I received only a few responses to my last post regarding the “feel good” doctrine, however I received absolutely no negative responses. This makes me feel like most of you disagree in the greatest sense of the word and won’t post a negative reply. So, let me expand on this.
Many want to be happy and I stated that nowhere in the Bible does it say you are to be happy. Many are familiar with Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” and many others of God’s promises like it. The connotation here is that if I love the Lord He will give me all that I ask. Nothing could be further from the truth. The point here is that if you love Jesus in the correct manner, what God has for you WILL BECOME the desires of your heart and that you will experience great peace and joy. Additionally, none of these desires will be earthly.
So what’s the “correct manner”? Paul said “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Christ died on the cross to pay our sin debt, but He wants us to die with Him. You have to leave your worldly self behind, let it die so that the Spirit can come alive in you and His light can shine out from you for others to see.
Christ preached the following:
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24)
Do you see a pattern? We must die to ourselves so that we can live in Christ, doing the good works He shows us and then we will be content in our circumstances. This is what it means to be “born again”. It’s a re-birth of our lives in Love. We must live in Love. What is Love?
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We should no longer experience any of these negative feelings if we are believers.
If we can die to our earthly selves, let the Spirit shine in us and then live with the Love the Spirit gives us, we WILL be content in all our circumstances. And if your circumstances should deliver you into difficulty, then all the more reason to celebrate:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)