When Things Go Wrong – Part 2

This is a continuation of a series.  If you haven’t read “Part 1” then you might not understand this posting.  I suggest you go back (scroll down) to see and read Part 1 before reading Part 2.

In this posting I deal with another topic that seems to cause great confusion in the family of God.  It has to do with blame and who is responsible.  Specifically, when things go wrong in your life, who caused it, and who is responsible?

It is only natural to seek out the sources of our frustration, and when possible to find the parties responsible for our pain or suffering.  And, of course, when we do find the responsible party we would like for them to pay or be punished for their action.

And, it is entirely possible that this can be done, at least to some extent, in some situations.  But, there are many situations where this may be impossible, and that causes problems for our human reasoning, which always wants to assess blame and responsibility for everything that is wrong.

For the Christian, however, there are some additional dimensions to consider beyond the natural ones.  We have an enemy, and his weapons and attacks may be represented in the natural world, but are spiritual in their origin.  And while we might like to blame the Devil and punish him for his crimes, it is not in our realm to do so, at least not yet.

While it is convenient to blame the Devil for everything wrong even that option doesn’t always fit.  Worse, that assessment may be incorrect.  I’m sure the Devil gets some corrupt pleasure out of being blamed for things he had no part in.  For in doing that it causes confusion and distraction to the children of God.

So, let me divert a bit and talk about “control”, as that factors into how things enter our lives, and what we do about it.  Some things are in our control, while others are not.  Some things ‘seem’ to be in our control, but really are not.  And, finally, there are some things that we should control, but for whatever reason we do not.  For the most part, whether we accept it or not, you are mostly not in control of what enters, or tries to enter your life.  You are in control, or should be in control, however, of how you react to those things.  And that is a crucial point.  So, while we are not in control of those things that may try to come at us, we do have some say and authority over what those things do to us.  Of course, there are conditions to this statement.

For example, if you do not possess the shield of faith, and are not skilled in its use, or choose not to use it, then you will be susceptible to the fiery darts of the Devil.  We can understand that in the Book of Ephesians.  So, there are definitely conditions on how well we can deal with the attacks from the enemy.  You cannot stop or control the darts that are thrown at you.  This is beyond your level of control.  But, you can quench these darts using the shield of faith.

But, the enemy comes at us in many ways besides throwing fiery darts.  He can work through associates, friends, brothers and sisters, spouses, children, parents, and anyone he can manipulate.  In most cases, you cannot stop these attacks either.  But, you can prevail and overcome.

So, when the enemy uses someone to provoke an attack on you, who is to blame?  Is it the person’s fault?  It is the enemy’s fault?  And, still further, maybe it’s God’s fault for letting it happen in the first place?

Jesus made it clear, “in this world you will have tribulation.”  Now, we can interpret this in many different ways, but simply in my definition it means something like this, “as long as you are alive in this world you can expect to have some trials and problems.”  But, as we know there is more to the verse, “but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  And now my interpretation of this phrase might look something like this, “yes, you will have troubles in this life, but don’t worry I have provided a way for you to overcome, prevail, and be successful, despite these apparent setbacks.”

Jesus did not say He would do away with problems, or the things that go wrong.  But, He provided assurance that because He overcame these things, we can be overcomers also.  In other words, Jesus has granted to His children the power to overcome whatever situation you may find yourself in.

Most everyone can agree on the points I’ve made above, but I suspect this may be where there is a parting in the understanding.  For it is my firm conviction, from experience and the Word, that although we are given the power to overcome any situation that comes our way, it does not mean that the situations will go away, or that we will come out unscarred or without wounds of the battle.  This point is crucial, for I believe this is where there is a great misunderstanding, and a cause of confusion for many Christians.  They either believe that God has made them exempt from the problems of the world, or that they will be completely unaffected by any events that take place in the battle.  I think both of these assumptions is incorrect.

To understand what I’m trying to say we have to turn to the Apostle Paul who made the statement in Galations 6:17:

“From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

What does that mean?  My interpretation of this scripture is simply this, “I have suffered for the Lord Jesus Christ, and have the marks in my body to prove it.  Therefore, let no man give me grief about my sacrifice for the Lord’s sake.”

If we put this in the context of the battle of life that we’ve been talking about, it might sound like this, “Let no man bother me anymore, for I bear in my body the battle scars of my fight for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In summary, we need to know that Jesus has provided the means for victory.  But, that even in victory there may be battle scars, whether they are physical or mental.  But, these are not a sign you are doing something wrong, but rather you are doing something right.

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