When I first read this I thought this is from The Onion. This has to be a joke. Satire?
Witnesses described the scene as “panicked” and a “commotion.”
Sadley, it’s neither. It appears to be serious, and of all the news I’ve read in a while, this may be the saddest thing I’ve read in a while. A man on the subway was reading from the Bible, and people were panicked and literally jumping from a train.
I understand if you don’t believe in God why you may be upset, but panicked!? What exactly is it about the Word of God that would set a “non-believer” into a panic mode? It’s just a book right? Nonsense? Do people panic over Santa Clause stories? I know that the Bible says to fear the Lord, but I don’t think this is what the writer had in mind.
So, what exactly would cause people to actually panic over the Word of God? If you ask me, I think deep down they know there’s power in the Word of God, and they don’t want to be confronted with it.
Jesus Doesn’t Care About Your Happiness. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but the concept is true. What He cares about is your joy, and there’s a big difference between joy and happiness.
We Care About Happy
We, as human beings, tend to care about happiness. We care about being financially secure, finding a spouse that we can be happy with, and living a long healthy life. We don’t like our feelings hurt, because that doesn’t make us happy; it makes us sad.
We care about material things.
We live in the moment, and our circumstances decide whether we’re happy or sad.
We’re concerned with how we feel.
Jesus Cares About Joy
I looked up happiness, or happy, in the Concordance of my ESV Study Bible. Do you know how many times it showed up? Zero. Joy is listed 16 times.
Jesus wants us to have joy, because joy is something that doesn’t come and go with our current circumstances. It doesn’t depend on our feelings.
What He cares about is your salvation.
Jesus cares about spiritual things. Jesus cares about eternal things.
Are You Asking For A Scorpion?
So, does that mean He doesn’t want us to be happy? Of course not. God made this universe and everything in it. There are a million things to enjoy, and we need to enjoy the things of God, but we’re not to abuse them. We’re not supposed to let those things get in the way of what we’re supposed to be doing.
We’re not here to simply be as happy as we can without a care in the world. We’re here to worship God. We’re here to make disciples from one end of the earth to the other. That’s what Jesus wants us to do.
Did you ever hear of taking up your Cross and following Him? What exactly does that mean? It means you need to crucify your flesh, as He was crucified. Crucifixion is not happiness; it’s pain, suffering, humiliation, and death. Crucifying your flesh is not fun. It’s giving things up. Doing without the things your flesh desires. Does that sound like Jesus is calling for happiness?
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Jesus invites us to ask for gifts from God, but I think a lot of us have the wrong idea. Many people think this means we should get whatever we ask for, and God should be showering us with good gifts. But how many things do we ask for that we think are good, but God calls bad? We ask to win the lottery thinking that would be good, but God, knowing our heart, sees us asking for a scorpion.
I believe that God answers all prayers, but a lot of the time, the answer is “no.” Unfortunately, we don’t like that answer, ignore it and say, God didn’t answer my prayer.
What Are You Looking For?
Jesus doesn’t care about your happiness; at least not materially. And by that, I mean he’s not interested in making you happy with health, wealth, and popularity. Can He give you those things? Of course. Does He give people those things? Of course. But not all the time, and that’s not the goal. Who can say why one person seems to have it all, all the time, while the next has nothing? That’s God’s business, not yours.
Life is full of ups and downs and our happiness is going to follow those ups and downs. But if you have joy, your life shouldn’t be an emotional roller coaster. When your happiness is at it’s peak, joy is pulling you down, reminding you it won’t always be like that. When you happiness is in the dump, joy is pulling you up, reminding you it won’t always be like that.
What Jesus cares about is your state of mind, and what’s in your heart. He wants you to have faith! If you don’t have faith in Him, you’re going to suffer the ultimate misery. You need to see the big picture, and your happiness here, doesn’t mean squat if you spend eternity gnashing your teeth in unquenchable fire.
“Jesus is said to have never laughed in the Bible, and I think it’s because laughter contains an element of surprise — something about the human condition that you haven’t spotted yet — and Jesus was rarely surprised.”
Apparently there are several liberal leaders, pastors even, that have condemned praying for President Trump. One has even called it “theological malpractice1.” But is this true? Is it Biblical?
Pray For Your Leaders
First of all, let’s make this clear: God says we are to pray for our leaders:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV, emphasis mine)
That is exactly what a group of religious leaders did recently:
But these religious leaders were criticized for praying for President Trump. As much as I disagreed with President Obama’s policies, I still prayed for him. Even though we’re commanded to pray for our leaders, it wouldn’t seem right not pray for our leaders. At a minimum, we need to ask God to give them wisdom as He did Solomon.
Pray For Your Enemies
Even if you see Trump as your enemy, as many liberals openly do, this may be the biggest hypocrisy of all: aren’t you supposed to love your enemy?
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44 ESV, emphasis mine).
Jesus said that. But it’s been called theological malpractice? Whose theology are you using!? It’s not Jesus’. He commanded you to pray for those who persecute, or “prey on,” you, although I question the leftist definition of prey.
Jesus prayed for his enemies while He was hanging on the Cross:
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 ESV)
So, here’s the big question: If the leftist ministers felt that President Trump is not worthy of being prayed for, but Jesus prayed for those who killed him, who’s really conducting Theological Malpractice?
We have this tendency to think of good as things like helping the poor, and yes, this is good, but, this is not the same as producing fruit. For what good is it when we have made the poor comfortable here, only to spend eternity in discomfort. This is why, or partly why, our works are meaningless. Our good works apart from Jesus are meaningless. Only when our works are the result of our faith in Christ do they become fruitful. If we, the branches, are not connected to the Vine, we are a dried up thing and cannot produce fruit. We produce fruit when we bring people to eternal comfort.