Monday, September 19, 2011

God wants you to be healthy, wealthy and happy

How does God make our lives better? By calling us to poverty, persecution, fasting and the curiously patient "ineffectiveness" of prayer. How does God bring us joy? By teaching us to abandon false hopes, to mourn and groan and yearn for his kingdom. How does God bring us peace? By telling us to take up our cross. How does God give us life? By calling us to die.
I don't pretend this is a full account, simply a small counterweight to overly triumphalist baptisms of our present comfort.

5 comments:

John B said...

Great post! I love how topsy turvy the answers are.

Mike W said...

praise our God and Father who gives us these.
Of course, many things lure us away from cross shaped lives, and we are tempted to call them 'good gifts from God' too. Don't be decieved! says James, it is your evil desires lure you to sin and so to death.

geoffc said...

I really appreciate your small comment 'the curiously patient "ineffectiveness" of prayer'. It reminds me of Sufjan Steven's lyrics: "Tuesday night at the Bible Study we lift our hands and pray over your body but nothing ever happens" and "And the people bowed and prayed, and what difference does it make? The world surrounds us with its hate". It's always struck me as a profoundly Christian thing to say, but I don't hear many people being speaking about it as a reality of discipleship - prayer seems ineffective. But if discipleship also implies 'waiting', we surely can't but help think of it as somewhat ineffective?

I could be wrong of course, but thank you for the post. That phrase really resonates, and I wish more people would speak about prayer in such a way. Cheers.

Mike W said...

@geoff.
I've always wondered whether Jesus' command to the disciples at Gesthemane 'watch and pray', was to watch Jesus' anguished prayers rejected.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile what if fascism comes to America in the name of "freedom" and carrying a Bible too? (as predicted by Sinclair Lewis)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EL5Atp_vF0

The last figure is the number 0