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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Other Words


"They gave our Master a crown of thorns.
Why do we hope for a crown of roses?"

~ Martin Luther ~
This quote by the Father of Protestant Reformation sure is a great reminder to us in the comfortable United States. I know Martin Luther had a good reason to say this. He sure lived in turbulent times and a lot of that turbulence was brought on by himself. Would Luther have done what he did if he always expected a crown of roses from the Lord? I don't think so. He was willing to take a good dose of "suffering" because he knew what he did was right and it honored his Lord.

It is clear that the Prosperity Gospel is only prevalent in the USA and other well-off western countries. Where did we get the idea that if we only have enough faith then the Lord will bless us with material wealth? I know why. We are spoiled as a nation. I have no doubt that God does bless some with material wealth as a result of their faithfulness, but there are also people with incredible faith who struggle to find food for dinner each night.

It is a personal passion of mine to learn more and support our fellow Believers who are persecuted for their faith. These people have faith in Jesus that I can only dream of having and yet they struggle everyday. Does that mean that God has abandoned them? Heavens no! He smiles down on them everyday as they show their love for Him with every sacrifice they willingly accept. But, I believe our brothers and sisters accept the persecution because they believe and KNOW that there is far more in heaven just waiting for them. They have a mansion and a white robe hanging up inside. If these Believers expected earthly wealth as a reward for their faith all they would face is disapointment and bitterness towards God. They know that in this fallen world they may only receive a crown of thorns just like their Savior did but that very same Savior will adorn them with a crown of roses when they arrive Home.

We may or may not experience true persecution in our lifetime. But, I do know that if we don't expect anything more that a "crown of thorns" on this earth then we'll be far happier, more content people. God doesn't promise us a "crown of roses" while we are here. We do know, though, that he has so much more just waiting for us. It is just a matter of knowing where your wealth really is and where you really want to build it.

Go on over to Sting My Heart to read what other faithful women are saying.



7 Readers Shared Their Love:

Denise said...

May God sweetly bless you.

MiPa said...

Wonderfully said! Bless you for sharing!

ellen b said...

Trust and contentment are really key to the teaching on suffering. Blessings on you...

lori said...

You know you are so right...often the more we have the more we expect INSTEAD of the more we have, more is EXPECTED...
I often wonder what it would be like to have nothing but faith and hope...
wearing the crown of thorns is an honor...and a blessing...we miss that so often in this land of ours...
You made me think today!!
peace,
lori

Angie said...

What an incredible timely post.
I have heard this all my life...."To whom much is given, much will be required". We have been given much as a nation....much will be required.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Diana said...

Great post...we truly are a spoiled people...we feel entitled to the riches God has blessed us with! Thanks for sharing such a timely reminder that all of our gifts are from God.

Shannon - CMA said...

Sarah, I enjoyed your thoughts on this IOW - I had not looked at it from the writers perspective, but how right you are. We must give and give unconditionally to receive the grace's and mercy the Lord has for us. God Bless!