Tuesday, May 23, 2023
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
Can today’s Scripture deliver someone from absolute stupidity before he or she literally perishes in it? (Yes!)
Recall our introductory remarks about the preacher who fasted for 51 days—and finally died by starvation! He was looking for answers from God as to “why the signs do not follow [his] ministry as Jesus said they would.” Obviously, this man was “naming and claiming” Mark 16:17,18: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Why did these verses not work for the pastor? He could not understand what the problem was. This is just one of countless examples demonstrating even Bible users and church leaders can become disoriented, disappointed, and discouraged. Let us reflect on another distressing passage.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13,14). Dear friend, are you one of the millions who have begged God for all sorts of positive outcomes—with physical healing and “miracle money” being the top requests—but constant prayers were never answered? Instead, financial difficulties worsened and ill people grew sicker and died. How many poor souls concluded Jesus lied and God did not care about them? In fact, who among them abandoned the Bible and Christianity altogether because of these headaches and heartbreaks?
Of course, we can “name and claim” all the favorite Bible passages we want—even fasting and praying earnestly when the promises fail to come to pass, demanding God give us His reasons for those unanswered prayers. We can go so far as to literally starve ourselves to death, engaged in an endless pursuit of solutions to such vexing puzzles. Or, we could apply today’s Scripture and have amazing clarity, stability, and tranquility….