Coming back to the topic of - does the Word really mean what it says? The verse above gives many folks a canker sore. In reality, I believe it's a matter of what kind of theology you've been taught - and believe. First off - I had to come to grips with the question to myself: "Am I a Bible believing Christian? Or a Bible-teaching believing Christian?"
I've begun to transition to believing the Word and start receiving the promises of what God the Father promises to me, rather than what my old religion taught me.
Once I started believing the Word at face value (in context, of course), then when the Word didn't line up with my personal experience, what was I going to do? Believe the Word or believe my experience?
I MUST filter my experience through the Word, rather than filter the Word through my experiences.
So - does God the Father REALLY give good gifts to his children? Is He a better father than me? If I would never give my daughter a snake when she asks for a fish, then why would I think God would not do the same.
Let's bring it down to what we hear in Sunday School. God allowed me to get sick so I could learn some important lessons.
Oooo -- a little too close to home, isn't it? "But! If I pray and plead to God to heal me and I don't get healed, then the sickness MUST be from God for Him to teach me something...right?"
What does the verse say -