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#39163 Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:17 PM
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I have a teenager that I am pretty good friends with that is in the youth group I graduated from a few years ago.. He has become interested in reformed theology and so I have pointed him to the main page of this site to search out answers.. He came to me with this question and while I think I have a good answer, I am curious to know what you all think....

He asked, "If God has foreordained everything to be,(salvation, damnation, friendships, enemies, death, life, blessings, cursing, et cetera)as believers, why do we feel bad, or hurt, or anger at anything? We should rejoice that no matter what is happening to us or around us, we should always be in a state of rejoice because God is being glorified.. Right?"

I have not answered him yet, but I thought about bringing up the Apostle Paul. Paul was always on the "upbeat" so to speak.. In his epistles he clearly says that he rejoices even in his imprisonments and such and that Paul should be our example.. And while we SHOULD always be in a state of rejoicing for God is in control of all and is being glorified in everything, our selfish natures want to say that we deserve more or we deserve better and that what is happening is not "fair"..

Is that something to be considered an acceptable answer? Or am I way off the charts??

Clint #39164 Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:53 PM
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Clint,

It is not an "either/or" but a "both/and" situation. To describe Paul as always "upbeat" would be inaccurate at best. Paul, we and the Lord Christ were are humans (Christ of course being fully divine (God) as well as man). And as we read of the life of Christ, we see Him suffering, hurting, angry, etc., i.e., He expressed those emotions which we all experience in life, yet He did so without sin (2Cor 5:21; Heb 4:14, 15). We accept that which befalls us, either by our own failings and sins or through other circumstances and people as being eternally decreed by God for His own glory and our good; if we are true believers (Rom 8:28; 11:33-36). AND, we also have genuine feelings and responses to those things which come our way. The Psalms of David are replete with examples of a true believer and the joys, blessings, pain, anguish, sufferings, grief, anger, etc., etc.... experienced in life.

Paul also expressed inner joy KNOWING that all things come via God's attendance (Providence), i.e., God's deliberate control and decree. And thus he accepted this grand design and reality and rejoiced in it. (2Cor 12:9, 10, et al). In the immediate context of these verses, Paul agonized over some personal affliction he bore and prayed fervently 3 times that God would remove it. Are we to believe that he was jumping in the air with joy that he had this affliction? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> . . . <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nope.gif" alt="" /> He obviously lamented over this affliction and with deep passion petitioned the Lord for its removal.

In fact, to insist that a true believer MUST rejoice in all things, i.e., a suppression or denial of genuine righteous emotions is to deny one's manhood and the very image of God with which he/she was created with and even more it denies Christ's true humanity. [Linked Image]

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Pilgrim #39165 Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:24 PM
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Even though Pilgrim gave an excellent response, I thought you might find these helpful:

Perhaps the best known treatise on the emotional life of Christ:

The Emotional Life of Our Lord- B. B. Warfield

A series of sermons on the same issue. which I just started listening to:

Th Emotional Life of Jesus- Alan Dunn

Two sermons my pastor preached on the place of the affections in the Christian life (the second sermon deals with your question directly, but the first one is a good intro):

The Disciples' Burning Hearts- Jim Savastio



True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Clint #39166 Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:16 AM
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Clint,

As an OT example, one can also look at Elijah. Certainly Elijah was a great prophet, so much so that God did not let him see death. Nevertheless, after slaying the Baal propheths and was threatend by Jezebel, he was depressed.

We definitely should not expect our lives to be "upbeat" in the sense that we are always on a high. We still are flesh and blood. The joy that Pauls writes about definitely is that inner joy that Pilgrim referred to.

Johan

Johan #39167 Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:53 PM
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I thank you for your help, however I must apologize for using the word "upbeat" when describing Paul.. I did not mean to infer that Paul was always happy with where he was or what was going on; I merely meant to point out the fact that Paul had found.....for lack of better ideas, inner peace in knowing that even though he is suffering, God is glorified. However, I had forgotten about the "thorn in the flesh" of Paul and his asking for its removal.. That is a good thing to remember <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Would you guys then agree that instead of being "happy" because of knowing that God is glorified, even during hard times/trials; we should use that knowledge of Gods being glorified as our drive to move through those times/trials? (I would agree that there are and will be times when one can be happy while in a hard time, but not always)

MarieP #39168 Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:26 AM
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-----


Probably the Bible is the best place to find your answers, not the writings of men (1 Thes 2:13)

Don't just assume that 'everything' is predetermined. But one thing we know is predetermined is that believers go to heaven and unbelievers don't. But praise God, which is which is up to the individuals themselves. Search the Scriptures to see that God is a God of Judgment, then see what God's standard of Judgment is for entrance to heaven.

-----

Jeanne #39169 Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:00 AM
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Jeanne said:
Probably the Bible is the best place to find your answers, not the writings of men (1 Thes 2:13)
Jeanne,

First.... welcome to The Highway Discussion Board.

I would certainly agree that the best place to find answers to questions concerning "faith and life" is to be found in God's inerrant and infallible written Word. However, we must never quickly dismiss the "writings of men", else we put ourselves into an indefensible position. Consider the following:
  • The Bible enjoins qualified men to teach others as representatives of God. (Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:11-13; 1Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pet 5:1-3)
  • The Holy Spirit was given primarily to the Church as the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1Tim 3:15) through its pastors and teachers.
  • The Scriptures are to be interpreted (hermeneuo) which requires that an individual understand the meaning of a passage/text and then make a right application of it. Since no individual is infallible, it is only wise that those less gifted of the Lord seek what others have written and compare their study with theirs to determine its validity or error. One would be quite foolish to think that they are superior in learning or even equal to some of those who have gone before us, e.g. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Spurgeon, et al and thus ignore their writings.
  • To totally ignore the writings of others in regard to biblical things is to take a position of arrogance and pride. One writer, Keith Mathison calls this type of Bible reading/position the Evangelical Doctrine of Solo Scriptura. It's a good read and I recommend it to your edification.

Quote
Secondly, you wrote:
Don't just assume that 'everything' is predetermined. But one thing we know is predetermined is that believers go to heaven and unbelievers don't.
Don't assume that the person you are replying to hasn't studied the doctrine of God's Eternal Predestination and knows full well that the Scriptures teach that God has ordained ALL things for His own glory. And, that good old common sense would have to conclude that this is so else one would be forced to deny the very definition of Deity according to the Scriptures. For if there is even the slightest thing, e.g., a rogue molecule, floating around out there somewhere, the existence, path and end of which the LORD God hasn't eternally predetermined, then God is not Omnipotent nor Omniscient and thus no God at all. The apostle Paul sums it up quite nicely in his doxological exclamation:


Romans 11:33-36 (ASV) "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him [be] the glory for ever. Amen."


Quote
Thirdly, you added:
But praise God, which is which is up to the individuals themselves.
But praise God that He didn't leave any man's eternal end up to his own self. For, should He had done that, then ALL without exception; every single man, woman and child would spend eternity in endless torment. Why? Because all are born under the wrath of God, spiritually dead and under the dominion of Satan and his evil minions. (Eph 2:1-5) They are totally incapable of coming to Christ (Jh 6:44) and have no desire to do so (Rom 3:3-10). Therefore, it is absolutely essential that a sinner be made alive by the secret and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit so that one is made willingly (Ps 110:3), i.e., born again (Jh 1:12, 13; 3:3, 5), granted repentance (2Tim 2:25) and faith (Eph 2:8, 9) and consequently believes upon Christ unto justification. In short, we hold to "Solo Gratia", "Solo Fide" and "Solus Christus", i.e., we believe Scripture teaches that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9) and not of any man's work or self-determined decision (Rom 3:20-28; 4:1-25; Gal 2:16, 17; 3:11, 12; Titus 3:7). See more here: There Are Only Two Religions in the Whole World, by John Reisinger.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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