[b]Three Challenging And Comforting Thoughts[/b]
1. God delights in honest people
"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another" (1 Jn.1:9). To walk in the
light means first of all that we hide nothing from God. We
tell Him everything, exactly as it is. I am convinced that
the first step towards God is honesty. God detests those who
are insincere. Jesus spoke against hypocrites more than He
spoke against anyone else. God does not ask us to be holy
or perfect first of all but to be honest. This is the
starting point of true holiness. And from this spring flows
everything else. And if there is one thing that is really
easy for anyone of us to do, it is to be honest. So, confess
sin immediately to God. Don't call sinful thoughts by
"decent" names. Don't say "I was only admiring the beauty of
God's creation" when actually you lusted adulterously with
your eyes. Don't call "anger" as "righteous indignation".
You will never get victory over sin if you are dishonest.
And don't ever call "sin", "a mistake", because Jesus' blood
can cleanse you from all your sins, but not from your
mistakes!! He does not cleanse dishonest people. There is
hope only for honest people. "He who covers his sin will
never prosper" (Prov.28:13). Why did Jesus say that there
was more hope for prostitutes and for thieves to enter God's
kingdom than for religious leaders (Matt.21:31). Because
prostitutes and thieves make no pretence of being holy.
Many young people are turned away from churches because
church-members give them the impression that they themselves
have no struggles. And so those young people think, "That
holy bunch of people will never understand our problems!!"
If this true of us, then we are unlike Christ Who drew
sinners to Himself.
2. God works all things for our good
"Who can harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?"(1 Pet.3:13)
God is so powerful that He makes ALL THINGS work
together for the good of those who love Him and who are
called according to His purpose - that is, for those who
have no ambition on earth outside of His will for their
lives (Romans 8:28). One who has selfish ambitions cannot
claim this promise. But if we accept the will of God
totally, we can claim this promise every minute of our life
on earth. Nothing can harm us. Everything that others do to
us - good or evil, accidental or deliberate - will go
through the filter of Romans 8:28 and will come through
working for our very best - conforming us each time a little
more to the likeness of Christ (Rom.8:29) - which is the
good that God has planned for us. This filter works
perfectly every single time for those who fulfil the
conditions listed in this verse.
Further, 1 Peter 3:13 tells us that no-one can harm us if we
are "zealous for what is good". Unfortunately this is not as
well known a verse as Romans 8:28 is. But we must popularise
it now. However, this promise too is applicable only to
those who are zealous to keep their hearts good towards all
people. It will be impossible for any demon or human being
to harm such a believer.
So whenever any Christian complains that others have harmed
him, he is indirectly admitting that he does not love God,
is not called according to God's purpose and has not been
zealous for what is good. Otherwise, whatever those others
did to him would have only worked for his good, and then he
would not have had any complaints at all. Actually, the only
one who can harm you is you yourself - by your
unfaithfulness and your wrong attitudes to others.
I can honestly say that no-one has ever succeeded in harming
me in my entire life. Many have tried to do so, but
EVERYTHING they did only worked for my very best and for the
good of my ministry. So I can praise God for those people too.
Those who have opposed me have been mostly so-called
"believers" who have not understood God's ways. I am giving
you my testimony only to encourage you to believe that this
can be your testimony too - always.
3. God detests all that this world considers great
"That which men esteem highly is detestable in God's sight"
(Luke 16:15). The things that are considered great in the
world, not only have no value in God's eyes, but are
actually an abomination to Him. Since all worldly honour is
an abomination to God, it must be an abomination to us too.
Money is something that everyone on earth considers
valuable. But God says that those who love money and long to
get rich will suffer the following eight consequences sooner
or later (1 Tim. 6:9,10). (a) they will fall into
temptation, (b) they will fall into a trap, (c) they will
fall into foolish desires, (d) they will fall into harmful
desires, (e) they will plunge into ruin, (f) they will
plunge into destruction, (g) they will wander away from the
faith and (h) they will pierce themselves with many a pang.
I have seen this happen again and again to believers everywhere.
One of the main reasons why a prophetic word from the Lord
is hardly ever heard these days in our land, is because most
preachers are lovers of money. Jesus said that the true
riches (the prophetic word being one of them) would not be
given by God to those who were unfaithful with money (Lk.16:11).
This is why we hear so many boring sermons and
so many boring testimonies in church-meetings and conferences.