Monday 28 January 2013


Does 'feel good' teaching prepare believers to face trials?

If children are taught from young that life’s going to be easysuccess requires little effortthey will grow up with an entitlement mentality. Later, this worldview that they embrace will be put to the test. Sad to say, when they face the harsh realities of adult life and workplace challenges, they will not be able to cope.

Similarly, in the spiritual realm, 'feel good' teaching—that God will always bless us with success, health and wealth—works beautifully during good times. But the crunch comes when believers who embrace such doctrine face crisessuch as retrenchment, incurable disease, failed marriage or persecution. They may then become disillusioned; some may even leave the faith.

They are likened to the seeds which fell upon rocky ground and among the thorns (Luke 8:13-14). As the challenges and perplexities of the spiritual journey have not been emphasised to them, they often lack the ability to endure trials (2 Corinthians 4:8-12).

Sometimes, we don’t like to admit that trials are an integral part of the Christian experience as much as blessings and victories. Indeed, there will be times when even fervent believers begin to doubt. They feel as if God has forsaken them (Psalm 77: 8-9).

But the truth is this: God will never leave or forsake them (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6).

The process of growing into maturity involves learning to persevere through our trials and doubts, and arriving at a place of unshakeable faith (James 1:2-4, Hebrews12:11 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-17).


“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12).

“Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (Psalm 77:8-9).

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James1:2-4).

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

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