What to do in a World of Sadness - Purity 961
Purity 961 02/07/2023 Purity 961 Podcast
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Today’s photo of a multicolored ribbon stretched out in front of a view of the Hudson River from the vantage point of Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson NY comes to us from my phone’s photo archives and an unnamed AFSP volunteer who captured this scene back on September 15, 2018 at the Columbia-Greene Out of the Darkness Walk.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention seeks to help prevent suicide and to support the community of people who have been directly affected by suicide. During the Walk’s ceremony of remembrance and support people are encouraged to tie a colored ribbon to a large ribbon that acknowledges their loss or their part in the community of support.
The AFSP’s Out of the Darkness ceremony gives people a way to grieve, to heal, to remember their loved ones, and to encourage others to get help when they are contemplating suicide. If you have thoughts of suicide help is a phone call or text away. Call 988 or Text the word “HOME” to 741741to get help.
Well, It’s Wednesday again, and don’t worry I am not contemplating suicide this morning but I have to be honest and say that there were many times in my life where I was in deep despair and wanted to die to stop the pain and thought about taking my own life. However, I was too afraid to die because I must have realized that even though I was suffering that ending my life was not the answer. I was afraid of death and the unknown more than facing the pains and frustrations of living, I guess. So. I lived to face another day and it’s a good thing I did because it eventually led to my finding salvation in Christ, and a meaning and a purpose for my life.
And that purposed is to let people know that their lives are of immense value because God Himself, through the person of Jesus Christ, came to earth to die in order to save us and to give us a new spiritual life that goes from here to eternity.
My looking back to 2018 for the photo of the day this morning was inspired by one of the Freedom in Christ course participant’s comments last night who admitted that seeing the suffering that is happening in the world today sometimes fills him with sadness and frustration to the point that he doesn’t feel like reading the Bible or going to God in prayer. The suffering that he sees in the world and in the various people he encounters in life makes it seem that he is in a world of sadness and it cause him to question God’s goodness, presence, and power. The hurt, pain, and suffering he sees causes him to feel sad and angry at the suggestion to draw close to God.
Which is exactly what the spiritual forces of darkness would want us to do! Satan and demons seek to destroy us and their goal is to do anything to keep us from going to the Lord or from helping others to find life in Christ. Deception is their primary strategy, to make us believe a lie about God or about ourselves to separate us from Him.
So in this man’s case, the enemy is causing him to acknowledge the suffering of the world and to doubt God’s goodness or power because of the evil, pain, and brokenness he sees in the world. Because of the suffering he sees he is a little jaded as the idea of a good God while there is this world of sadness doesn’t compute.
However, there are several lies and misconceptions
and basic ignorance of life as it really is that comes into play to view the
world in this way and to cause us to separate ourselves from God.
So what do we do in this world of sadness? People are really suffering! This is not good!
No it is not. However, there are some things we need to realize about reality that will put things in their proper perspective and that could help us to see beyond the veil of the “world of sadness.”
Please forgive me, for this might be a little too real or seem harsh in light of the questions asked about suffering which really amount to “Why do things have to be this way?” But if we are going to accuse God of not being good, we need to see the truth.
1. We didn’t make ourselves.
God is creator. He makes us and He will call us into eternity. The life we have is a gift and our purpose in life is to be in relationship with the Creator and to represent Him. Whether we are representing the Lord or not, one day we will die. Our suffering on earth will end someday.
However, our eternal destiny and possible eternal torment, will be determined by whether or not we make peace with God by putting our faith in Jesus.
We have no rights to our life. God gives it and He takes it away. But He offers us new life to all who trust in Him.
2. The world is broken by sin.
God’s original plan for mankind was Eden and paradise was lost when Adam and Eve chose to disobey the Lord’s one commandment because they were tempted to believe that that God was holding something out on them and they chose to act independently of Him, causing their spiritual death and separation from God. Since the Fall, every person born is spiritually dead and lives independently of God choosing to do good or evil according to their own wills and desires.
Much of the evil in the world is the evil that men do. Death, disease, and natural disasters are consequences of the Fall.
Why is their suffering in the world? Sin changed the very nature of reality and we will live in the chaos of this “world of sadness” until Christ returns. Scripture indicates that suffering will end, when God creates a new heaven and a new earth and all who put their faith in Christ will experience it.
As harrowing as suffering may be in the here and now, it is a temporary condition that will be alleviated for all who enter God’s kingdom through Christ.
So when we see suffering in the world, we should draw close to God because He will one day prove His goodness by taking it all away for those who love and follow Him.
When we see people suffering, we need to share this hope and encourage them to turn from their worldly ways and find peace with God.
In light of the ultimate reality of God’s kingdom coming to earth, death has lost its sting as the faithful live for ever and those who rebel and reject the Author of life, goodness, and love will get what they deserve, God’s wrath.
That might seem harsh, but God gave us life and when we waste it in selfishness and by joining in with the spiritual forces of darkness who would accuse the Lord of not being good, when the truth is that everything that is good comes from God, we have no leg to stand on – literally – if you got legs, God gave them to you!
Rather than lamenting over the suffering of this world, we should recognize the existence of the good in the world and rejoice. Seeing the world as a “world of sadness” is to believe the lie of the enemy because there is FAR more good in this world than bad but the enemy doesn’t want you to see that because if we were to acknowledge the goodness in the world, and to count our blessings daily, we would love the God who provided it and we would praise His holy name. We world abandon the world’s ways for His wisdom, because we would know that He is good and to follow Him is life, love, and peace.
So open your eyes and see that God is good, even with the pain, even with the suffering in this world. If you trust the Lord put your faith in Him, one day your suffering will end, forever, but until then you don’t have to choose to suffer. Instead you can choose to see the good and thank God for it. You seek to change your ways that lead to personal pain. You can seek comfort and help those who are suffering by telling them the truth about the God who is willing to save them and to one day take away all their pain.
When we live in the truth of the Creator God who loved His creation enough to die for those who would believe in Him, our eyes should be open the ultimate reality that God has for us and we should rejoice.
Therefore, keep walking and talking with God. Renew your mind with the truth of God’s word that gives us the wisdom to navigate through this world that is falling apart. Trust in Jesus and know that your new life has already happened and that you no longer live in a “world of sadness” because He has overcome the world.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Matthew 12:34-37 (NLT2)
34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.
35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Today’s Bible verse is a discourse from Jesus Christ, himself, on how our words will reflect the condition of our hearts and warns of the judgement that is to come that will consider every word we speak.
In another passage of scripture, Jesus tells us that we will know His disciples by their fruit and obviously from today’s verses we can see that one of the things that we can use to gauge whether someone is good or evil is the words we speak.
And I hate to say it biut, any argument, philosophy, or comments that one would make that doubts, denies, or contradicts God’s word are not just controversial or a diverse point of view, they are evil.
If the things we say would cause someone to sin or to not to put their faith in Christ, those words will one day be rightly judged as evil as they will be seen to be evil and unloving as they convinced ourselves or others from trusting and following God.
Treason are acts are words that seek to go against or destroy the government and is usually punished by death. And the words we speak, will show whether our hearts are for God’s kingdom or against it, so as the rapper Ice – T said of his album’s – Yes, you have freedom of speech, but watch what you say be cause your words can and will be used against you, and in the final judgement they will reveal what you really believe in your heart and they either condemn you or acquit you.
So speak the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. encourage people to trust and obey the Lord who loves them, and show the love of God to everyone with the things you say.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN REPROBATION continues
Once more we would avail ourself of the language of Calvin: “But, as I have hitherto only recited such things as are delivered without any obscurity or ambiguity in the Scriptures, let persons who hesitate not to brand with ignominy those Oracles of heaven, beware of what kind of opposition they make. For, if they pretend ignorance, with a desire to be commended for their modesty, what greater instance of pride can be conceived, than to oppose one little word to the authority of God! as, ‘It appears otherwise to me,’ or ‘I would rather not meddle with this subject.’ But if they openly censure, what will they gain by their puny attempts against heaven? Their petulance, indeed, is no novelty; for in all ages there have been impious and profane men, who have virulently opposed this doctrine. But they shall feel the truth of what the Spirit long ago declared by the mouth of David, that God ‘is clear when He judgeth’ (Psa. 51:4). David obliquely hints at the madness of men who display such excessive presumption amidst their insignificance, as not only to dispute against God, but to arrogate to themselves the power of condemning Him. In the meantime, he briefly suggests, that God is unaffected by all the blasphemies which they discharge against heaven, but that He dissipates the mists of calumny, and illustriously displays His righteousness; our faith, also, being founded on the Divine Word, and therefore, superior to all the world, from its exaltation looks down with contempt upon those mists” (John Calvin).
In closing this chapter we propose to quote from the writings of some of the standard theologians since the days of the Reformation, not that we would buttress our own statements by an appeal to human authority, however venerable or ancient, but in order to show that what we have advanced in these pages is no novelty of the twentieth century, no heresy of the ‘latter days’ but, instead, a doctrine which has been definitely formulated and commonly taught by many of the most pious and scholarly students of Holy Writ.
“Predestination we call the decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself, what He would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny: but eternal life is foreordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestinated either to life or to death”—from John Calvin’s “Institutes” (1536 A.D.) Book III, Chapter XXI entitled “Eternal Election, or God’s Predestination of Some to Salvation and of Others to Destruction.”
We ask our readers to mark well the above language. A perusal of it should show that what the present writer has advanced in this chapter is not “hyper-Calvinism” but real Calvinism, pure and simple. Our purpose in making this remark is to show that those who, not acquainted with Calvin’s writings, in their ignorance condemn as ultra-Calvinism that which is simply a reiteration of what Calvin himself taught—a reiteration because that prince of theologians as well as his humble debtor have both found this doctrine in the Word of God itself.
Martin Luther in his most excellent work “De Servo Arbitrio” (Free Will a Slave), wrote: “All things whatsoever arise from, and depend upon, the Divine appointments, whereby it was preordained who should receive the Word of Life, and who should disbelieve it, who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them, who should be justified and who should be condemned. This is the very truth which razes the doctrine of freewill from its foundations, to wit, that God’s eternal love of some men and hatred of others is immutable and cannot be reversed.”
John Fox, whose Book of Martyrs was once the best known work in the English language (alas that is not so today, when Roman Catholicism is sweeping upon us like a great destructive tidal wave!), wrote: “Predestination is the eternal decreement of God, purposed before in Himself, what should befall all men, either to salvation, or damnation.”
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 112–113.