In cultivating believers in order to experience new birth, God often has to crush us by all painful means, but this is the blessed way provided by the Father for us. When we are chastened by God through painful blows, what we have to consider is the way out of our defected characters. God chastens to heal, improve and renew. Thus we must think as recommended by Paul through the inspiration of the Spirit: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”, this verse is parallel to the words of the Lord Jesus “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven”, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. When one experiences unpleasant circumstances, actually he is being shaped by God to be a new man in Him. Due to setting minds on things above, one will be resilient and strong to face any difficult situation of anyhow.
In the lives of many people, incredible moments can change one’s psychological state. The bigger the problems experienced by a person -that shakes his feeling and mind- the greater the impact is. God applies this pattern to transform someone. Of course God has a clear direction in changing one’s life. That is why it is said in the Scripture that God works in all things for the good of those who love Him. In the original text there is no word “participate”. So, God works in all things for the good of those who love Him. All events are designed by God to shape and put us up.
The Church must teach the people to understand that life problems are God’s way of changing believers for the sake of their spiritual maturity. It is absolutely wrong when the churches become sellers just to pray for the people in order to avoid the problems of life. Churches and pastors that like to “sell services” definitely have personal interests that ultimately mislead the congregation. On the other hand, true churches and pastors have no fear to teach that the problems faced in life are the route in which God wants to nurture our maturity. Therefore, the preaching of the Word should develop the aptitude of believers. This intelligence opens the congregation’s awareness to comprehend God’s will behind all events that happened in life. Intelligent congregation can be built in truths taught to them. With these truths the congregation becomes spiritual. Sermons that promise and emphasize on physical blessings drive the church not to recognize the truth that leads people to the intent and the purpose of the given salvation.
When Paul wrote the letter of Colossians, where he advised the congregation to set their minds on things above, the intention was for the church to understand the calling to focus on the manifestation of God’s Kingdom. Thus we understand why the Lord says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.1 When God asks our willingness to lay up treasure in heaven, it is the Lord’s way that we live our lives as populace of the Kingdom of God. It is until we deeply realize that this world is not our home. We are not from this world. We have died to the pleasure of the world. Up to this level, Satan no longer can entice us to worship him.2
In order for us to die to the pleasures of this world, God often chastens His children who love Him so much so that they become pessimistic about the beauty of the world. This can happen if a believer is hard to change because of his stubbornness. For a transformation in fact, God does not need to hurt the church. Through trivial warnings, believers should have been aware. Painfulness is only given to those who do not have repentant heart at ease.
1) Matthew 6:21; 2) Luke 4:5-8