The following is by Harold Carman-
I. THE REASON
John Miller was a dear friend and brother in Christ. I
ministered with him in Hartsville for several years. Bro. John is
now with the Lord but our time together still impacts my life.
One such impact resulted from hearing Bro. John relate the story
of visiting one of his sons in the hospital. I can't remember the
circumstances that led to the hospital stay but I remember well
the visit. Bro. John stood at his son's bed and heard his son say
over and over, "Dad, why me? I'm a Christian, and I'm trying to
do the Lord's will so why did this happen to me?" Bro. John
listened and then responded to his discouraged son, "Son, why
not?" I've never forgotten that, "Why not?" The answer to that
question is a powerful Christian principle of life.
We live in a day of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel.
And though we would disagree with its principles and denounce
its prophets, yet we have been affected by its lie. We have come
to believe that we deserve a painless and prosperous life. Not
only do we think we deserve it, we think that God owes us such
a life and we express that belief by complaining at anything less
than pleasure and prosperity. This error has produced much
unbiblical theology, especially in matters related to the end time.
So that today much of the professing church believes that there is
NO SUFFERING AHEAD!
Peter was not a member of the crowd mentioned above. He
warned his readers to think it not strange when suffering was
there lot (I Peter 4:12). In other words, he told them to expect
suffering! We should not be surprised when troubles surround
us. What should really surprise us is that we are not always
troubled, always in pain, always hurting! Constant pain,
problems, pressures, are what we deserve. We forget that since
the Garden of Eden all we really deserve is hell. The amazing thing
is not that there is a hell, but that we are not all there today!
Right now, we all deserve to be in hell. This is true of all
mankind, Christians included. God's merciful miracle of the New
birth doesn't make us sinless. The righteousness of Christ is
imputed to us and we are declared just because of His sacrifice
for us. But we are still vile and wretched creatures whose best
efforts are full of sin. "If you Lord should mark iniquities, O
Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you that
you may be feared." (Psalm 130:3-4). Everyday we can truly say,
"I'm doing better than I deserve." I can say that through
the tears, troubles, and trials. No matter how hard the life
of a Christian may be, it is always better than hell!!!
It is better than we deserve.
II. THE REJOICING!
Therefore we should always rejoice. Since it is better than we
deserve we should and must rejoice! "Beloved, do not think it is
strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though
some strange thing happened to you, but REJOICE." (I Peter 4:12-13A)
Everyday is the day which the Lord has made.
Everything about your day is made by the Lord. He is the
Lord of all your circumstances. Therefore since He makes your
days, and what is made is better than you deserve, we must
REJOICE. "This is the day the Lord made, we will rejoice and
be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) "Blessed are you when they
revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against
you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for
great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the
prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James
It is better than we deserve, REJOICE!!!!!
III. THE REPENTANCE
If we're not rejoicing right now, then we are in sin.
We are grieving and quenching the Spirit of God and are living
powerless, subnormal Christian lives. Nothing can alter our basis
for rejoicing. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in
today it could be worse and it is always better than you deserve!
And much more than that, God Himself is our exceeding great
joy! Therefore rejoicing is not an option offered to the
Christians. It is an imperative! It is a command!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice." (Phil. 4:4)
To refuse to rejoice is to refuse to believe the Word of God.
This unbelief dams up the flow of the Spirit of God in and
through our lives. Instead of the rivers of living water we
become a cesspool of unbelief that breeds many other sins.
Repent! It is better than hell!! Repent!! It is better than you
deserve!! Repent!! God Himself is our untouchable, unchangeable,
unalterable, exceeding great JOY!
Why not, oh saint of God,
It's better than you deserve,
Hell is where you ought to be,
God doesn't grade on the curve!
Yes you are forgiven,
And accepted in the Son,
But you are still vile and wretched,
And an undeserving one.
So, don't think it strange,
When your world falls apart,
For what else should you expect,
With such a terrible wicked heart.
God uses these terrible things,
For discipline and design,
To make us like His Son,
To cause our lives to shine!
Rejoice then saint of God,
Yes with rejoicing swell,
For no matter how hard it gets,
Remember it is better than Hell!!
REJOICE!! REJOICE!! REJOICE!!!