Pain, Perplexity and Promotion 2

PPP Reflection 2:
It’s been about a week since I wrote my first reflection on the theme of pain, perplexity and promotion. As I mentioned in my PPP Reflection 1, I will be sharing some of my personal experiences and hope that it will shed some light in our understanding of how God works through and in our lives. My long period of darkness came about at the peak of my ministry as a worship leader in my previous church. It’s strange, it was during a time when God was using me tremendously in ministering to His people through praise the worship that I plunged into a deep darkness in my spiritual life. Some would like to call it a burn out….but I don’t agree with that. I was very familiar with tears and I spent many many times crying before the Lord God during altar call. Many concerned brothers and sisters had no idea why I was in such sorrowful state. Honestly at that point of time I did not know why too. Many came forward to pray for me…console me…comfort me…but to no avail.
This went on until Pastor Bob Sorge came to our church. He shed light on many things that I was going through. I will spare you the details here. With his ministry, I began to read one of his books, Pain, Perplexity and Promotion. It’s not a book that I found the answer of my darkness. In fact, all that the book did was to point me to the ultimate answer…that is the Book of Job in the Holy Bible. I read the Book of Job at least seven times and it was the only book that I read during my inner darkness years. So, if you are going through great difficulty in your spiritual walk with God, READ THE BOOK OF JOB.
Let me share with you the first shocking truth about the Book of Job and the Christian Life. It was totally mind blasting for me. As a matter of fact, this shocking truth shattered all the things I know about God. I thought I knew Him. So like Apostle Peter at the trial of Jesus, suddenly I did not know who God is! This truth is (in the words of Bob Sorge in Pain, Perplexity and Promotion) the entire saga that is about to unfold (between Satan and God Almighty) is the result of God’s initiation, not Satan’s. From start to finish this whole thing is God’s idea. The first chapter of the Book of Job tells us that God was the one who offered Job to Satan. Job was well. Everything was very very well for Job. He was rich, famous, righteous, godly and blameless. He loved God and he served God with his whole heart. But yet, God offered him to Satan, and I quote, "The Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." The more shocking thing is that Job was being offered because he was good! So God was basically picking a fight with Satan at the expense of His own servant.
Okay, fine. He did it. God did it. For what? It seems that God is showing us how He uses difficult and painful situations in the lives of His holy saints, who have qualified for spiritual advancement because of their faithfulness and obedience, in order to bring them to a greater and higher dimension of spiritual reality. Well Job passed the his test the first time. His family were killed and everything was destroyed. He lost everything. God allowed Satan to take away everything from him except Job himself. And he did it. Yet, he had chosen to bless God and worship Him. Well, that’s remarkable. That should do! He passed! The cruel fact is…its not the end. God did again. This time he offered Job to Satan. Satan was allowed to take away everything that is of him,….except his life. That is cruel! That is bad! God did it! God allowed it! The God of love and compassion allowed it.
I was speechless. I was dumped. This is not the God that I knew. It was shocking to me. That means to say that God allowed me plunged into such inner darkness and took away all my successes in ministry for His own pleasure? All because He wanted to proof Himself right? It’s back-stabbing! For a while I couldn’t accept this fact. I was very disturbed and unrest. I began to wonder what kind of God have I been worshipping all these years. It’s very scary.
I knew that the Book of Job was the only book that I could find some answer to this whole thing…I went on reading it….
End of PPP Reflection 2
the gatekeeper07

Pain, Perplexity and Promotion 1

PPP Reflection 1:
I was talking to some Christians or rather some ex-Christians this week. I discovered that many of them have somehow become very angry with God. They are angry with God because in their lives, God has allowed their faith to fall to a lowly state…even to the state of walking out of God. This is very sad! The question that I have in mind is not whether God is to be "blamed" for this? In fact, to a large extent I believe that God has alot to do with this.
The question that I have in mind is: Is the Christian Church today preaching too much of those positive thinking stuff and projecting a misleading theology of Christianity? In short, are we preaching a wrong gospel of Christ altogether?
I begin to talk to another Christian brother and telling him that we have been fed too much that Christianity promises blessings and prosperity, forgetting that it also promises trials and suffering. As a result, when many Christians are faced with a challenge to their misled idea of Christianity, they do not know how to respond to it and for a moment their worlds fall apart. Just like Apostle Peter, when faced with the arrested Jesus, He was totally lost and indeed for that moment he didn’t know who Christ was. Peter’s world fell apart and it took the resurrected Lord Himself to lift him up again. I went through something very similar too.
I recalled a number of years back, my whole world fell apart and I began to walk out of God and the Church. I would want to share more of my personal experience here in subsequent reflection. But for now, I want to say that, if you are feeling that Christianity has failed you…or even Jesus has failed you…because of certain things that happened in your life…like fallen career and etc…God is in it. God has allowed it to happen. My career was totally fallen apart at one point of time and I will share more about it.
I want to leave everyone with these verses:
Hebrews 10: 28-31; 35-38
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sacrificed him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said ,"It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be rewarded. You need to perservere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
– End of PPP Reflection 1 –
the gatekeeper07