Are You Congratulating the Dead?

Today’s Reading — Ecclesiastes 4:2 — So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living.
I have to admit that when I read this verse today I first thought ab out just skipping over it as if it didn’t exist. Taken apart from the entire context of Solomon’s surrounding comments just seems to morbid. But I thought again….
Dr. Kovorkian “helped” many people who couldn’t face then physical pain that faced them as they approached a certain death to shorten their pain by inflicting a less painful death. Painless death is a hope most of us have. If we were allowed by God to select the method, we’d all pick a peaceful and painless method. Most suicides are not about avoiding the pain of death, but rather avoiding the pain of life. This is what Solomon speaks to today. The pain of life can make death seem an attractive alternative… Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul, Who long for death, but there is none, And dig for it more than for hidden treasures, Who rejoice greatly, And exult when they find the grave? (Job 3:20-22)
I’ve experienced the kind of extended physical pain that can break your will. I thought I might die, but I never wished for it. I’ve also experienced excruciating life pain, deep heart pain, and it is far more difficult to bear. Job experienced, at the intrepid hand of Satan, both kinds of pain at once, and in their worst forms, but was a man of great faith and at his lowest point said — Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…. (Job 13:15) I’ve been there a few times, Job. I’ve been at the place where I feel like I’ve just run out of options and I don’t understand and I cannot even imagine why God is allowing me to experience such difficulty, and I don’t even know what to pray….. so I just pray two things….. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…… and …….Jesus, save me….. and He always has.
As Christians, we have signed on to live in the enemy’s camp, embedded but exposed. We live lives of spiritual treason. In a world where Satan has limited reign allowed by God, we have unlimited connection to all necessary power to battle dark forces for the Lord. We will be attacked and wounded if we minister in any significant way for Jesus. If we allow our eyes to focus only on the temporal, we’ll be writing verses of our lives that sound like today’s verse from Solomon, So I congratulated the dead. Life pain is real, and difficult, and undesirable in every way, but it is also unavoidable for vibrant Christians.
Jesus knows that we’ll find real life that has real significance only in Him. He also knows that we’ll suffer at some points in the process, and He knows that He has released the Holy Spirit to comfort, counsel, defend, pray, guide, and empower us. He will pick us up when we fail and fall. He came as a man and experienced this with us, crying out in human frustrated grief at what He faced… And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; and knowing that is was not possible,,,, yet not what I will, but what You will.”
Is the pain of life getting to be more than you think you can bear? Are you congratulating the dead? Are you wondering how much longer you can stand it? Stop trying to stand it alone. Declare your faith, Though ye slay me, yet will I trust you…. Ask for help from heaven, Jesus, save me… Tell a Christian friend. Often hidden burdens seem heavier than they really are. Don’t let pride lock your feet in your mess. Talk to your pastor or small group leader, and pray. You may have to experience a time of suffering you don’t prefer, but you do not have to suffer alone.
But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” (a desperate prayer)…………………….. Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
Copyright 2008 © Stephen Faulkner and Mission of the Master Ministries, Inc.

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