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Corzine: Is this a sign? Probably not the one you think it is

By Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Contributing columnist
Posted on 10/27/2017, 1:00 AM

Debunking misconceptions about God is part of my job. A frequent misconception is that we can base the will of God on our circumstances. Things working out are viewed as a sign of His approval, and hard times just confuse us. Is it a sign that we veered off the path, or are we on it and the Devil's mad?

We scramble to read these signs like they are tea leaves. But what does the Bible say?

Scripture shows we cannot determine the will of God based on circumstances. Joseph was thrown down a well, David lived on the run, and Jesus, well, we know how things went down for Him.

Conversely, Solomon was also God's pick for king, and he was blessed with so much wealth and provision that it overwhelmed him (see Ecclesiastics). There are other places in the Bible where it talks about God giving rest from enemy attack. So, how do we know if we are in God's graces?

Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." We base how He feels about us on the cross. If He loved us before we were in the faith, there is nothing He's holding out on us now.

Jesus also made some things clear. God's will for our lives is the same as it would be if we were in Heaven. But we have an enemy. In the Lord's prayer, Jesus prayed that God's will be done here on earth, the same as it would be if we were in Heaven.

Are we going to be broke, sick or divorced in Heaven? Nope. Then that is not His will for us here.

Jesus also told us that He (God in the flesh) came so we could have life. I love the way the NLT puts it in John 10:9-10. Jesus says He is the sheep gate, and "those who come in through me will be saved ... and will find good pasture. The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."

There you have it -- good God, bad Devil. God's will is abundance, and the enemy's desire is destruction.

Methods the enemy uses for destruction are legion. He tempts us and leads us to a pit, or brings sickness, and we blame God. He creates havoc in our marriage, and we think we hear God wrong and are in the wrong marriage. He lies to us about who we are and what God's will is for our lives until our heads are spinning. How do we stand up against such an onslaught? We get into the word and learn the truth.

If you are one of the countless who feels reading the Bible is too hard, get a translation you can understand. Start in the book of John, and find out how loved you are. Remember, the enemy doesn't waste resources on something that's not valuable. If your life is a wreck, it may be indicating just how precious you really are.

Cris Corzine-McCloskey is a licensed clinical social worker and director of Caring Counseling Ministries, 1410 W. Chestnut St. in Marion. It is a nonprofit corporation that provides counseling from a Biblical perspective at an affordable cost. Call (618) 997-2129.