Oct 16 2011
When adversity comes upon us, many voices clamor for our attention and action. Just as Job had not one but three friends to advise him in his hardship, so we too have three familiar, loud voices that are very quick to offer us advice.
The voice of the world calls our adversity or calamity ‘bad luck’ or ‘karma’. Since the kosmos is ruled by the impersonal god of Chance and Randomness, Fate must be against us. They offer us two familiar responses. We can either choose to strengthen our resolve to overcome our Fate through sheer determination and effort or we can lash out in bitterness against the people or things who brought about our demise and then shrink into the corner to wallow in the debilitating false comfort of self-pity. In the end, the former choice leaves our soul hardened, exhausted and angry; the latter will see us shriveled, crippled and twisted.
The voice of the flesh entices us to anesthetize our pain by by letting loose and engaging in each and every form of sin that it can find.
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy.1
Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament points out that each of these works of the flesh2 are in the plural form: revelries, repeated drunkenness, multiple acts of licentiousness and lewdness. If we heed this voice, by the time we finish debauching ourselves, we feel so defiled by our sin that the original problem no longer seems so bad.
The most insidious voice belongs to the devil himself. Disguising himself as the voice of reason and maturity, he will inevitably suggest that our setback merely serve to prove that God doesn’t really love us; that we have been playing a big religious game and are finally seeing life ‘for what it really is’; that the Bible may be true for others but certainly not for us; that God has singled us out.
After all, doesn’t God promise to bless those who serve Him? And look at you! This is blessing? This is how He rewards you?…
You expected too much. Did you really think that God actually cared about the details of your life? Did you really believe that He was actually watching over you? Wow! Were you ever dreaming!
Children believe in that stuff. You just need to grow up and face reality. Did you really think that you were that important?
He takes the very pain, disappointment, loss and confusion that should press us to run to “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,”3 and presents them to us as “evidence” or “proof” that God has abandoned us.
Jesus said that “there is no truth in him (the devil). Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”4
There is another voice, but am I willing to listen?