We need to beware of misinterpreting the Bible, particularly one verse about faith.
I enjoy a comfortable, predictable and pleasurable life. How about you?
If I could experience a life free from difficulty, pain, inconvenience and struggle…sign me up!
This includes silly, unrealistic wishes, like wanting to drive on roads paid for by other citizens who choose not to use them. Or chocolate at ready reach, without the consequence of weight gain.
It also includes hard-hitting realities: a life-altering illness, a tragic accident, the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship or the collapse of a lifelong dream.
In many ways, these are God-honoring desires. The Creator invented pleasure for us to enjoy, and prior to The Fall, there was no pain, suffering or loss.
But we have to be careful.
Beware of Misinterpreting the Bible
There’s a false theology out there preaching that if you have faith in God, life will go well for you. If you read Romans 8:28 out of context, it makes sense: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”
To protect our hearts and minds, we have to read Scripture in its proper context, and we also have to use Scripture to interpret Scripture. In its proper context, Romans 8 is discussing “the good” of our spiritual redemption, not our physical comfort. But what I really want to write about today is how Hebrews 11 properly interprets this verse.
At the end of this famous passage about faith, we’re presented with a list of Christians who had to endure hardship, suffering and loss: and they were commended for their faith in God.
We must reject a theology that teaches that Christianity is an automatic ticket to a comfortable, predictable, pleasurable, healthy and wealthy life.
That’s the easy part, at least intellectually with our mind. What’s harder is not judging God in our hearts when he doesn’t deliver your definition of “the good life.”
We must remember that our vision is sometimes short-sighted, and our desires sometimes selfish. So what God deems as good, we may view as bad.