“But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” (Luke 16:25)
The exact opposite of what the overwhelming majority of Christians believe today, instead of evil here, it is “good here and better there.” If there is one thing that people do not like it is trouble, trials and tribulations are not most generally something people search after, they do not bring much happiness into our lives, and so, according with the Scriptures, we avoid them. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Prov. 22:3) But they will come, they will be sent upon us by the Lord, and we must not attempt to flee from them when they appear, we must trust in His wisdom in allowing them, and seek His face as to what we are to learn in them.
Far too many who call Christ Lord today may not want the extravagance of all that the rich man had, but it would not bother them one bit if it showed up at their doorstep, but today, even when the most minor of inconveniences is denied them, they pout, they whine, and they can’t figure out why a loving God would allow such a thing.
All born-again believers are torn between two truths, if you will, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) And “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) They will either be ecstatic when they receive something of next to no value, believing that they are not worthy of the Lord’s attention, or they will complain when they do not get the answer to their prayer in the way that they expected.
The saying that the Lord has melded into my mind recently now comes to the forefront, “What we expect, we begin to believe we deserve,” and although this is the prevalent thought in most nations now, it should never be one in the mind of the person who is a child of the Most High. “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” (Prov. 30:8) We, as born-again believers, expect to be able to enter boldly into the very throne room of the Most High God, but we know for a fact that we do not deserve to be there. The world, as stated, wants to live like the rich man, and they will go into debt as much as necessary to do so, becoming slaves by doing so. (Prov. 22:7) They actually own nothing, or at best very little, but the pretense, the perception is what matters, to have now is what is important.
When things begin to collapse around some Christians, for whatever reason, they cannot understand that the problem is not due to anything else but the life they have been living, they have not sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, (Matt. 6:33) they have not possessed their souls in patience, (Luke 21:19) they have not taken the time to study the Scriptures first, and then apply them, no matter the cost or inconvenience, to their lives.
What do you think of Lazarus my friends, do you see a torn body, full of sores, completely destitute with a frown on his face, grumbling each and every day, upset, but thankful to a degree for those crumbs? Or do you see that same frail, broken, sore covered man sitting there with a smile on his face, a fond greeting to each that passed by, waiting patiently for that day’s crumbs, so happy to be alive and in the service of the Lord no matter how He has determined to use him.
When you have nothing left to lose, you have nowhere to go but up, but not according to the Lord sometimes, sometimes He leaves you at the gate, full of sores, sometimes He throws your hip out of joint, so you have to hobble around on a cane the rest of your life, (Gen. 32:25) sometimes He leaves you with nothing but two pennies, and then moves your heart to give even those away. (Mark 12:42)
Who we are in Christ should never change, no matter the circumstances, no matter if He calls us to be rich or poor, any moments of frustration must remain just that, moments. See the greatest trial or treasure here as incomparable to what awaits us at home. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” (1 Peter 4:12)