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"Ev'rything's gonna be OK!"
- Jacob Ninan
How nice to hear things like this when we are going through tough situations! Especially when a preacher quotes promises from the Bible to support such statements! It brings us great relief, comforts us in our mind and gives us hope for the future. But just think back about the number of such occasions in the past when things didn't actually turn out to be OK. What went wrong?
1. It didn't show us our responsibility in the situation. Perhaps some part of our mess is from our own making, and unless we own up and take charge, things can't change, can they? Perhaps one of the things we need to do is to acknowledge our sin (Je.3:13), repent (turn completely around), and set things right with God and man. Maybe our response could be different. But what happens if we ignore all these steps and just wish that things will turn out OK?
2. We aren't doing what we ought to do. Perhaps we have made ourselves believe that God will somehow take care of everything and we don't have to do anything.
3. We are leaving the responsibility on God. We expect that He should come and clean up the mess we have made, change the minds of other people towards us, and make things out as if nothing ever went wrong at all. We'd like to come out unscathed.
When we were babies we couldn't do much, and naturally it was our parents who took care of all messy details like changing our diapers. When we call ourselves children of God and take the same attitude towards God what does it say about ourselves? That we are still babies spiritually speaking. I don't think anyone would want to remain like like once we understand this is what is happening.
But the sad fact is that many of God's children continue to remain babies, and many preachers are there catering to them. Paul warned the people in the Corinthian church that they ought not to remain as infants (1Co.3:1-3)! The writer to the Hebrews lamented the fact that even though people had enough time and opportunity to have become teachers, they were actually remaining retarded and needed to be fed with baby food (He.5:12).
God wants us to grow up to a mature stature (1Co.14:20;Ep.4:13). This is possible only if we exercise our spiritual muscles (He.5:14). In simple words, this means that when we are faced with temptations we must learn to deny ourselves and follow Jesus (Lk.9:23). The Holy Spirit is there to stand with us and help us. We shouldn't be running to someone else to pray for us so that the situation may change and we won't have any difficulty. It is sometimes easier to fast and pray than to deny ourselves in the time of temptation! But when we take up our cross and deny ourselves in order to do God's will in every situation, that's how become increasingly mature. As we grow more mature, we become able to handle situations better that used to bring us down in the past. We can also become strong enough to stand with others and encourage them to handle their challenges better.