Grace In Suffering
The earthquake in Haiti and Pat Robertson's comments about it open up a discussion about the difference between enduring suffering from a religious platform and embracing a Loving God in the midst suffering. Steve McVey, author of Grace Walk and Walking in the Will of God, who was in the area and came by to meet Brad and Wayne, joins in the discussion. Unpacking the grace of a loving Father in the midst of suffering, is difficult to do when we are focused on the why-did-he-allow-this question instead the where-is-he-in-the-midst of this question.
While I do not disagree with the intent and spirit of the points made in this podcast, I think it is worth clarifying what “cursed” means. Jesus did not relieve the whole world the curse, only those who accept the covenant of His grace. Those who live apart from the new birth continue in the curse. And those who are members of the body of Christ by the new birth can bring the curse upon themselves when they live by the works of the law instead of resting in His grace.
The curse does not come from God, of course, for He does no evil. The curse came from Adam and Eve when they believed themselves instead of God. In other words, the curse is a consequence of our choice, not the action of God.
Generational curses are the same thing. They do not come from God but build by successive generations. An alcoholic parent tends to set up the next generation as they follow that role model and continue in the same choices of the parent. Consequently it can become a self perpetuating behavior that tends to be passed on to generation after generation until broken by someone who accepts the grace of Christ.
The curse is a spiritual force that affects all creation. When Adam and Eve sinned, their sin brought the curse into all creation so that Newton’s laws of thermodynamics came into being as all matter tends to degenerate. That law of entropy has not been removed from creation. All creation still hangs under the curse, so that even we who have the new birth still age and die thus participating in the curse in creation.
Pat Robertson made a pertinent observation in that the effects of the curse are not seen as strongly in the Dominican Republic as in Haiti, even though they are two haves of the same island.
While I would never ascribe the curse as coming from God, neither would I deny that the curse still exists all around us.
I like what ALex has said, am wondering about the word curse. Not sure God ever calls the outcome of Adam and Eve’s disobedience a curse. He just said you will die. Maybe Brad and Wayne will say something.
Very excited to see Steve McVey on the podcast, his teaching on Grace is so good and comes from being very experienced in religion.
I really liked the bit about why ask why. That the seemingly innate desire to require answers is tied to control. It seems like the more freedom I live in that desire to know is decreasing.
I think Pat Roberson’s words are coming from living in religion more than freedom. Which is why his stuff makes so many of us crazy. I think living inside a system of rewards and punishments will always produce this kind of response to tragedy. Just like Job’s friends, well you must have done something!!!!! Its all about what we do. Haiti is heart breaking.
I really liked Steve’s sharing about he and his wife deciding before going into the ER, that no matter what the outcome, positive or negative, God is who He says He is. He Loves us. He Loves His kids in Haiti.
Hahahahaha!!! “Pharisectomy”! LOL, LOL, LOL!
I loved the part that you shared about the woman who was brought out of the rubble, after six days who came out praising the Lord! I watched that too, and my favorit part of that story was when the reporter asked her if she thought she would live, and she replied “Yes!” Then when he asked her why, she looked at him incredilous and replied, “Why not?!” Now that’s faith!!! God was indeed right there with her and also strengthening my faith through her testimony of suffering, knowing that He never leaves His people.
This whole horrible earthquake scenario reminds me of the Tsunami. A few years before that – I had a dream about a Tsunami, before I even knew what it was, where I was standing on the shore watching and interceeding for all the families that were being threatened by a giant wave… As I was asking God to have mercy and to show mercy, even as I was witnessing them all being swept out to sea… I began to plead with Him… “Aren’t you going to show mercy, on even the little ones?”… When I felt like He said, that there are just some things that have already been put into play and there’s nothing we can do about it. At that moment, I woke up and I realized that I could not control Him nor the future by my prayers… but I could tell people about Jesus Christ and lead them to higher ground by pointing them to the Rock, where they would be spiritually safe and eternally saved. That no matter what tragedies may come, God’s mercy will remain faithful and He will never leave His children.
Seeing the miracles of all the lives being saved from out the rubble in Haiti, without food and water, nearly every day for two-weeks, I was reminded that Jesus is the bread of life that sustains His people, that He is living water, and that they will receive their dead back from the grave – God is indeed good! Even in the midst of a suffering, grieving nation.
In the midst of our storms, God is there… and He is good “regardless of the circumstance!” I don’t have the power to change my circumstance. But I do have faith! Thanks for sharing!!! =]
I was convicted in a good way when I heard you speak about people who are trying to solve problems in their lives by giving others all the details trying to relieve their pain secretly hoping for an answer to their dilemma. Recent events in my life have moved me to a place to really need the God of All Comfort and no person could give me what I needed to have directly from Him. It was a wake up call where I became conscious of my unbelief. Though today I still find myself in a myriad of emotions and have not fully allowed Him to tend to my soul, I see now more clearly that He is here for me and no person outside Him can give me the pure Living Water that will soothe and heal this wound He has uncovered for me to see. I realize we are His hands and feet and will be there to comfort others as He has first comforted us but for me it is a great lesson to see I first need to have this comfort from the Living God. I have tried to stay away from this raw need for comfort in my life because the feeling tied to it is abandonment. I didn’t have adults in my life who knew how to give me comfort as a child so when I get in touch with my need for it as an adult, I have either tried to numb it out or have tried to rescue others from feeling their need for comfort by being a false comfort to their life to stay away from my own pain. Don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but it gives me more understanding for why we become false gods to one another and gives me more compassion for the blindness we live in when we put our wounded souls on hold, numbing our pain. To You the God of All Comfort I breathe a prayer for us all who fear the feelings of being abandoned when we have a need to be comforted. Make Yourself real to us today.
I thought the content of what was shared on this pod cast was great. But I felt uneasy about how Steve McVey seemed to have an agenda. I felt like He was the pastor trying to get His point of view across to listener. When he talked I thought he was talking to the mike not to Brad and Wayne.
My thoughts for what it is worth.
Great thought provokers, guys! These podcasts are so helpful to jog the heart, mind and brain. I can’t get enough of them! I have had many of these thoughts for quite a while now, but just never able to put them into audible utterances. Books like the Shack, He loves me, etc. have opened the world of God’s Love in an indescribable way. As a church of Christ missionary, I feel like I have found the Vitamin D of the spiritual life; something that has been missing for years in most lives. It is a deficiency that is taking its toll in very visible and tragic ways all around the world right now. Words are simply not available to thank each of you enough.
The discussion about asking and having to know the “why” hit me. I myself have such a “why”
I just really thought I have to have answerd by God, it just dawned on be the real questions I need to have answerd are ” Is it save with you God, are you a safe place for my heart, the essence of my beeing? and please can you show me “How much you love me?” I’m really longing for those questions to be answerd and I hope they will be without words. Thanks for the podcast!
I was listening through all the God Journey podcasts along with some other podcasts in 2011-2012. Amazingly God had me hear this podcast the day my dad died (8/12/11) before I was aware of his death, perhaps even before he died that day.
I wrote a blog about God’s amazing timing & comfort relating to this.