May 16, 2020

Troubles Are Real

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them from them all.
—Psalm 34:19

I wonder what the "name-it-claim-it" preachers of the prosperity gospel do with this passage? It's nice to believe in deliverance from difficulties. But if I actually deny the existence of difficulties, then what exactly am I being delivered from? Or if I believe the difficulties occurred in the first place due to a lack of righteousness or faith, then what makes my deliverance any different from a wicked person experiencing a run of good luck?

Troubles are real. And so is God's deliverance. To deny the existence of one is to render the other pointless at best, and nonexistent at worst. But woe to the Christian who believes that faith is an inoculation that prevents suffering or poverty. Such a belief is a denial of the words of Jesus himself:
A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. [Matt. 10:24-25]
Sometimes, Lord, I feel that I need to thank you for life's difficulties. Without them, I would need no faith; without them, there would be no need to look to you for salvation. Bring me through my troubles, and deliver me in Jesus' Name and for his sake. Amen.

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