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People working together to proclaim the Gospel

“The Churches of God Outreach Ministries provides leadership, information, and biblical teaching in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20"

1-800-611-8080 / www.cgom.org PO Box 54621, Tulsa, OK 74155-0621

What Do You Expect From God?

All too many Christians have a distorted understanding of what they can expect from God. How much of His direct intervention can we count on in our daily life? by James McBride

Young Tim was, decidedly, a Christian. In early life he had committed himself to the service of Jesus Christ. He was always on the go - preaching, serving, helping God’s people and everyone in need. His life was a sparkling example to all.

Many Christians assume such circumstances will never befall them. As the people of God, they assume they have divine protection. But can we expect God always to heal us? Will we be spared accidents, for example. simply because we are Christians?

But in private moments he was often despondent about his health. His bustling activity concealed a persistent recurring illness which struck often and inconveniently.

Why did not God simply heal him? Wouldn’t He be better served in a strong and healthy body?

Then there was that large body of Christians who for years were, with their non-Christian neighbors, strangled by famine. Further, because of their beliefs, they were isolated, refused employment. Relief came only from the occasional food parcel from abroad. Couldn’t God have positively answered their cries for dramatic change of weather?

The apostle Paul suffered more than most. In his own words, here’s went through:

“Five times I have taken thirty-nine lashes from the Jews, three times I have been beaten by the Romans, once I was pelted with stones: three times I have been shipwrecked, and once I have spent a day and a night adrift at sea. I have served Him on frequent journeys. in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the heathen, dangers in the city, in the desert, at sea, dangers from false brothers, through toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, through hunger and thirst, through many a fasting season, poorly clad and exposed to cold” (II Corinthians 11:23-27).

And what about the preacher who suffered under an intolerant regime for decades? Imprisoned for his teachings, whipped, starved, nearly drowned, kept under house arrest for a time. And yet a man half blind.

In each of these cases, it seemed God stood idly by!

Does God Fail Us? These three accounts are true. You can read about Timothy, the Christians in Jerusalem and the apostle Paul in the New Testament. But the time frame could

How many Christians undergo such agony in our day? Did God fail Paul? Or did Paul blame God for his misfortunes?

Again, in his own words: “1 most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the strength of Christ may overshadow me. That is why I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties, which I endure for Christ’s sake, for it is when I am consciously weak that I am really strong” (12:10).

well have been the late 20th century.

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