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God's Lessons! - Suffering with a Meaning!

By David Brandt Berg, September, 1983

The main thing to know is that you're supposed to learn something from sicknesses and troubles, and not just take anything as some kind of accident! I think if anything, the question most people ask themselves is, "God, why did You do this to me?", instead of "Lord, why did I deserve this? Why did I need it?" They're almost offended at God for letting it happen, instead of realising that God is dealing with them. I just figure I deserve every bit of it and a lot more and I'm probably getting off easy.

But some of these people are so self-righteous they wonder, "How could God do such a thing to me? How could the Lord treat me this way when I'm so good to Him?" They actually resent it, like Job did at first. Look what the Lord had to put Job through before he finally was humbled, and confessed that he wasn't more righteous than God. He really thought he was pretty righteous till he went through all that--really until he was willing to die trusting the Lord!

The first thing a lot of people do is give up trusting God and try their damnedest to live! I don't know, maybe I'm too much the other way. If I get chastened I'm inclined to be discouraged and give up too easy and say, "OK, Lord, if I'm not pleasing You, why don't You just take me?" I just figure, "Of course I don't deserve to live, who does?" And I even wonder why the Lord wants to spare me sometimes, because I really figure I don't deserve to live anyhow. I just figure if the Lord doesn't want to keep me going, why bother? I might as well quit!

I guess that is what Job was saying, in a way, "Though He slay me, yet will I Trust Him." In other words, "I'm doing my best to trust Him. If He wants to kill me, He might as well go ahead." Maybe that hasn't got quite the saintly connotation as the statement is usually interpreted, but I don't know, it seems to work. When I get down to that point, then the Lord usually takes the heat off. I guess He figures that's all I can take and He'd better hurry up and heal me or I will die and He'll lose some of His help.--Ha!

Of course, I realise he's trying to train me, discipline me and chasten me to make me do better. But sometimes some chastenings, like Paul confesses in Hebrews 12, are inclined to discourage you and make you give up instead, and like a child, I think sometimes we figure, "As hard as I've been trying to be good, but I still get whacked, so I might as well quit!"--And about that time the Lord always comes to my rescue. Thank you Jesus! Praise the Lord! God bless and keep you and help you to get the message so the Lord can stop spanking!--Amen?

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International


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James Arendt
James Arendt

I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.

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