To be persecuted….a good thing?
Do we have to be desperate in order to know God? I believe we do. Let me explain what I mean by that. Last Sunday at church my class got into a discussion where we talked about other countries, and how, despite their adversities, have a stronger faith than their more “blessed” USA counterparts. Why is that? In other countries one is persecuted, acid thrown in their face, houses burned down all for believing in Jesus. Here is the U.S. we have the freedom to believe without persecution, yet most of us do not really seem to know God. Maybe we are too blessed. Maybe we need some sort of desperation in our life in order to bring us to God.
When things are good for you, you often take credit and say, “I can do this on my own.” Life is Good… Why do I need God? I am ok without Him. You go about your life not needing anyone but yourself. To be blessed….. maybe it is a curse rather than a blessing as it applies to knowing God.
When we go through trials, we often know we can not go through life under our own power. The first step in 12 – step groups is to admit you are powerless. The second step is to admit only a power greater than ourself can restore us. When we are persecuted, then we have to rely on so many things other than ourself. First we have to rely on God. Nothing else can save me or give me peace like God. What do you do when your house has been burned to the ground other than hit your knees. Is it possible to say, “All for you my Lord” in such times? Then you have to rely on others to help get you through the tough times. Those people seem to have a faith that makes most of us who are churched look like we are so surface.
The only thing I can think of to explain this is the point of desperation. It is so seldom that people in the US truly have to deal with desperation. We may go through emotional crisis, or bad things happen to us, but tomorrow we will move on and it will be another day. I think that is why depression is so rampant in the U.S. Maybe that is why alcoholism is so prevalent. We need a point of desperation in our life in order to keep us close to the one who made us. I don’t know, just a theory.
I know I have hit the point of desperation before. It was a time that completely changed my faith. I had to be desperate for God, to want to know Him. In saying that, I am often the reverse of what I am talking about. I feel closest to God when I am on my mountaintops as opposed to my valleys. It is in my valley times where I have a tendency to feel abandoned and alone. So during a time where most people cry out, I stop crying out all together.
So what do you think? What brings you closest to God? Do you think, in terms of faith, we are less fortunate than those of other countries? Why or why not?