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HolyGround >> the goodness of God...


9/6/10 3:01 PM
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the rooster
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God is so good. I tried to post this and I don't think it came up (must be the devil ;-)

Anyway, 10 years ago my marriage was a wreck, I had lost my job, I was a new dad, my finances were in deep trouble and I was hanging onto my walk with God by a thread (living more carnally).

I recommitted my life to Jesus and slowly but surely He began to work great miracles in my life. The big things (my own attitude and actions, my marriage, got a new job, etc.) began to find healing.

My marriage stabilized and we began to get stronger and stronger. My job stablized, more importantly my walk strengthed.

3 years ago I got a promotion and it doubled my income. Tuesday I'm getting a formal offer from a competitor and it will double my income again!

I read recently that we are in a recession moving into a depression and I'm being served a table in the wilderness?!!!! Amazing!

I just want to encourage anyone reading and to testify:

"Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither has it entered into the hearts of men what God has waiting for those who love Him" is not just a promise for the after life.

God can totally turn your life around, He can bring peace, emotional and relationship healing, He can bless you with prosperity and make you a light in all that you do that testifies of His hand in your life, His grace, mercy and blessings!
9/6/10 6:05 PM
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Ridgeback
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 I concur that God is good and has given me more good things in my life than I deserve.  I would caution, however, against viewing material success as a sign of the favor of God.  I fear more often than not it is a concession to our spiritual weakness.  Far better Christians than you or me suffered horrible material conditions yet also claimed that God is good in the midst of their suffering.  
9/6/10 9:39 PM
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the rooster
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Oh man, I totally understand. We had a great missionary who visited our church. He ministers in Asia. He tells stories of secret poilce following him, rounding up Chinese pastors and throwing them in jail, of going into the jungles of vietnam and meeting children who are happy to eat once every 3 days. Of meeting viet cong and wondering if they are spies or truly hungry for God. It really makes you appreciate how much we truly have.
9/7/10 10:30 AM
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TheHawker
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Rooster, this post wreaks of boasting and spiritual pride. Is the Christian who just lost his job and about to be foreclosed on out of favor with God?

Seeing material success as a sign of God's blessing is very Americanesque. Seems like most of the greatest saints in history (and certainly the apostles) had virtually nothing in the way of material blessings. That includes Christ(John Hagee claiming that Christ was so wealthy he had to have someone carry his money around for him notwithstanding.)


9/7/10 1:23 PM
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the rooster
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hawker: Rooster, this post wreaks of boasting and spiritual pride.

me: from above, "Anyway, 10 years ago my marriage was a wreck, I had lost my job, I was a new dad, my finances were in deep trouble and I was hanging onto my walk with God by a thread (living more carnally)."

Yep, I was really bragging about my spiritual prowress.

you: Is the Christian who just lost his job and about to be foreclosed on out of favor with God?

me: I don't know. Is he? How do I know? When I was not living for God, I didn't say I was out of favor. I felt out of favor because of my actions and my life around me, which was the natural consequences of living an ungodly life were so bad.

But there was certainly still the goodness and grace of God all around me despite my stupidity. The very breath of life was the grace and goodness of God.

But each persons circumstances are different. Job was not out of favor but was also not living like I was.

I'm speaking personally about myself.

you: Seeing material success as a sign of God's blessing is very Americanesque. Seems like most of the greatest saints in history (and certainly the apostles) had virtually nothing in the way of material blessings. That includes Christ(John Hagee claiming that Christ was so wealthy he had to have someone carry his money around for him notwithstanding.)

me: you know, why would you try to read my post and respond if you didn't have anything edifying to say?

From above:

" I recommitted my life to Jesus and slowly but surely He began to work great miracles in my life. The big things (my own attitude and actions, my marriage, got a new job, etc.) began to find healing.

My marriage stabilized and we began to get stronger and stronger. My job stablized, more importantly my walk strengthed."

and...

"God can totally turn your life around, He can bring peace, emotional and relationship healing, He can bless you with prosperity and make you a light in all that you do that testifies of His hand in your life, His grace, mercy and blessings!"

The crux of my testimony was about the spiritual blessings that God poured out on me. Did you miss all that? The promotions were anciliary...icing on the cake.

But certainly the financial blessings are something I'm going to give God the credit and glory for. I'm not going to blame "dumb luck" or my own talents, or other people. My blessings are from God.

I recognize that we are only stewards and all I have is God. I also recognize that our financial blessings, like health, are at the end of the day transient. All we have will one day be gone and we will stand naked before God. Then we will have to give an account for all that we've been given.

It's very disappointing that you would try to take a personal testimony and a word of encouragement and distort it and start adding your own impressions and judgements and your problem with people I don't know (John Hagee).



9/7/10 1:25 PM
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the rooster
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...and let me just say, for any of you who are struggling in any area of your life (spiritually, relationship, peace, physically, financially, etc.) God has a purpose and a plan. Place your trust in Him.

God will see you through. He will bring healing and peace and strength you never new you had. He will meet all your needs and even help you meet the needs of others!

Jesus is good!
9/7/10 1:51 PM
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Grakman
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I think it's a good testimony, rooster. I see the point that others have made;  some, in the West especially, believe being a Christian means that God will bless you with riches (see Joel Osteen, et al.) But as you say, if those things do not come from God, from where DO they come? I believe we are supposed to view ALL things in life as gifts from God - even tribulation, for which there is ample Scriptural justification.

The laws that God has given us to regulate our lives are for our own good, ideals such as monogamy, honesty, gratitude, forgiveness, all these things lead one to a much healthier and happier life, regardless of the material circumstances in which we find ourselves.

May God continue to bless you, even if you are UPI. ;) (jk on the last part brother.)
9/7/10 1:54 PM
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Grakman
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 One more thing about tribulation - I believe certain tribulations and trials happen to bring us around to God, to strengthen our faith and walk with God. It's especially visible when your own conduct in life brings trouble into your life. It's a hard lesson, as they say.

You really have only two choices, even when things are bad (especially when they're bad?) - turn to God or turn away.
9/7/10 2:25 PM
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the rooster
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Grakman, 2 great posts! You totally got it! And I will accept your blessing even though I'm UPC :-)

Seriously it means a lot to me and I certainly need God's continue blessing and I thank you!

Your 2 points are so right on that I think you captured better what I was trying to say.

God bless you too!!
9/7/10 8:55 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman -  One more thing about tribulation - I believe certain tribulations and trials happen to bring us around to God, to strengthen our faith and walk with God. It's especially visible when your own conduct in life brings trouble into your life. It's a hard lesson, as they say.

You really have only two choices, even when things are bad (especially when they're bad?) - turn to God or turn away.

 I don't think all things come from God directly.  My best friend's son died a week after he was born.  I think this was the result of a world fallen into corruption and death, not an object lesson for my friend.  Many Christians make a point of putting Providence behind these kinds of things and it goes over like a ton of bricks to those who are in the agonies of grief.  I prefer to focus on the image of Jesus weeping at the tomb of Lazarus.  
9/7/10 9:14 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - 
Grakman -  One more thing about tribulation - I believe certain tribulations and trials happen to bring us around to God, to strengthen our faith and walk with God. It's especially visible when your own conduct in life brings trouble into your life. It's a hard lesson, as they say.

You really have only two choices, even when things are bad (especially when they're bad?) - turn to God or turn away.

 I don't think all things come from God directly.  My best friend's son died a week after he was born.  I think this was the result of a world fallen into corruption and death, not an object lesson for my friend.  Many Christians make a point of putting Providence behind these kinds of things and it goes over like a ton of bricks to those who are in the agonies of grief.  I prefer to focus on the image of Jesus weeping at the tomb of Lazarus.  

First, my condolence's and prayers for your friend and his family (even if it's been years). I have had friends lose children under similar circumstances, it is very heart wrenching to say the least.

When we have personal experience with hardship it is much more difficult to deal with the abstract or to fall back on Scripture or tradition for explanation. But this is a message board and this is the topic at hand so I'll try to do so keeping in mind the sensitivity of this issue.

Biblically speaking, I believe there is precedent for the belief that God brings tribulation. The book of Job is a prime example, but there are many other instances throughout the Bible. I could cite a few 'proof texts' but I think those who read here have sufficient knowledge of the Bible to know that this theme can be found in Scripture.

There is a certain element of predestination found in the Bible as well. Regardless, I think we all hold the view that God is the creator and sovereign ruler of the universe; he has the power to stop death at any time, to heal at any time, to save at any time, to resurrect at any time. That leaves little choice for us to believe then that he is either malevolent and couldn't care less or that these things serve a purpose that we just cannot see right now.

I think we in modern Western civilization are somewhat inured to loss and suffering as experienced in other places around the world and in prior times. Death is a part of life, for the young and the old. It used to be very commonplace that children died at an early age. We have the mindsight that the norm is for people to be born, to grow old, and die peacefully at an age old, even if by illness. The truth is we can die at any time, young or old and there is no protection against it. Having this understanding wouldn't necessarily make it any easier to deal with, but it is a part of the cycle of life and death that rules this planet.

I think its the way God intended; otherwise he'd change it.
9/7/10 9:20 PM
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the rooster
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Grakman, again, an excellent post...

ridge: I don't think all things come from God directly. My best friend's son died a week after he was born. I think this was the result of a world fallen into corruption and death, not an object lesson for my friend.

me: I probably fall somewhere in between. Yes, sin and corruption brings death. But perhaps in our mortality, in our fraility, in our tragedies, God does have a purpose.

It is often very hard to see, but I have personally been through some tragic circumstances and only later did I gain some partial understanding and only later did I see how it impacted ultimately who I am.

But good posts by both of you and I certainly understand what you are saying.
9/7/10 9:34 PM
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Grakman
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 Just to clarify, I don't want to give the impression that I believe that sin and corruption do not have consequences and that those things don't matter. They matter immensely; we as humankind bring so much of our own destruction upon ourselves. I agree the world is fallen, as they say, but I still believe it's this way on purpose, it is how God intends it for now. Since I believe that God is good, I choose to believe then that even the things that appear evil will be made good for me someday, even if it's not til I pass on. There is a reason that God permits us to have our way, to sin, to allow the world to roll on this way.

Ridge, I believe you'd say that God *is* changing things, slowly but surely, through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit, right?

rooster, thanks for the kudos I appreciate it.
9/7/10 10:35 PM
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Lahi
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Thanks for posting that Rooster.
9/8/10 11:18 AM
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the rooster
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sure Lahi, God bless!
9/9/10 1:36 AM
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Ridgeback
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 For the record I very much believe that God can bring good out of all tragedy, and I also believe that God allows chastisement to those he calls his own, but I want to make a point of distinguishing that from saying something like "God had our daughter raped so we could all learn to forgive" or something along those lines.  That is simply accusing God of doing evil.
9/9/10 9:32 AM
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Grakman
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Edited: 09/09/10 9:34 AM
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Ridgeback -  For the record I very much believe that God can bring good out of all tragedy, and I also believe that God allows chastisement to those he calls his own, but I want to make a point of distinguishing that from saying something like "God had our daughter raped so we could all learn to forgive" or something along those lines.  That is simply accusing God of doing evil.

 I see what you're saying Ridge. I believe free will and the evil in men's hearts are the cause of things like that.  But what is the appropriate Christian response in a case like that? Are we supposed to forgive? Call down fire and brimstone in imprecatory prayer?

Regarding God doing evil, what do we say when we see God in the OT ordering the genocide of entire tribes of people? Using raiders and the weather to destroy Job's life and family? Or say, drowning the entire world in a flood?

What does the Orthodox tradition have to say about these and other OT cases? Honest question not baiting or arguing. 
9/9/10 10:54 AM
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the rooster
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wow, tough questions...and probing. Through it all, through the things we do not understand, whether by "acts of God", by our own ill choices, by the actions of others, God IS GOOD!
9/9/10 2:35 PM
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toelocku
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Job 1:21 And said 559 , Naked 6174 came I out 3318 of my mother's 517 womb 990, and naked 6174 shall I return 7725 thither: the LORD 3068 gave 5414 , and the LORD 3068 hath taken away 3947 ; blessed 1288 be the name 8034 of the LORD 3068.
9/9/10 2:55 PM
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Grakman
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 Ok, what are all the numbers toelock?
9/10/10 9:35 AM
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the rooster
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This is a good thread...
9/10/10 2:57 PM
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toelocku
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strongs numbers my bad...read between them.
9/10/10 3:13 PM
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Lahi
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Edited: 09/10/10 3:15 PM
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Thought it was some kind of Bible Code:) Or Hebrew number meanings like Rev talked about in his vid.
9/10/10 3:36 PM
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Grakman
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Lahi - Thought it was some kind of Bible Code:) Or Hebrew number meanings like Rev talked about in his vid.

 Me too lol.  I thought, wow toelock is into numerology now?
10/1/10 6:53 PM
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Grakman
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 A look at the problem of evil and the goodness of God by NT Wright:

http://www.spu.edu/depts/uc/response/summer2k5/features/evil.asp

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