|“If people conclude that they can solve their own problems, or at least learn to accommodate them in their lives, they lose their incentive to turn to Christ for help, and that is a short path to hell.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
The Bible appears to teach that God dealt differently with His people in the Old Testament than He does with New Testament saints. The Law is full of promises of blessing for the obedient and the opposite for the disobedient. If His people live in accordance with the Law, they can expect the rains in their season, good crops, healthy livestock, safe borders, and much more.
The New Testament gives a different picture. The more faithful you are, the more prone to persecution and tribulation. “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”367
This apparent difference reflects how God deals with the nation as opposed to individuals. The Psalmist calls attention to how the righteous suffers and the ungodly prosper.368 The nation, a corporate entity, is promised prosperity when faithful, but not necessarily individual believers. Thus, even in the midst of Israel’s abundance, individual believers experienced injustice, oppression, disease, and pain.
If you fail to understand this distinction between how God deals with His nation and how He deals with individuals, you can easily establish unrealistic expectations as to how He ought to treat you. When He fails to meet your expectations, discouragement sets in and you conclude that He is chastising you for unacceptable behavior, or worse still, He has lost control and Satan reigns. God has never promised His people abundance and the absence of opposition, irrespective of how obedient they may or may not be.
367 II Timothy 3:12
Isaiah 47-49 1 Thessalonians 4 (New King James Version)
1 Thessalonians 4
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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