see
I resisted writing this chapter.
I came close to erasing it a few times. I am embarrassed to air my
dirty laundry for all to see. I do not like to show my weakness. But
my love for God is giving me strength to let you read this.
chapter was a bold undertaking. The subject of personal suffering for Christ is not
a popular subject in America any longer.
Philippians 1: 29 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
It is a subject most churches
in America, as well as in the industrial nations of Europe, and along
with Canada shy away from and do not talk about at their pulpits. The
fear of offending someone and political correctness have made our
pulpits preach "Feel Good" topics mostly, and most will not tackle controversial matter. That
is not the Bible. The Bible is controversial and so is Jesus. The
Bible and Jesus is hated in this fallen world we live in. Because
most of my audience lives in America, but also in Europe and Canada,
they do not want to hear or read about pain that is taught in the
Bible. We live in a culture that wants pleasure all the time. Many of
our television Evangelists are preaching the "Prosperity Message" because we want to be rich and pain free ( with no trials or troubles whatsoever) and we have bought into it. We do not like pain. We do not like suffering. We want, We want, and We want. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES!
All we have to do to know this for sure is look in the word of God. We
know what happened to the apostles. They died a martyr's death for
their faith in Jesus Christ. They had no mansions and no money, but God did provide for them.
What about Job? Could
I, as an American, go through what Job did and keep my faith in my
Redeemer? Could I go through what Job did and hold my tongue and not get angry with God? I always thought I could. Recently though, I failed. Two weeks ago, I got angry and I yelled at God for the first time.
My finances have been bad for about six years now. Before 1997, when I was only a babe in Christ... life
was easy, I was blessed. I was making over $100,000 annually. I was
saving money. I could afford to buy anything I wanted. No problems,
Then God got a hold of me, and my faith
exploded. God worked miracles in my life and I wanted him more than
anything. As my faith grew, I began to study the Bible, and more
importantly, share my faith in Jesus Christ in many different ways. I
always looked for a door opening to share my faith with family and
friends, and even strangers.
It seemed overnight, things began to
change for my family and I. Like a light switch, in one years time, my
income was cut in more than half. I could not even plan for this it
happened so fast. I could no longer save money. My credit card debt grew and grew (thank God all at low interest rates). Because of
my own foolishness, I have made a mess of my finances and as I write
this, they are very bleak. During these six years of trouble, I have
gotten my strength from the Bible. I have and still do trust God that
he will provide. My joy came from the assurance that I knew I will
live in heaven forever. This was
(and is) the prize I seek and which gives me joy.
The timing for when, for first time ever, I got angry with God is interesting. I meet every Friday evening with a group of
men from my church. We discuss, study, pray, and have fellowship
together and it is a wonderful time of sharing. This particular night, we were discussing if any of us ever has gotten angry with God. I was the only one who never had experienced this. The other men all confessed they had experienced anger with God. This is true, up until this night, I really never felt angry with God.
I do know this about me now. In my pride, I always
thought no matter what- no matter what Satan threw at me, I would be
like Job--I would persevere through all my troubles. That changed in an instant three days after my Friday night men's group, and that instant is all the time Satan needed. I
was already edgy making decisions that effected our finances, and this
Monday...every time the business phone rang... instead of making me
money...it was costing me money. I felt what is the use? Why keep on
trying growing in the Lord? Why share my faith with others when all I
get from it is pain. Life was much easier when I was a babe in
Christ...doing no work for his Kingdom. Satan left me alone when God and peoples salvation wasn't my priority. I started yelling at the one I love-my God.
know the truth, the Bible never says life will be easy. There are no
promises for Christian or for that matter the non-believer that life
will be easy. Both have problems. Each day will bring problems of their own.
Matthew 6: 33-34 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I pray God has spoken to you in this chapter and that you will stay
strong in the Lord no matter what happens and that you will finish the race. I pray you will be one of the10-20% who will remain in their faith.
Problems do come to us all. Jesus promise to always be
with us, and asks us to lean on him- especially in our times of trouble.
It took me the better part of two
weeks to forgive myself for being angry with God. Jesus has once again
forgiven my sin, taken
my burdens, and has given my joy back to me. My problems still exist,
but the burden is gone. It is Jesus who sustains me.
Is it worth it? Is it worth growing ones faith? Is it worth the pain
and troubles that Satan sends to those who seek Jesus first, and work
for his kingdom? The answer is YES! Would it be better for me to go back to the time
when I was a babe in Christ and Satan left me alone? The answer is NO!
It probably would be easier, but then I would lose out on the closest and best
relationship I could ever have. I love my Jesus. He is my strength.
Without him I am nothing.
God loves you and so do I!