It is very impossible for Satan to hold down a soul who honestly desires at whatever cost to know the truth. Truth liberates, truth sets free and it is the quality or state of being true in accordance with facts or reality. These fact or reality is where the difference comes in. This difference is based on whether the facts are from God or from the system of this world.
When we decide to learn the ways of God like the good book says, we ought to count the cost because it clearly defines the determination that one will have before embarking on this walk with the Almighty. God makes statements like “a man is not fit to be a follower of His if when he lays his hand on the plough and looks back”, while he is meant to continue moving with complete focus.
He makes statements requiring his followers to build using Him as the foundation because of the impending trials, afflictions and sufferings that will invade them, so that when these dark moments come we are found to be standing and not crushed because we have a strong foundation in Him. This is properly depicted when Jesus presented the two types of gates: the NARROW, which is the difficult but leads to life in abundance, compared to the BROAD and wide that leads to destruction.
He makes pronouncements about a kingdom in which He lives in; a Kingdom different from the kingdoms of our world. He presents a Kingdom, with a King who rules with absolute power and authority; presenting a master-slave relationship in which the slave has absolutely resigned to follow the master not having any ambition of his. Jesus presented the full picture when He said, “My meat is to do the will of He who sent me”. This is a complete resolve to follow without question, without murmur and most importantly following relentlessly.
The disciple whose father died was told by Christ to allow the dead bury their dead because following Him at that time was of paramount importance. If the man had gone to bury his father, obviously, he would have failed the true test of discipleship.
He proclaims the issue of defeater beliefs stipulating that there is only one God and that He alone has direct access to this One and only God. All other gods are fake and not to be reckoned with. Jesus clearly made this clear when he said “all things have been handed over to me by my father and no one knows the son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. ”.
This is the God I am talking about and one must actually count the cost before making a decision to follow Him. I have said this because you will find out that all we do and want to do will be on His terms and conditions. We become a bond slave to Him, as the Apostle Paul puts it and our ambition and desires come in as secondary. This implies that God has a purpose and plan for everything He has made, and one has to be aligned with His purpose and plan.
Many of us proclaim that God is a good God when things go the way we have planned. What happens when things don’t go the way we have planned or more so things go pear-shaped? Is God still the good God we proclaimed him to be? We will find out that the goodness of God from above has been clearly defined based on haps and mishaps, when it is positive we declare his goodness and when it is negative we don’t.
Going by the book (Bible), the goodness of God isn’t defined from human perception but from the perception of heaven. Therefore I am very quick to submit that God is always right and men will always be wrong when we dare to make some comparisons.
When we look at some stories in the good book, one will be filled with wonder and amazement at the outcome of such stories. Stories like when Jesus was slaughtered and the folding of God’s hands when the tragic event happened. Jesus screamed in his excruciating pain saying, “Father, Father, why has thou forsaken me”.
This is a God that calls himself a loving God, looking at the slaughter of his only begotten son without lifting a hand to at least save his son from the danger he was faced with. This event occurred from the moment Jesus was picked up till they arrived at Calvary where he was nailed to the cross. I find it very difficult to believe that God was indeed Jesus’ father.
Some will say, “I can’t imagine my only son going through this turmoil. I will do everything and anything to save him, not caring what will happen to me, as long as my son is ok”. Tight-lipped, we think about and doubt God’s goodness within us so that people around us will not see us as blasphemers. It thus becomes a Paradox of our faith.
A PARADOX is defined as a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true. It could also mean a proposition, which, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self-contradictory.
We can rephrase by saying that it is a contradiction in the mind of him going through pain. No amount of reasoning at that very moment will satisfy. At the time of pain, it is incongruity, absurdity, rare oxymoron, anomaly, oddity and an enigma. Call it whatever; the pressure of pain is alarming.
We mentioned early on in this document about what it means to follow God. It will always be according to the terms of His plan and purpose not ours. The Apostle Paul drives home the point when he said: “but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”. What did Paul mean? He was completely given to the work that God had called him to do, and the things he would suffer as a result of the work. Acts 9:15-16. What did he suffer then?
Three times he was beaten with rods. He was stoned. Three times he was shipwrecked; a night and a day he was in the deep (drowning in water). Paul was in journeys often, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils of wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
He went through all these and God did not do anything about the pains inflicted on him.
Is God really good?
One lesson we ought to learn about PARADOXES is that paradoxes are resolved in the mind of the adult (point of view). When we mature in the things of God, we will be able to understand what God has done, is doing and will yet do in our present challenges and pains inclusive.
Galatians 4:1 – 2
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. ESV
The Jews thought that they were judging Jesus on the cross, oblivious to the fact that they were being judged by the cross. The cross reflects a separation from the children of light and the children of darkness. The cross might be Satan’s triumph or success; it will in fact be his defeat. Undoubtedly, the cross is both judgement and salvation.
So, the pain that Jesus Christ went through, the slaughter on the cross, the painful nailing, the death, burial and resurrection were good when one considers what God achieved through the death of Christ. This is because; the Son of God became the sons of men so that the sons of men will become the Sons of God.
Our paradoxes could come in any form because we are connected to God as His children; for all things will work together for our good.
I can then conclude that God is very, very good irrespective of my present pain.