today's broadcast. My heart sympathized with the caller. I can remember back in the day, when it seemed like no matter what I did to get ahead, I always seemed to fall 3 steps back. Meanwhile, some of my family members were living it up in bars, kept making it hand over fist. This realization brought me into the state of depression more often than not.
She was pointed to the famous "Wall of Faith" scripture found in Hebrews 11. The writer reminds us of all the Old Covenant characters who stepped out on faith and did this or that. Then, in verse 33, we read where "good stuff" (by our standards, anyway) happened to the people that stepped out on faith. In the middle of verse 35, we see that other folks who stepped out in faith were flogged, jeered, sawed in half, stabbed, tortured, prisoned, stoned... the list goes on.
If this happened way back when, we shouldn't be surprised that it's happened now a days. Faith isn't a free pass to a life of luxury. The bottom line is, rich or poor, in sickness or in health, is God our God? Is His grace sufficient for us? If so, what will the by products of that belief system be? The host offered to send the caller a book called Classic Christianity, which he felt (and I agree) would answer a lot of those puzzling questions.
As a side note, just remembering my own history, a lot of well meaning Christians are in bondage to religion. One reason that bills might be be paid, is that some churches will put guilt trips if you don't absolutely pay 10% of your income--off the top, please. No money? They take credit cards, or post dated checks. Scary at the bondage some folks were in. Too many times I've heard, "Give, and watch God bless you".. but the thing is... there have been times that I've NOT been able to give, yet, God has STILL blessed me. Faith, good works, whatever the world deems as a 'Good Christian" is not the golden ticket to prosperity. As Paul warned Timothy in I Timothy 6, .."constant friction between men of corrupt minds that have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."
The most liberating thing there is, is freedom in Christ. Freedom to serve in love; and because of love, not in fear of punishment. I don't suppose I'll ever get past this feeling of awe, every time I think of how much God loves us, and what all He's done to demonstrate that love.
Praises to our Eternal Heavenly Father!