Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Revelation, Suffering and Hope

On Sunday I spoke on Revelation. I guess most people aren't used to the idea of Revelation being encouraging!  I got a lot of thanks for the message. I also undermined the idea that God has to "fix" all of our problems before we can worship him.  Some of the best worshippers have been those who have died for their faith.

One person wrote me and said the message was "lifechanging".  I had to know more so I asked the person to expand and this is what they said. I thought it might encourage others...

Your message helped me to change my attitude towards suffering. I've been waiting so long for God to do things in my life since I've had a relationship with him and not to see it happen brings a lot of  discouragement.  [But now that you mention it...] suffering indeed has drawn me very close to Him, and has taught me more about Him than I ever imagined. Also I could never worship and love Him the way I do without the lessons it's taught me.

I was also impacted by your insight into the book of Revelation that its simply about Jesus being on the throne to be worshipped, and to bring hope to believers who were suffering beyond belief. I saw a story the other night about the musician John Waller who suffered 18 years with bipolar disease and had expectations for God to heal him. After a lot of let downs and trying to figure God out, he finally learned that it's best just to worship God and trust Him. Eventually God healed him at the appropriate time in his life. He wrote the hit , While Im Waiting which is a great worship song relating to his suffering.

I see now its best to embrace our suffering, cling close to God knowing He's on his throne, and worship Him for who He is and for how much He loves us.  

Amen and amen.