FROM START TO FINISH LIFE IS A STRUGGLE; AND SO THE APOSTLE
Paul said as his life was nearing its end: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul had been ship wrecked, beaten, stoned, and imprisoned, all for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. His discourse in Romans 7 tells of his struggle with sin, a struggle that engendered the cry, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin” (Romans 7:24,25). How different Paul’s Christianity was from the pseudo-Christianity of present times. To hear the proponents of prosperity preaching, we should have no struggles. They say, if we maintain a positive attitude, we should have a smooth road; and if we don’t, well, we just aren’t tuned in to God in the proper way.
If persons speak of struggles with faith, with sanctification, with plain old sin, they are told by myriads of today’s pseudo-Christians that they just aren’t right with God. These false prophets would have told the Apostle Paul the same thing. In fact, they would rather stay away from the Apostle Paul altogether (except for 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14), and even so, their exegesis of those chapters butchers Paul’s teaching beyond reason.
Paul’s advice to Timothy was: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned, and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
The Apostle John says in 1 John 4:1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Study God’s Word. Seek to know the Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in God’s Word. But, don’t expect a picnic every day, or to always sleep on a bed of roses. It’s just not that way. Nevertheless, we have God’s promise from Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”
HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR!
With love for the Lord Jesus and for you all,
A sinner saved by grace,