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Pleasing God

Published: July 20, 2022 (Originally published: January 8, 2007)
Q

Jack, I can always count on you to answer my questions in a way which helps me to understand.

I am currently reading ‘The Problem of Pain’ by C.S. Lewis and in one respect, I am understanding and in another respect, I feel very confused. My mind is trying desperately to wrap around the concepts presented here.

In one regard, Lewis states that God did not create us to love Him, rather He created us so He could love us. In another section of the book, not much further along, Lewis states that God does not need us. Because He is perfect, He needs nothing outside of Himself. Rather, He has made Himself need us for our own sakes, because beings that we are, we “need to be needed” and so He “needs” us out of Love for us, a perfect Love.

I hope I am making sense and quoting Lewis correctly. This is how I understand it anyway.

My question is this: Does anything we do here make God happy? Does He ever look down on us and smile? For if He truly does not need us beyond us needing Him, then does anything we do really affect His opinion of us one way or another?

I know the Bible mentions our good deeds being rewarded, if they are truly unselfish and thoughtful deeds, without thought to one’s own self or how it will benefit us. But does this mean at all that God is proud of us, or that we please Him in any way?

I just sat and cried after reading the book, without truly knowing why. Part of me understands and yet part of us does not and I guess that scares me and confuses me. Thanks for any insight.


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The Perfect Healing

Published: July 20, 2022 (Originally published: January 11, 2007)
Q

My friend’s very elderly mother lost her husband last year and has now being diagnosed with lymphoma in her face. I mentioned this to my pastor and he led our congregation in prayers for her speedy recovery from this dreadful condition. It was all could do not to leap out of my seat and protest that none of her family wants her to recover. She is 86 years old and worn out with grief from caring for and then losing her lifelong partner. Recovery from this disease will only leave her waiting for another disease to take her, because, after all, no amount of prayer is going to turn the clock back and make her life span indefinite.

Is it wrong to pray for someone to die quickly from a condition, to pray that they don’t have to suffer the horrors of chemotherapy pushed upon them by ‘wellmeaning’ doctors? Are we required always to pray for people to recover from possibly terminal disease even if it means they will be left deformed and crippled? It seems so illogical – almost contrary. Why is it that even really solid Christians still seem to think that dying is the worst thing that can happen to a person, when it seems to me to be the start of REAL life?

Please put me straight before I say something and upset someone!!


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Heaven Or Earth?

Published: July 20, 2022 (Originally published: January 8, 2007)
Q

I’m enjoying your mp3 studies, but have a question. In John, the verse about Jesus leaving and preparing a place for us with his Father, who has many rooms… Isn’t he speaking to his deciples who are Jewish? Then if he is speaking to the Jews I’m confused because if I understood the studies corectly the Jews are going to be on Earth with God, and the Gentiles will be in heaven. Please help me see where I’m confused.


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A Question About Job

Published: July 19, 2022 (Originally published: January 12, 2007)
Q

Re: “A Question We’ve All Asked

“The Book of Job is an example of the difference between Union and Fellowship. Job’s righteousness made him proud, a sin in God’s eyes. When Satan asked to torment him, God had to agree in spite of the fact that Job was one of the most righteous men on Earth, because he hadn’t confessed his sin. As long as Job relied on his own righteousness he was vulnerable to attack, and none of his complaints could change that, even though he remained a child of God. When he confessed, God put a stop to the torment and restored him. The lesson Job learned through his ordeal (and that we’re supposed to learn as well according to Romans 15:4) is that when we justify ourselves, we condemn God. Whenever we start thinking that we don’t deserve something bad that’s happening to us, we in effect accuse God of being unjust. It’s part of our human nature to look outside of ourselves for the blame, but it delays our reconciliation with God.”

It is a really good article but I am confused with the part that I have copied above.

I don’t see where Job did anything as of a sin when God let Satan put him through these trials and test. When I read the first part of Job it says that Job was blameless and upright and later when Satan use the first attack in verse 22 it says Job did not sin or accuse God of wrong. I see later in the story where Job may have gotten into self righteousness but as for that being the reason for the attack in the first place I see that is not the case. Can you show me where you see that this was what transpired to start the attacks on Job?