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Trouble That I Cause

Trouble That I Cause
by A. Gene Veal

If you knew that someone you love was going to commit a horrible sin tonight, what would you do? Would you just ignore it? Would you tell the person that they were going to sin tonight, but not to worry? I suspect you would try to prevent them from committing the horrible sin, wouldn’t you?

That is not what Jesus did. Jesus predicted that they would all fall away and Peter said, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away." Then Jesus responded, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." He didn’t warn Peter and tell Peter to go home so he wouldn’t sin. No, He told Peter that Peter’s fall would have a positive result in the end. The consequence would actually be for his good and the good of his Christian brothers.

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

When Satan would touch us, he must get permission. When granted, God uses Satan’s worse effort to accomplish a good purpose. Satan worked with Peter’s weakness, which caused Peter’s fall. Jesus was telling him, “This will work for good because I have prayed for you.” No trouble can touch you unless it first goes though Father.

It was Peter’s choice and Jesus knew what Satan would tempt Peter to do. How then could that be worked for good? One way is that Peter learned he could not trust himself apart from a dependency on Christ. The Scriptures tell us when Peter heard that rooster, “he went out and wept bitterly.” Peter was never the same again.

When the women announced that they had seen the risen Lord and that He wanted to meet them in Galilee, Peter was not going to include himself, but the women told him that Jesus had specifically asked for Peter by name. Then at the shore, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you truly love me more than these?” The once boisterous Peter now replies humbly, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Partly because of Peter’s fall, Peter is now ready to “feed” Jesus’ sheep.

We know that on one occasion that Paul and Branabas had a falling out over John Mark. Who was correct? Paul? Barnabas? I don’t know. I think it doesn’t matter. The indication is that God wanted two teams of missionaries and not just one. Paul went with Silas. Barnabas went with John Mark.

Tradition has it that John Mark wound up traveling with Peter. I think it went something like this: Barnabas and Peter sat at the fire warming themselves during their mission work. John Mark was sitting away from them weeping. Peter asked Barnabas, “What’s wrong with John Mark?” To which Barnabas said something like, “Denial. John Mark feels he denied the Lord when he deserted Paul and I on our last missionary journey. He is having a hard time getting over it.”

Hearing that, Peter excuses himself from Barnabas and goes over alongside John Mark. He said something like, “Let me tell you about denial.” And with that, Peter told Mark of his horrible sin and of the Lord’s tender compassion. Much like it says in 2Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.”

After that, you couldn’t pry Mark from Peter’s side. Mark wanted to know everything about Jesus and His dealings with His disciples. Peter even refers to him in his first epistle: “my son Mark.“ Peter never wrote a Gospel account, but in a way he did. It is called the Gospel of Mark.

God’s goodness and sovereignty are so glorious that He will even work our sin to our good and His purpose. Look at Joseph. As a counselor I would have certainly counseled Joseph to keep his dreams to himself and not upset his brothers.

Of course, I would have counseled his brothers never to take matters into their own hands and sell Joseph as a slave. If Joseph or his brothers had heeded my counsel they would have all died in the coming famine. Well, so much for good counseling.

Remember, Joseph told his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Those were WRONG choices, but God worked their evil for His purpose and their good. Joseph said, "God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”

Trouble as a result of our stupid decisions is also from God. God has prevented all of us from doing or being as "bad" as we could be. What He "allows" is to bring about His ends. If that includes suffering, it is suffering from Him for our good. "It is God Who works in us both to desire and to do according to His purpose." Consequences for my wrong choices have taught me more than all of my "successes". From the consequences, not only did I discover that it was the wrong choice, I discovered that "when I am unfaithful He remains faithful” because He cannot deny Himself.

Remember, the greatest sin ever committed by man was the crucifixion of Jesus, but the Scriptures tell us in Acts: “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” And again in Acts: “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”

If God works for eternal good the most horrible choice of man in the history of the world, the crucifixion bringing about our eternal life; then don’t you think He can work in your choices, too?

If we are going to profess to believe in the Sovereignty of God, why don’t we live like we believe it, even when trouble comes because of our stupid choices? God is in that, too. Confess and move on in His grace. When you sin, be quick in and quick out by confession, because “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He not only forgives, but he cleanses. He does it all. And the trouble that results will be according to His will and His purpose because of His greatness. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!!

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