Pastor Clarke Dixon of Calvary Baptist Church in Cobourg, Ontario offers insights on Christians who feel like God has abandoned them amid incessant troubles or who may be tempted to cancel God because of their sufferings.
In a grace-filled sermon where the reality of disappointments hitting Christians' belief on a good God is acknowledged, Pastor Dixon offers words of encouragement.
The sermon, which was re-published by The Stream, probes into the role of faith in helping Christians navigate through difficult times and how contending with it, though it makes them counter-cultural, is worth their energy and time.
On a well articulated presentation, Pastor Dixon first posed Jesus's promise to His early disciples in John 14:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also."
Dixon said that Jesus knew troubles would soon follow His disciples and that there would be times they would succumb to anxiety, so he left them a promise that he would not abandon them.
The "rooms" in the verse, according to Dixon, represent the growing family of Jesus's Father and that He (Jesus) would one day bring them all home.
Relating the Christians' present predicaments worldwide to the dark days faced by first century believers, Dixon noted in the Scriptures that Jesus has also warned those who'll follow Him that they will suffer simply for being a "Christian."
"The early Christians were not bubble wrapped by God. Neither are we," said Dixon.
He also argued that when one faces trouble, it does not mean that God has canceled or abandoned him. Troubles are mere evidence of a broken world which essentially highlights the necessity of Jesus's redemptive work on the cross.
With that said, Dixon reiterated that Christians take hold of God's promises with the assurance that Jesus and the Holy Spirit will journey with them.
On Christians canceling God, Dixon pointed that believers expressing extreme emotions were also recorded in the Scriptures.
"Can we cancel God? We can, and often do take offence at the suffering in the world, and the seeming lack of answers to our prayers. The writers of the Psalms did not hold back a similar disgust in their prayers," said Dixon.
He, however, brought back as reminder the obvious fact that nowhere in the Bible including the futuristic record of Revelation did God promise a trouble-free life. What God promised is his Presence, which he will not withhold even if his children cancel him.
"We can try to cancel Jesus, but he is still Lord, he still has the greatest role. He is the way, the truth and the life. And he still offers to walk with us as a friend," said Dixon.