PASTOR TOM WIEGAND
God must not like Minnesota. Our gas is at $4.29 a gallon and our winter refused to end. Is He punishing us for some reason? I say that in jest, but some people will find reasons why God is causing something to happen to punish people. An example is when someone declares that some natural disaster is God’s judgment on a particular city or region. Now let’s be clear- there is a Day of Judgment coming and we will all stand before Jesus Christ in judgment. But not all things that happen in this world directly relate to the holiness of the person or persons that they happen to.
Growing up I would hear, “You must have done something good” when something good happened to me, or the opposite when something went the wrong way. The implication was that you got when you desired and the value of events were determined by earthly material value. From a Bible view point it is called Deuteronomic Theology, meaning you do good you get good and you do bad you get bad. As it sounds, it comes from the teaching in the book of Deuteronomy. But is that the only teaching on the subject in the Bible? No, hardly. The book of Job gives another understanding of events that happen. It teaches that things happen that are beyond our understanding.
The life of the Apostle Paul is a good example. Paul several times in his writings in the Bible holds his life up as an example of how a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ should live. Yet, he suffers greatly and has a life of hardship. But he still rejoices in the greatness of his life. Is it that Paul just accepts some bad with the good, or does he see himself making mistakes and deserving of his suffering? Or maybe he is just one of those people who can find the good in the bad?
The key to understanding Paul’s view is that all events are seen through the lens of Jesus Christ, not Paul. Whether something is good or bad is not based on it relationship to our pleasure or material desires, but the good of God’s Kingdom through Christ. In other words the richest people in the world are not the best off, most holy, closest to God people on earth.
A good life is not based on job, family, house, financial security, car or anything thing else outside of Jesus Christ. Most followers of Christ know this, but it is often hard to not focus on those things when evaluating the quality of our lives. All those things are passing away and all that will be left is us and Jesus and then the true value of our life will be revealed.