These are some of the specific questions Ricky and I have voiced (to each other) over the years:
- did God promise to heal me on earth and not so-and-so? We believe that any sickness can be a gift if we become more dependent on Him and grow in Christ's character.
- does God clearly speak to me and not to Ricky? Doesn't that mean that Ricky gets the benefit of trusting God more and having greater faith?
- does God give us enough money to live on so that we are not struggling to meet our basic needs but not some of our persecuted brethren who are unable to find dinner for their children? While money is a neutral object, it is hard not to see it as a curse because we usually end up spending it on ourselves and less on others in need. It becomes our need and our answer -- versus our real Need and the Answer to it. We think it most always distracts us from our true Source and Provider. [I.e., We get a $150 doctor's bill in the mail and automatically think we need $150. While this is the common scenario, it will throw you slightly off course. This is a money-centered view, not God-centered. Truth is, we should get the bill and pray (with thanksgiving) for God to take care of the bill somehow. And wait, with all openness. He likely could supply the money or... God is limitless in His ways of creatively meeting our needs! This way, you are not confining or restricting Him but letting Him loose to do what He wants :) You are demonstrating that God is your Need-Meeter, not money.]
- do we not get the privilege of facing as much physical danger and persecution as our Colombian or Nigerian brethren? I feel like they have a much more real opportunity to trust Christ, rely on the Spirit in them, store up more eternal treasure, gain the crown of life (Rev. 2:10), grow in unity with (know) Christ, etc.
- do we not suffer more? Romans 8:17; if suffering can be a blessing, should we not want more?
- does God relate to me one way and to Ricky another? God relates to every person how He deems fit. All I know is that He is doing what is best for that individual.
- Basically, you can put in any of your own why me and not him or why him and not me question.
The answer (as I understand it now): In two words -- be content. I think it all boils down to trusting that God is looking out for your best (eternal) interest and what brings Him the most glory.
For instance, God's promise to heal me on earth -- we see my disease as a gift and wondered why God would take that gift away. I am sure He used and is still using it in many ways for His glory and my own good, but maybe He will be getting glory in a different way once my healing is manifest... If I were to continue on with my disease, I trust that to be what would be for His glory and my good. In either situation, my job is not to question His ways but trust Him. His plans are good and trustworthy.
Be thankful. Be faithful. Be content.