How will Jesus help us?

For the 87 zillionth time, it happened again today. I was quite stressed about things whose possibility now seem to be fading into the realm of the highly unlikely. It was pretty major league stuff. It still could come to pass. But I think everything is going to be o.k.
And for the 87 zillionth time, I chided myself for my lack of faith. It’s not that God doesn’t help me through it. The last year or so of my life has had some really tough times. If I hadn’t had Jesus to walk me through it I literally would not have made it.

The thing that occured to me, though, is that it’s easy in the calm to think that I should have more faith. But in the middle of tough things, it requires more than simple courage to believe that God will see us through.
It would all be easier if I was one of those people who believed that God doesn’t allow bad things to happen to his followers. Then, every time things got rough, I could search my life for sin, set it right, and expect corresponding results in my circumstances.
The only problem with that idea is that it isn’t borne out in the bible. There are countless examples, but the case of Jesus settles things pretty decisevly, all by itself, in my mind. The idea that Jesus suffered undeservedly and horrificly and told his followers to expect more of the same seems to be pretty clear.
This leads to the question: how much should we expect Jesus to mitigate tough situations? Where is the line between faith and foolhardiness? Should we aim to be holy fools at the risk of being pollyanna? How bad do we allow circumstances to get before we take our rose-colored glasses off? Should we ever take them off?
Full or more questions than answers today,
(and looking foreward to comments)

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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

6 thoughts on “How will Jesus help us?”

  1. I think people have written many books trying to wrestle with questions like that for centuries. and I agree with your statement about the bible not supporting Retribution Theology (the idea that good things happen to good people while bad things happen to bad people), I think there is some truth to having our actions, thoughts, motives, etc. resulting in consequences. There is reaping/sowing, good fruit from a good tree kind of Jesus principle, building on rock versus the sand Jesus illustration, God chastening his children. I certainly don’t say those things to say that’s what’s going on in your situation. I have no idea the circumstance. I’m simply responding to your comment.
    One of the mistakes I think Christians make is the idea that we can’t let people see our anger, depression, our feelings. Feelings are real. There are not to always be trusted as truth, but they flow from a belief system that gets shaked up. And that certainly happens a lot that we live in a broken world. I think about Ps. 73, Lamentations, Elijah after fire from heaven, etc. There’s a lot of emotional things going on there. Circumstances were extremely hard, but they didn’t hide what they were going through. It was raw and out there. Go ahead and take the glasses off, but take those times to evaluate our motives, thinking, actions to make sure our hearts are right before God and we have obeyed what He asked from us. Cast our cares on Him and get ready for the next challenge. Perserverance produces character and character produces hope. Hope that rests in God is not disappointing, because he loved us from the beginning.


  2. loss of job, loss of income,loss of home, loss of reputation, loss of dignity, loss of independence, loss of friends, loss of family, loss of faith,loss of belief, loss of direction, loss of hope, loss of life all in 3months , my fault, nope , for standing for truth


  3. To loss:

    WORD! I can definitely empathize! I went through an incredibly tough time were avery ounce of my existence was waxed down to nothing. And loss of life, toward the end of 07, two vultures literally circled over my head. That was not a vision, and to me was extremely symbolic. I knew every part of my life was dying. But, fear not, God is not a man that He should lie, and there is promise for life life to be restored double, Is 61:7. Since then, god has fully restored me and is increasing His goodness still. God wants to show you off, and glorify Himself. And, yes, in my hard times I did question the “promises” of God, that is such a popular sermon these days. In fact, at times, it would literally make me sick in my gut to hear about them. Now, everything that God has promised will come to pass, if you faint not.

    Deep Thoughts: We are in this world. When God created man, He released dominion of the Earth to manking. And, mankind sinning cursed the Earth. Jesus bore the curse and came to restore the kingdom and that we live kingdom minded. Since Jesus died the kingdom is being established in God’s people, but God has not usurped control, but we all still are subject to the environment around us.

    Again, to you who are spiritual, remember than when satan came before God with the sons of God in the book of Job, God asked satan, “have you considered my servant Job?” Satan replies by pointing out that everyhting in Job’s life was “rose-coloured” and that it was the only reason Job loved God. Is your faith being considered right now?

    And though Job was tried by fire, he came forth spiritually as pure gold and God restored him. So, no don’t always look for the simple solution, that it must be sin in your life that brings trial. That’s just life, God and your enemy. David said, that it was good that he had bee afflicted. Jesus ultimately achieved His purpose on earth by suffering, and the promise is with a cross, and with persecutions. Yet, there is a also a great rest, and a great inheritance even now while you are here on earth. Be loosed to receive it!


  4. i have had tried to hang onto hope. A person stole our life savings, job is not providing enough, dog died, children seem to be distant, it has just been one thing after another. I dont know how to keep hanging onto hope. I love Jesus with all my heart- how do you keep going when everything seems to be ending?


    1. I’ve thought and prayed about how best to reply to this. And the thing that I’m so aware of is that any words I can say, they run the risk of triviliazing these challenges.
      I don’t know how these things will be made right. But I believe, with all that I am, that they will be made right. Sometimes, all we can do is just hold on.


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