7/8/11 Zephaniah 1-3; John 9
S: John 9:2-3 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
O: There are many scripture verses that talk about God giving health & wealth to people who follow Him. There are scriptures also that show that sometimes God sends illness and calamity because people did not follow Him.
But the whole counsel of scripture is clear that this is not always the case. There are many places in the Bible that show true followers of God suffering and deprived. In this passage, Jesus clearly taught that it wasn't for the man's or his parent's sins that he was born blind.
As a result of only looking at the "health and wealth" passages, we have some unbalanced teachings come out that say that if you follow God, you must be blessed with health and wealth. If you don't have health and wealth, it's a sign of your lack of faith. There is even one pastor whom I personally know who teaches that you must never go to a doctor -- that it is at best lack of faith, and at worst, demonic! Some of her followers have fallen sick and even died because of refusing medical treatment. There is often an attitude among people having such wrong theology to blame the victim, "She's sick because she didn't have the faith to be healed." Some of them end up putting on a front, "I'm fine!" when they are not.
A: We can be honest with God about our afflictions. We can and should pray for each other for healing. But we cannot be presumptuous about it and refuse medicine.
God may call us to wealth, or He may have a purpose for us that doesn't include that. We can trust Him that He knows what He's doing and that He loves us. (See yesterday's Life Journal entry.)
P: Father, we thank You that You do love us and bless us. Help us to trust You even when it's not in the way we expect, so that even when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, we will not fear any evil. In Jesus' name, amen.