Tribulation is one of the best instigators of spiritual growth, which is why when things go wrong for a believer we immediately pray that God make it better.
I think we’ve completely lost the “Glory in tribulation” teaching of the Bible and replaced it with, “If you have faith God will heal you and make you rich.”
Tribulation is good for you, so good you might want to seek out some pain.
Northern Wisconsin has been nailed with cold lately. Yesterday school was cancelled because our HIGH temperature for the day was -17. That’s 17 below zero. That’s not including wind chill. And that was the HIGH temperature for the day!
There were warnings everywhere about “don’t go outside!” “Your skin will fall off your face in five minutes.” Etc.
My son and I went on a walk last evening out on our lake to look at the stars in the peaceful, cold night. It was -20 when we did that. It was grand.
Out on the lake, trying to find the Little Dipper, I said to my son, “People are always freaking out Jacob. Don’t get freaked out. People always make everything worse than it seems. Especially with weather. You won’t die if you go outside.”
Now, I also went on to explain that you do need to be careful, there is much weather you can’t play around with, “so let’s go home, my cheeks are freezing.” There was caution in there, but not so much that we avoided the awesome experience.
His whole life he will remember and tell people about the night he and his dad went on the lake when it was 20 below zero.
People whine about how horrible kids are these days, how they have no attention span and all they do is play video games. Perhaps that’s because you don’t let your kids do anything.
“Tribulation works patience.” Perhaps your kids have no attention span because you never let them deal with hard and painful stuff.
I’m not saying my kids are perfect or have better attention spans or don’t play video games. They have all these “faults”–which is why I do cool stuff with them to show them that life is kind of fun, not something that should fill you with terror.
I love mothers. I love my own mother. I love my kids’ mothers. But mothers need to know when to go take a shower so dad can go do dangerous stuff with the kids. That’s what dad’s are there for.
Kids walk away from the church at an alarming rate. Men rarely set foot in churches compared to women. Want to know why? Because the church is not about making people spiritually mature any more. The church is a social club at best; an entertaining concert at worst.
If we were developing spiritual maturity, we’d embrace tribulation, pain and suffering. We’d equip people to handle it together. We’d have our men be men, willing to take risks and be a little dangerous to stir up the youth to something bigger. To lead them to need faith. To lead others to want God to face the big pains in life that only God can heal.
The reason so many don’t come to God is because they don’t think they need Him. We’re wusses. We avoid all discomfort and wonder why our spiritual lives are so vacuous.
I do not wonder about this any more.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
Man up, Church!