Dealing with death blows and resentment
When death has come and taken our loved ones
It leaves our home so lonely and drear
And then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year
Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by
- From the hymn Farther Along
As Christmas Day approaches, many Jamaicans are already in the middle of preparing for family dinners or setting aside time to catch up on visits to loved ones who they have not seen in a while.
But while some go blissfully about their business, the reality is that some are faced with sad memories of what used to be.
Family dinners are meaningless as one or maybe both parents are no longer around, siblings or other loved ones did not survive sickness or their lives were snuffed out.
What makes it even harder to accept is the perception that their faith in God was not enough to prevent that loss. Relying on the promise that nothing is impossible for God, the question 'why not my loved one' hovers and then comes the sense of betrayal that your petition was not worthy of being answered in the positive.
A lot of Christians struggle with accepting the loud silence to prayers beseeching for healing or protection, it is even harder when they look around and see others getting what they so badly need.
Does God have favourites?
Family and Religion sought answers from Apostle Rameon Facey of the Freedom Evangelical Association church in Portmore, St Catherine who reminds that God is just and merciful.
"However, it does not promise us that Christians who are God's people are immune from troubles, problems, sickness even death (Job 14:1, John 16:33). The concept that we only have a solution/explanation of bad things happening to Christians when we go glory is not always true (Luke 13:1-3.)," he said.
Listing reasons for challenges facing Christians, Facey explains that we are living in a fallen world. "Because we are living in a fallen, sinful world people are likely to make human mistakes as the sinful nature encourages tardiness, laziness and corruption. This can cause accidents, incidents and situations that can cause grief," he said.
painful situations to manifest glory
Responding to why some Christians experience miracles while others don't, he said: "There are also times when God is doing some things in other Christian's life through you but not for you. This does not mean that God has favourites for God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). What it means is that God uses painful situations to manifest His glory through you."
According to Facey, dealing with and enduring it is a sign of Christ's strength and power in the life of the believer.
"So if God heal others but does not heal my loved one this can mean that God is getting the glory out of the death of our loved one than in the healing of that person. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15)," Facey opines.
The natural tendency for some Christians is to wonder if they did not pray hard enough or did not have enough faith or some other doubting questions. Facey said Christians must remember that they were not created for their glory, but for God's, keeping that at the forefront of their minds will provide a better understanding to help grasp the purpose of God in their lives.
"Falling into test or painful circumstances does not mean that there is sin in the life of the believer. However, like Job, it may means double for our trouble. The glory of God comes with pain, pressure and tests. We are the medium that He is using to declare His glory to principalities and powers."
When doubts, a sense of betrayal and disappointment rears its ugly face, Facey said to combat these negative emotions and get back on track with a healthy relationship with God Christians should: "Renew your mind in the Word of God, get connected to people of faith, be positive, God is working it out for your good, take authority over the spirit of doubt; rebuke it in Jesus' Name, remember your past and have confidence in the character of God.