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  • David

    November 29, 2021 at 6:05 am

    November 29, 2021

    The theme of today’s reading is that we must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. JD suggests that the reason for this is, “Because this is where the kingdom of God breaks in—places of loss, suffering, hardship, brokenness, and pain. For the followers of Jesus, when you are being broken down, it is a sign that the kingdom of God is breaking in. Hardships are a sign Jesus is about to promote you to the next level of entrustment in the kingdom of God.” I am not a proponent of the “prosperity Gospel” and I have my share of “Grace scars,” but this reasoning bothers me.

    I don’t think loss, suffering, hardship, brokenness, and pain are the means of entering the Kingdom of God. I don’t think that it’s a matter of being broken down. It’s a matter of being built up and recreated by the transcendent, transforming love of God regardless of your circumstances, good or bad. The Gospel is not the hardship Gospel, it is the good news that sets us free from the law of sin and death.

    I do believe that in this world there will be times of loss, suffering, hardship, brokenness, and pain, and that God uses these moments to build our perseverance and character. These are spiritual growth opportunities and we should rejoice in them, as we have discussed many times before. I believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I believe that we enter the Kingdom of God by being born again (John 3:3). Then we grow spiritually by having a loving union with God. I don’t have to have hardship for Jesus to break in. I just have to open the door of my heart and let Him in; deny myself; pick up my cross; and follow Him. It is a matter of being and doing. Jesus will promote me to the next level of entrustment in His Kingdom based on my faithfulness in Him regardless of my level of hardship. Lord correct my thinking if I am wrong.