When you DON’T get a breakthrough . . .

To many of you facing difficult, challenging, and painful circumstances:

I have been sharing lately at different venues how John the Baptist got the report from Jesus about the kingdom exploding for everyone else EXCEPT HIM! Go tell John: The blind see, the lame walk, the gospel is preached to the poor. That’s great! (John, you were wondering if I am the One. Yes John, I am, and by the way, I am not going to deliver you out of your circumstance and you are going to lose your head!)

Can you imagine what John went through emotionally when his OWN COUSIN, for whom he has virtually SHUT DOWN his own ministry for, for whom he paved the way . . . Yashua, DOESN’T GRANT HIM HIS DELIVERANCE MIRACLE?

Yet, Jesus was so moved at the news of John’s demise that he had to get away to be alone to process it. Sometimes the practical realities of sonship, only doing what you see your Father doing, is painful, at a deep level.

Think of how conflicted in His humanity Jesus was . . .  loving John, His own cousin, delivering, healing and freeing others, and yet His Father saying NO to him in John’s case?  Not emotionally easy. The scripture never promises us it will be.

He promises to be with us and in us, until the end of the age. He promises that there is nothing that overtakes us that is not common to humanity. He promises to never leave us, nor forsake us. He promises to lead and guide us, even in suffering, to know whether we are to resist in faith, or accept in faith. He promises that we WILL have trials and troubles in this life, regardless of how “carefully and scrupulously we obey God’s Word.” We obey because it is right to obey, because it is consistent with the new nature to obey, NOT because we demand, or it guarantees an expected outcome of  a “pain free life.”

Sometimes, we just don’t know why we experience the painful and difficult things that we do, and in those times, which we ALL will have sooner or later, the last thing we need is some jack-ass Christian spouting simplistic, naive, and WRONG quid pro quo theology about “open doors for the enemy”, “sin in your life” and such other nonsense.

We need to IDENTIFY with people in their suffering, not lecture them with biblical platitudes from the physical and emotional safety pockets of our tidy little untouched lives.  Jesus: a high priest TOUCHED with the feelings of our infirmities. We don’t want to be touched, we want to lecture sufferers with our biblical brilliance. Since when did we get off believing that if we just have “enough faith” that we will avoid suffering?”

We simply have no practical theology of suffering in our understanding of the gospel in America.

In it with you,
Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

10 comments on “When you DON’T get a breakthrough . . .

  1. We as Christians live by the Holy Spirit. If our Lord said, “I can do nothing of my own choosing,” then how do we think we can?

    The point is our Lord could of operated out of his own will, but that would have been sin. Therefore, if we live by our own will this is sin. Because as Paul writes anything done apart from faith is sin


  2. Steve, Thank you for the very clear perspective on suffering! we need your direct and clear teaching that both helps to heal and correct spurious teaching in the area.God Bless.

  3. Hi Stephen,  this below post is excellent.  I live in Australia and there is the same mindset here in the “church” about suffering, at least in some quarters. I cannot tell you the amount of times in my life i have been consigned to ” outer darkness” by “fellow christians” because of some season of suffering in my life. Yet the scriptures clearly teach, that if I suffer with Him i shall also reign with Him”… why then would i want to avoid reigning, not only in this life but in the life to come, by avoiding suffering.  My opinion is that avoidance of pain and suffering has at its root SELFISHNESS.. love of self and not lovers of God.

    One of the most wonderful aspects of my 60 yrs plus journey with Jesus, has been the amazing discoveries of Him and His personality and character and wisdom and insight and what He has worked into me, during the sufferings experienced in the journey, which have been often and sometimes prolonged. At this precise time and season I am travelling with HIm through a situation that no human being can resolve in an eternally satisfactory way…and to my delight I have finally arrived at a place where i am content to rest in Him and TRUST Him and His power to work out the impossibilities of the situation to cause His Love to triumph in it for an eternal outcome. I also face the truth and reality that things may never change to be as they were, but He remains the same. I am walking with Him in this. I heard a Catholic priest say recently ” as long as there is Love in a heart , there will be suffering. Suffering is often the instrument that releases the Love in the heart.”   Now it may not be  a verse in the bible to back that statement up, but i concur with the intent of it.

    Keep up the posts. Elaine

    • Elaine, your testimony blessed me almost as much as Stephen’s post. Thank you. It’s a phenomenal encouragement to be reminded that we can trust and rest in him when a situation is IMPOSSIBLE. But it needs to be stated by one who has walked the walk to make it believable. You have clearly done that and are still doing it. So thanks again.

  4. One of my home church group passed this on and I appreciated your thoughts – thank you. I am an Australian pastor currently visiting West Papua, where my wife and I served as missionaries over thirty years ago. The Christian Papuan people in this land, forcibly integrated into Indonesia by the pressure of the United States and collusion of Australia in 1962, have learnt the reality of following Jesus in a path of suffering. Three hundred to five hundred thousand violent deaths since then at the hands of the military regime which has operated here. These people are not sure whether they are consigned to an imprisonment of suffering like John the Baptist because Jesus wills it or because the world has decided that that has to happen until they are wiped out entirely. Yet they pray and rejoice, almost inexplicably in my estimation. The early Christians were instructed to remember those who are in prison. Why is it that there is a collective amnesia or wilful turning away from the reality in this land that is America’s and Australia’s doing – a result of cold war politics and pure greed for the gold and copper in West Papua’s mountains? These are not easy questions, and maybe too difficult for your response page. I for one have come to the theological conclusion that I need to stand with my fellow believers here in their quest for release from their jail of suffering.

    • Hi Peter, thank you for a thoughtful post. In American history, there was a man in the 17th century named Cotton Mather. He said “Religion (in the best sense of the word as understood in is time) begat prosperity, and the daughter ate the mother.”

      Fewer things deaden the sense to spiritual reality than pride, idleness, and the fullness of bread: material prosperity and confidence in the same.

      It is an endemic malady to the Western Church because of the values we willingly and knowingly embrace that are contrary to God’s kingdom.

      It is self-inflicted, self-willed, determinate blindness.

      A determination not to see and understand.

  5. nice article , jack ass christians have been made by jack ass christianity , the problem has always been in the jack ass teachings , its simple cause and effect

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