Thursday, March 01, 2012

what does god promise

I was reminded of this old post in tonight's small group discussion ...

In Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen writes:
Perhaps the main task of the minister is to prevent people from suffering for the wrong reasons. Many people suffer because of the false supposition on which they have based their lives. That supposition is that there should be no fear or loneliness, no confusion or doubt. But these sufferings can only be dealt with creatively when they are understood as wounds integral to our human condition. Therefore ministry is a very confronting service. It does not allow people to live with illusions of immortality and wholeness. It keeps reminding others that they are mortal and broken, but also that with the recognition of this condition, liberation starts.
This reminded me of the truth of God's promised suffering. Too often we "Christians" think God promises us only straight and smooth paths. So what is it that God has promised us? Here is John MacArthur's short list of five:

  1. It is God's will that we be saved. 2 Pet 3.9, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise ... not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." And 1 Tim 2.3-4, "... God our Savior ... desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
  2. It is God's will that we be Spirit-filled. Eph 5.17-18, "... do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ... be filled with the Spirit."
  3. It is God's will that we be sanctified. 1 The 4.3, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification ..."
  4. It is God's will that we be submissive. 1 Pet 2.13-15, "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people."
  5. It is God's will that we suffer. 1 Pet 4.19, "Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." Phil 1.29, "For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake." And 2 Tim 3.12, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

Do you have any to add?

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