Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Blessed But Not Exempt"

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience". James 1:3

I take issue with those who teach that because we are a Christian we will never go through any trouble or problems.  If we do, they accuse us of having a lack of faith or sin in our lives. 

I want to make it clear this morning-- Christians are blessed; blessed of the Lord.  His blessings are upon our lives.  They even chase us down and overtake us.  But just because I/you/we are a Christian, just because the Lord's blessings are upon us, doesn't mean we are exempt from trouble.  If so, what are we to do with the words of Jesus Himself who said, "In the world you shall have tribulation" and, "it rains on the just and the unjust"?

What are we to say to the Apostle Paul who said-- "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches". (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)  This was Paul's testimony of his own life experiences.  Will you tell him that he has sin in his life or no faith?  How many of you have raised the dead?  Healed the sick?  Cast out devils?  Been persecuted for the cause of Christ? 

What about all of those whose names and life stories are recorded in the "Hall of Faith"?  Are we to accuse them?  The Bible says their faith was so great that the world wasn't even worthy of them. (Hebrews 11)

How is it that we don't understand that the Bible is talking about the Christian when we read the words:  "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh". (2 Corinthians 4:8-11)

Don't get me wrong.  I believe we are blessed.  We are not under the curse.  I believe in healing, deliverance, abundant life, goodness and mercy follows us, no weapon formed against us shall prosper and we have victory through Christ Jesus our Lord.  But we can't take away from the whole truth of the Word of God.  We have to "rightly divide" it. The truth is-- clouds have rain, roses have thorns, night follows day and Christians aren't exempt from trouble just because we are blessed.... no matter how strong our faith is. 

Have a great day.  Just because we are blessed doesn't mean we are exempt from trouble.  And it doesn't mean we don't have faith.   

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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