The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Understanding Health Trials

You’re Sick Because You Sinned: Dealing with Misguided Christians

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

As we explain in many articles on this site, God is the Source of every trial and blessing in your life.  His primary reason for creating trials in your life is to draw you closer to Him.  When we’re hurting, we suddenly find ourselves motivated to ask theological questions that we used to avoid, and we become receptive to difficult truths.  When life is going great, we find it uncomfortable and threatening to think about God’s involvement with evil.  But when He saddles us with some debilitating disease or with some chronic illness, suddenly we become much better listeners.

Suffering has a way of spiking our courage so that we stop running away from the scary questions. Why does a good God want people to suffer?  Why are His methods so brutal at times?  How can we tell when God is upset with us and when He’s pleased?  Why is God silent when we’re seriously depressed?  Why does He refuse to answer us the way we need Him to?  Why does He sometimes act as if He’s abandoned us in our hour of need?  Why are some of us suffering so much more than others?  These are the tough questions that we need to get around to facing if we’re going to grow close to God, and we discuss all of these issues in other articles on our site.  If you’re sick, it doesn’t at all mean that God is mad at you, punishing you, or cursing you.  If you’re sick, it doesn’t mean you have insufficient faith or unconfessed sins.  Certainly spiritual rebellion is a real thing, and God will often use trials to drive rebels towards repentance.  But once we start saying that all health problems are a form of Divine discipline, well then we’re just being absurd.  Even health problems which start out as a form of discipline cease to be about discipline once a soul repents.  This is because God is not a jerky Father who beats on His obedient kids.  God is a very good and gracious Father.  If you sincerely care about pleasing Him, then He’s pleased with you—it’s just that simple.  But you can count on the fact that His pleasure will not manifest itself in the form of a trial free life, because God has you on this planet to mature, not stagnate.  Read more of this post

Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

If God was really pleased with you, you’d be happy, healthy, and financially well off. This is a very common belief among both Christians and non-Christians. It’s an absolute lie, yet it’s also an extremely popular idea and one which is aggressively promoted by many very successful Christian leaders. Whenever we find a lie being promoted by folks who know better, it is because they have found a way to profit by doing so.

Prosperity theology—a system of beliefs which is built on the assumption that God wants us to have happy, carefree lives on earth—is a huge moneymaker. It’s rather like teaching Christians that God commands them to tithe: the folks who teach the lie make bank while the people who sincerely believe in the lie end up in a world of hurt. Unfortunately, many of our leaders in the Church today couldn’t care less about how many souls they trash on the way to lining their own pockets. As an individual Christian, you’re just one more chump who they might be able to make some money off of. If you prove to be reasonably easy to manipulate, they’ll spend effort messing with you. If you aren’t, they’ll kick you aside and find someone else. Welcome to the world of false shepherds in the Church: it’s a merciless scene in which there is no real concern for human souls. This is why it’s so important that you not put your trust in human beings to guide you in life. God Himself must be your Guide, because He is the only One you can really trust. But before you are going to develop strong trust in God, you need to grasp that He is for you in life, and before you can understand what that means, you need to learn a few things about how God operates. Read more of this post

The Purpose of Dysfunction: Understanding Why God Messed You Up

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You have issues. Maybe you beat your wife. Maybe you always sabotage relationships. Maybe you have to show off all the time. Maybe you freak out over having sex. Maybe you can’t get enough sex. Maybe you fantasize about hurting people. Whatever it is, you can see that you’re messed up in your head, but you honestly don’t get why. The day comes when you finally decide to get help. All of a sudden, it’s like your eyes are opened. Finally you can see your dysfunctional behavior in a whole new light. Now you get that you beat your wife because you’re ragingly insecure and afraid of her dominating you. Now you get that you always sabotage relationships because you’re so afraid of someone else dumping you first. Now you understand that your obsession with sex is driven by a desperate need for the affirmation that you never got as a kid. When the lights go on like this, we feel like we’re making some real progress. By the time we start aggressively seeking help, we’re fed up with the damage that our destructive habits are having on our lives. We want to change. We want to cut away these old anchors and move on already. So now that we’re understanding ourselves better than ever before, it should be a simple matter to change, right? Wrong. Read more of this post

Why God Isn’t Fixing You (The Jungle Metaphor)

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Two Christians are standing in front of a dense tropical jungle. Neither of them has any experience with outdoor survival. Suddenly the Holy Spirit appears in front of them. He says, “Heaven is on the other side of this jungle. You have two choices. I can either take you there right now, or I can take you through this jungle first. If you decide to come through the jungle with Me, it will not be an easy journey, but I promise I will get you through it.” Read more of this post