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“Why is this blessing happening to Me?”
And for some on the other end of the spectrum, those who have always lived under pain, bearing up under sorrows of sadness and affliction, when joy comes, when God answers the prayers, when the river turns around and runs in the other direction, when blessing arrives, when the ship laden to overflowing docks in the harbor, when promises are delivered, rewards distributed, do some also cry out, “No, Lord, not me?” Often–yes.
Change of any sort is hard.
Those who live happy and successful lives find the change to hardship difficult, and those who live difficult lives of sorrow and trial find the change to joy and blessing hard to receive.
Challenge: I want to challenge and encourage you today–if you are one who has learned to live a life of strong faith, inner fortitude, and grace under trial–when the end of the road of travail arrives and the promised blessing comes, receive it with as much faith in God’s goodness as you learned when things were tough. Don’t feel you are not worthy. Don’t feel destined to disappointment. Not one of us is worthy. It’s God who is good. Don’t sabotage your own blessing because you are used to suffering. Receive the reward of your faithfulness with belief, trust in God’s trustworthiness, rejoice, and keep on giving thanks. Yes! This blessing is for you. Your day has come, and Christ is distributing his reward. Hallelujia!
Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat illustrates how predestination (Calvinism) and free will (Arminianism) can peacefully coexist.
I see the sky
The hills are green
I sleep and rise again
For at each turn
I find a friend
Always the same
The same friend
Who knows my name
Who watches over me
Waiting, singing, for me
To greet me finally
To welcome me…
…my dear friend.
Got a bug this week to watch the Harry Potter videos for the second time straight through, and I loved them all over again. I feel they are extremely well-done, and I even watched the last three straight through on my cell phone.
As I watched throughout the week, I soon started noticing what I will call Christian overtones. Check this out for yourself the next time you watch the Potter films–what do you think? Christian or not?
Similarities between Harry Potter and Jesus include: humility, innocence, persistence, quiet demeanor, self-sacrifice, love for truth, judgment of evil, and final victory.
On the difference side, I want to mention just one that struck me. Harry Potter succeeded as part of a team of peers and mentors. We find statements of the team-like nature of his work liberally sprinkled throughout the films. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, had no human team players nor human mentors who helped him achieve his task. (He did have a heavenly team of Father and Spirit behind him.) Jesus did what he did completely without help from his human friends, totally abandoned, utterly alone. When thanking Harry, Hogwarts needs to thank the entire team; when thanking Jesus, he gets all the praise and glory on earth.