“Though He slays me yet will I trust in him, and I will maintain my ways before him” – Job 13:15.
Each of us has asked the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Why, despite their faithfulness and supplications, do many Christians become ill and die from horrible diseases? Why do so many not experience the emotionally satisfying presence of God, see visions, or have angelic visitations?
Before he left the Temple for the last time, Jesus observed an impoverished widow depositing “two mites” into the treasury. In contrast to many that day, she had “cast in all that she had,” which, in his estimate, was worth far more than what the others had contributed. Apparently, Jesus assigns values to actions rather differently than we do.
Our “destiny” is to take up the Cross of Christ, deny ourselves, and follow HIM wherever he goes.
As a young man, I found life disturbing. Having developed an early interest in history, the more I read, the more inexplicable reality became. Human society, past and present, was characterized by inequality, injustice, corruption, and warfare. If existence meant a life of struggle followed by death, what was the point of it all?
So, here is my vision, what I hope to see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears, and sooner rather than later.
I am not in the least opposed to the miraculous, especially to the gifts of the Spirit. After all, they are promised to us in the Bible. And I have seen genuine healings and the like over the last half-century, but also, plenty of charlatans and false prophets, always accompanied by self-promotion and lots of noise.
To follow Jesus means a life of self-denial, a willingness to suffer persecution for him, and to selflessly serve others – Matthew 5:10-12.
Contrary to the “wisdom of this age,” rage is NOT appropriate “Christian” reactions to persecution. Anger by Christians when their “inherent rights” are threatened only demonstrates how far many of us have assimilated to the values of this age that are contrary to the teachings and example of Jesus himself, and especially to his self-sacrificial death.