A few years back a certain televangelist promised that if you gave to his little club, your life would suddenly become wonderful. The more you gave, the better it would get. About the same time I remember something going around the brotherhood about financial problems being a sign that we were in sin, so don’t think it cannot touch us as well. In fact, I have heard more than one Christian ask why he deserved such ill treatment from God when he had been so faithful and given up so much. How is that any different?
Sometimes unscriptural doctrines affect us far more than we want to believe. While it is true that God will send judgment on sinners, it is also true that our lives can be effected by the sins of others, and that sometimes things happen just because they happen and for no other reason. God brings not only rain on the just and the unjust, but hail too. He never promised a security blanket that would protect us from everything bad. Suffering and death happen because Adam opened the floodgates of sin, and if for no other reason, that is why we all suffer, including innocent children. At least in our case as adults, we have participated in that sin sometime in our lives, whether we want to admit it or not.
Nowadays admitting the awfulness of sin, even “small” ones, is not fashionable. It’s narrow-minded, bigoted, primitive, ignorant, just plain nuts—take your pick of popular descriptions. Perhaps that is why we do not comprehend what the Jews returning from Babylon understood. Most of them were not the idolaters who had been sent away, but their children and grandchildren who had learned the lesson of faithfulness to God. Yet they said, “After all we’ve done, God has punished us less than our sins deserved,” (Ezra 9:13). That should be in the mind of every Christian every day of his life.
So today has not been a particularly good one? Just think—if God had been just, it would have been even worse. Micah said, “I will bear the indignation of Jehovah because I have sinned,” 7:7. He understood that we should be standing in shame with our heads bowed, rather than railing at God for his “unfairness.” Be happy that God is “unfair.” None of us would want what we truly deserve.
Even more wonderful than that is the fact that we have good in our lives at all. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the suffering, that we forget the blessings. “Count your many blessings” is not only a good song, but a good idea as well. And we have all those blessings because God loves us, and He loves us in spite of the sin in our lives, not because of the good we do. We get that all turned around, and that is the reason we can even think thoughts that begin, “And after all I’ve done for you…” Just exactly what is it that we can do for God? How can we help Him? How can we do anything for the most powerful Being, the One who created us?
Exactly. So let’s be thankful, especially this week, for what we get that we don’t deserve—every good and perfect gift comes from God.
Sing praise unto Jehovah, oh ye saints of his, and give thanks to his holy memorial name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime; weeping may tarry for a night, but joy comes in the morning, Psa 30:4,5