Matthew 17:4-9

Matthew 17:4-9

Have you ever thought that maybe some of the things that you're going through in your life, you're going through because God loves you? Not because God is punishing you. Not because God hates you. Not because God is trying to discipline you... Isn't it possible that God could desire for me to go through some very painful things in order for those that are around me to hear praises still coming from my lips? Isn't it possible that God could do that?Have you ever felt like God could not love you because of something you’d done? Because of something that had gone on in your life that now God must be punishing you because of the bad things that are happening in your life? “And after all, God, I deserve it.” Let me tell you something. Those assumptions are wrong. Now, God will discipline you. I’m not going to tell you God does not discipline, but God’s discipline always comes lovingly and caring-ly… Sometimes it’s not gentle, and sometimes it’s not easy, but it always comes with love. But you know how many times I’ve talked to Christians and counseled Christians who said, “God must not love me any more because He’s allowing these things to happen in my life. He must be punishing me and He must hate me because of these things I did”? No, that’s a wrong concept…

You are going to treat others the way you feel and believe that Jesus treats you. It’s the truth. You are going to respond to people around you based on your concepts of how you’ve been loved. You are not going to love others the way Jesus loves them if you’re not feeling loved by Jesus. It’s not going to happen. But yet, you might talk about Him, and you might tell people about Him, and you might even say, “Jesus loves you.” But what do they see from you?… Are they learning that He always works all things together for the good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose, and He loves you? Is that what they’re learning? Or are they learning that there are times that even though Jesus made promises, He doesn’t keep them for me? I see a lot of Christians who respond that way. We get angry at God when He doesn’t do what we want. We get angry at God when He does not respond the way we believe He should respond. We accuse Jesus of our hard times rather than understanding that our flesh, generally, is the reason for our hard times…

“If Jesus truly loved me, He would not let me go through this. He would not allow for me to face this hard time.” So often we come to that conclusion, and so often we share that conclusion with others though we do not intend to do that. We don’t share that necessarily with our words, but guess what? We share it with our life, with our attitude, with our approach…

Have you ever thought that maybe some of the things that you’re going through in your life, you’re going through because God loves you? Not because God is punishing you. Not because God hates you. Not because God is trying to discipline you. But He created you for this specific purpose of going through what you’re going through, to prove His power and His authority? Isn’t it possible that God could desire for me to go through some very painful things in order for those that are around me to hear praises still coming from my lips? Isn’t it possible that God could do that? Who’s to say that God created me simply to have a comfortable life, an easy life, a wealthy life? God created us all for a purpose…

Don’t argue with Him. Don’t fight with Him. We are so good at arguing and quarreling and fighting with Jesus and with God’s people about everything, when we have very clearly, right here in His Word how we need to love one another, how we need to get along with one another, how we need to encourage one another, how we need to build one another up. But you let us step on each other’s toes for even a second, and guess what? The “Wrath of Dave” is coming, and it is so easy for us to fall into those traps, because we’re uncertain about our future and we believe things about ourselves based on the history of mankind, rather than based on the knowledge we have of God and what God has done. Well, the history I have about God and what He’s done is sometimes He creates men simply for the purpose of using them even through hard times…

It’s amazing to me, when you begin to understand God’s Word, and the direction He goes with it, that our comfort isn’t what’s secure, but it is our salvation that is secure. It’s not enjoyment for this physical flesh that’s secure, but it is His love for us that is secure. I do not live this life trusting that tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be comfortable. I live this life knowing that tomorrow, if I wake up, I will wake up in the sight of a God Who loves me, in the hands of a God Who cares for me, surrounded by love that is going to bring me through a day regardless of what that day has to offer me, regardless of what enemies are standing outside the door waiting for me. Regardless of what arrows may pierce the flesh, there’s a God Who loves my soul and loves me and placed me here for that purpose…

We don’t have to fear God because God created us for a purpose, and that purpose was to love us, not terrorize us… Once again, boils down to that question, doesn’t it? Who is Jesus to you?… Is He this powerful, Almighty God that can begin to glow in your presence at any moment and still allow you to stand on your feet and talk to Him? Or is He this untouchable, off-in-outer-space-somewhere, type of a Being that never communicates with you? Or is He something completely different? Something that you’re not going to trust?… What does your life say about what you believe Who Jesus is?

Pastor Dave Elkins