This week we’re on our last lie we believe for our Summer Online Bible Study of Lies Women Believe, and we’re talking about chapter 9 – Lies Women Believe about Circumstances. If you missed a week or a handout, you can get all of them here.
Download the handout here –>Lies Women Believe About Circumstances Chapter 9 Handout
I openly admit to you, without holding back, that marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. On Wednesday nights I lead an in-real-life study for single women on the same book, Lies Women Believe, and what I struggle with most is being completely honest about marriage, while respecting my husband, and not being so discouraging that the women lose hope in marriage all together.
Like most life experiences, you can’t truly know what marriage is like until you’re married. It’s kind of like the woman in the grocery store who doesn’t have children but is astonished about the mother bribing her child to sit down and stop screaming. You just have to be there.
Satan, however, very craftily uses my marriage to tell me a lie that I have to fight not to believe. It’s the lie that God is punishing me. Often I think to myself that if my circumstances aren’t perfect, or what I expected them to be, then I must be being punished for something.
Not only is this a lie because God does not punish us (He disciplines, but doesn’t punish.), it is also a form of pride. It’s saying that I can create a perfect life for myself, apart from God’s grace, and based solely on my performance. It’s works-based theology, and it’s wrong. Satan is the scriptwriter of works-based theology because it denies God’s grace. If he can get us focused on ourselves and our performance, and how they relate to our circumstances, then he’s won in getting us to grow weak in faith, redemption, and the power of the Cross.
How many times have you thought to yourself, “I do everything right! I’m not rebellious. I don’t date or sleep around. I get good grades. I’m responsible. I love Jesus! Why am I still single and the one over there – the one who doesn’t do all these things – she is married? Why is God punishing me?”
Whether we realize it or not, we’re believing two lies about our circumstances – “I shouldn’t have to suffer,” and “It’s all about me.”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, “By convincing us that our suffering is undeserved or unnecessary, the Enemy succeeds in getting us to resent and resent and resist the will and purposes of God. The message that was preached by the Lord Jesus Himself and by the apostles who followed Him was a call to take up the cross; it was a call to sign up for battle; it was a call to suffer.” Lies Women Believe, p. 221.
She goes on to explain that we cannot become holy without suffering because Jesus, in a mysterious way, became perfect and learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 2:10, 5:8). And Peter even tells us that we are all called to suffering. Lies Women Believe, p. 222-223
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
When I read this chapter, and specifically this part about suffering, it made me joyful. I want so desperately to become more like Jesus. And I want whatever it takes to get me there. Typing those words makes me shutter a little because I’m scared about what that could mean. However, I think back to a circumstance where I experienced this. It was when my husband was having a heart transplant. I grew closer to God and felt His supernatural peace in a way that I could never explain. In the middle of agonizing suffering, I saw God.
Friends, the holiness we achieve through suffering is real. And it’s better than any substitute.
Here are all of the lies discussed in this chapter about circumstances:
- If my circumstances were different, I would be different.
- I shouldn’t have to suffer.
- My circumstances will never change – this will go on forever.
- I just can’t take any more.
- It’s all about me.
Which of these lies do you struggle with most? Leave me a comment!