I had a friend, JM, who went through a similar story at the same time as I in her first marriage. JM, though, believed the subtle, false, teaching in the church that says if you read your Bible, have your quiet time, honor God, give faithfully, attend church regularly, attend Bible studies, make your children have quiet times, respect your husband, that all will go well with you.
I’m not saying these things are wrong. They are actually good.
What is wrong is the philosophy that if you do these things, then God will always bless you in humanly beautiful ways. It’s a subtle ‘prosperity gospel’ that is often taught in churches.
The Truth is that when we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, that God will direct our paths. The Truth is that when we keep our eyes and heart fixed on Jesus, He will keep us in perfect peace. The Truth is that when we arm ourselves with the Armor of God, He will go into battle with us and fight for us, along side of us. The Truth is we will face many trials of various kinds, and the only way we will come out of them with hope, and not tossed and turned by every wave, is through Jesus Christ.
JM believed the former, and when her life fell apart, so did her faith. We were close friends; I loved her like a sister. When I confronted her on her bitterness toward God, she ended the friendship, and I haven’t talked to her since. That was so many years ago that my girls don’t even remember who she is. It is sad for me on many levels. I miss my friend, and I miss her four children.
Recently I came across something that publicly critisized JM in her profession. I was saddened. Her bitterness continues. She will have much to answer for. Though she did receive false teaching, she was presented with the Truth, and she chose. It breaks my heart.
Somewhere in there, though, and I’m not God so I don’t know how it will all come about, the church will be held responsible for false teaching.