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September 20, 2021

Ep.1196: Am I Living Under a Generational Curse? Curses Series (Part II)

Curses in family bloodlines and the bigger context of Old Testament curses

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:30]
Did God ever curse His people generationally?


[00:30:28]
What do curses mean in the Old Testament?


[00:48:15]
Do we have the power to curse others?


Theme Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:19

Our God is a God of order. Psalm 89:14 says that righteousness and justice are the very foundation of His heavenly throne. This means that all He does must be based in what is right and just. While some of us may look at this through fearful eyes, this is actually great news. It means God is and always will be dependable and trustworthy. If this is the case, why did God seem so over-the-top angry in the Old Testament? Why did He seemingly curse not only wrongdoers, but the generations that followed them as well? Did these “curses” of God work the same way the curses of our day are said to work? Were they a wishing of evil upon someone or something? Did God give anyone the authority to curse others?

Continue Reading

The idea of a generational curse can be daunting

From the sound of it, somebody does something deemed bad or evil and the response to that action is to strike their children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and so on with some dark and even sinister retaliation. Such treatment reeks of injustice, revenge and nastiness. The problem here is that in the Old Testament, God has pronounced generational consequences, but they are often interpreted as generational curses. There is a massive difference between the two. Such a gross misinterpretation of Scripture results in a serious misunderstanding of God’s character.

How do we know this is the case? How do we know God isn’t cursing generations of people for what they didn’t do? It all comes down to understanding what curses mean in the Bible, beginning in the Old Testament. This is no easy task. In the Old Testament alone there are over a dozen words that are translated “curse.” To really know what the Jewish Scriptures teach, we need to gain a comprehensive understanding of who cursed what, to what end result and what it really meant.

The first curse

The best place to start this investigation into Old Testament biblical curses is at the beginning. The first curse pertaining to humanity was when God pronounced the curse upon the ground for Adam’s sake. While this was a serious consequence, it is also critical to remember that this curse was proclaimed within the context of God’s previous blessing. The key thought here is that God was proclaiming a consequence for sinful actions and not “cursing” Adam in the sense that pagan beliefs would have us believe.

Check out our September 20, 2021 podcast, “Am I Living Under a Generational Curse? Curses Series (Part II)” for more. We examine several different accounts of God’s “curses” in the Old Testament and see exactly what they were intended to accomplish. Putting all of this in order ends up being a fascinating journey of discovery. We learn the thinking behind God’s procedures and consequences. We uncover a level of wisdom and justice on the part of Jehovah God that rises high above the typical idea of revenge that people say God has. Join us; there is much more to this than meets the eye. Did you miss Part I? We laid a lot of groundwork worth exploring.

 

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November 08, 2021

Ep.1203: Why Aren’t My Prayers Being Answered?

Uncovering the dynamics of what makes a prayer work or fail

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:25]
Can our prayers really change the lives of others?


[00:32:09]
How can we get our prayers heard?


[00:48:45]
What kinds of prayers are inappropriate?


Theme Scripture: James 5:16

We always say that prayer changes things - and it does. Jesus was emphatic about this and even gave us an example of how to pray in what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” With prayer, as with so many parts of Christian doctrine, the core value of what the Bible teaches easily gets lost in the interpretive value of our own human perspective. Because of the imperfect human part of the equation we create many questions. What about those circumstances where someone prays for what they need, and they simply don’t get it? Is the problem that God is not listening or that He doesn’t want them to have what they need? Is the problem that this person not praying appropriately? How does this lifeline to God really work?

Continue Reading

Who gets such direct access to God?

The first question to address has to do with accessibility. Does anyone have the ability to communicate with God at any time they desire? Should it be a general human expectation to be able to ask God for what we feel we need or for what we want? If this entitlement were true, then we would have several apparent conclusions to recognize. Our observation is that the overwhelming majority of us see their prayers as unanswered. This would then mean that God either does not hear all that well or He is completely uncaring. A quick look at the Bible confirms that neither of these conclusions is true.

There are many scriptures that describe God as “with the contrite and lowly of spirit” (Isaiah 57:15) or “hearing the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). These texts are teaching us that God is a willing listener but only in some circumstances. Righteousness and humility always come to the top of the list when understanding who God will respond to. Whenever righteousness is a qualification for anything in Scripture, we know it specifically means being right before God. While our own good standing in our worldly environment is good, it lacks the godly reverence needed for God to hear us.

Who really benefits?

What about those whose prayers God does hear? Do their petitions really make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others? This is a hard question to answer. The Bible does give us many examples of those who bring matters to God seeking His intervention. These examples do indicate that God is listening and responding. So if that is the case, then exactly how does this work? If our petitions to God do bring results and changes to those we are praying about, does that mean if we don’t ask then God won’t help them?

Check out our November 8, 2021 podcast, “Why Aren’t My Prayers Being Answered?” for more. We dig into what the whole communicating-with-God equation is built upon and look into how the Bible says it works. This is a fascinating journey into an important, very popular and yet sorely misunderstood subject. Understanding prayer and following its scriptural guidelines is a life changer! Don’t miss it!

 

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October 25, 2021

Ep.1201: Can the Dead Communicate With Us?

Examining After Death Communications in the light of Scripture

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CHAPTERS

[00:12:58]
Are after-death communications (ADCs) really from the dead?


[00:32:53]
Can induced after-death communications help heal trauma and grief?


[00:49:12]
How do ADCs compare to using mediums and psychics to contact the dead?


Theme Scripture: Isaiah 8:19

Our shared human experience is linked by extreme grief at the loss of a loved one. COVID-19 has unexpectedly killed millions of people around the world, often with no time opportunity for meaningful closure. When a child dies, or a loved one dies tragically or simply passes away from sickness or old age, we want to know, where are they? Are they hurting? Are they okay? Our emotional devastation can cause a desperate search for assurances that they are in a good place. The urge to communicate with the dead through a medium or psychic has been around since ancient days. But have the dead found a way to communicate directly with us? Could they be reaching out to us using common things like butterflies, coins or birds? How should we handle such a tempting yet comforting idea?

Continue Reading

Spontaneous After-Death Communication

An after-death communication (ADC) is a phenomenon that takes place when people have lost a loved one or someone they knew. They are having significant issues with that loss and claim the departed individual appears to and/or communicates with them in some way. This appearance is spontaneous and not a result of intentionally trying to communicate on the part of the grieving one. It usually happens in a dream or in that liminal state between sleep and wakefulness. The overwhelming majority of these visits bring the comforting message that the deceased one is okay. They assure the one suffering from the loss that they can move on. These ADCs are referred to by many as “gifts from heaven.”

Induced After-Death Communication

To complicate the issue, there is form of ADC called an IADC, or induced after-death communication. This type of communication only happens while undergoing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy). EMDR specifically manages very bad memories due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The results of these "visits" while undergoing EMDR therapy are strikingly similar to other ADCs. There is reassurance and peace, as well as a sense of being able to move on. Some report also feeling hugged by the deceased individual.

So, what is really happening here? Are the dead really reaching out to the living with messages of comfort? This is an enormous question and answering it requires a detailed approach. Check out our October 25, 2021 podcast, “Can the Dead Communicate with Us?” for more. We carefully represent what is being reported regarding ADCs by listening to those who have researched them. One source is a psychologist who offers EMDR therapy. Several years ago, he stumbled on the ADC experience while working with a military veteran suffering from PTSD.

We take the experiential input that so many have reported, paying close attention to the emotional factors of loss and grief. After considering  the medical observations and explanations regarding EMDR, we put it together against the backdrop of biblical reasoning. What we find is a thrilling and fascinating conclusion. Join us for this journey and discover some of the amazing gifts God has given us!

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September 24, 2021

Ep.: Why did God allow Satan to harm Job?

The story of Job’s life is one that has puzzled people for a long time. Initially, Job’s initial reaction to his trying experiences was excellent. Job 1:22 says, “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” But, as his burdens wore on him he finally came to accuse God. He said, “ “I cry out to you, but you do not answer me; … You have become cruel to me; With the strength of your hand you oppose me…. when I looked for good, evil came to me; … My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest.” (Job 30:20-27)

God finally answered Job in chapters 38-41. He essentially said, “Job, you do not understand who I am or why I do what I do. If you did, you would know that there is a purpose in everything I do. I have gone to great lengths in creating life. I have provided a place for life to exist. Do not question my motives, just know that I am all powerful.  I am God. Trust that my reasons are pure and good.”

This is an important principle when dealing with God. We should trust that whatever He does is for our ultimate good. Like Job, we tend to be short-sighted in our view of life and why God acts as He does. But God, who is “from everlasting to everlasting,” has a different perspective. Job was a man of faith. But his faith was untested. This is an important principle and was demonstrated even in Jesus’ life. 

Jesus himself had to experience temptation and struggle. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus “learned obedience by the things he suffered”(Hebrews 5:8). Jesus certainly knew how to obey before coming to earth. But his suffering made him stronger and more resilient. It created a deeper faith that was totally unmovable.

A common illustration to describe the strengthening of faith is how steel is hardened.  It is fired under tremendous heat. This carefully supervised process actually fuses the steel at the molecular level. It becomes harder and able to endure great pressures that it could not endure before the process was applied.  That is similar to the testing of faith. When rightly supervised and endured, great lessons are learned regarding how to trust God under adversity. With each victory, the ability to endure becomes greater and the outlook of the individual changes as he goes through experiences where he needs to trust.  This cannot occur without adversity.

Though he was a man of faith, Job was a man of greater faith after his experience. He came to understand that God had not abandoned him and was able to restore his wealth and grant him 10 more children.His life has often been used to illustrate the fall of man. When God permitted Satan to tempt Adam and Eve, God was not being irresponsible. He saw that man needed to be tested. Adam failed the test and plunged the world into sin. Along with Adam, we are learning the consequences of sin. We die because we have inherited sin. Job shared in man’s fall. Like all of us, he was already condemned to death. But that is not the end of God’s plan. It is merely the world’s instructional phase.

God has the power of life. He can raise the dead and has promised to do so in His kingdom. That means that Job’s 20 children will all be brought back to life.  God’s dealing with Job was not done on a whim or a wager with Satan. God’s plan is thought-out and loving.

A very meaningful passage is found in Ephesians 1.

“… So abundant was God’s grace, the grace which He, the possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us, when He made known to us the secret of His will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it – the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one head in Christ; yea things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one head in him.” Ephesians 1:7-10 

There is wisdom in everything God does. And when we may not understand His actions, we should trust that He will always have our best interests at heart.

To learn more about why God allows suffering in our lives listen to, “Does God Really Want Me To Suffer?”

(36)

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September 20, 2021

Ep.1196: Am I Living Under a Generational Curse? Curses Series (Part II)

Curses in family bloodlines and the bigger context of Old Testament curses

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:13:30]
Did God ever curse His people generationally?


[00:30:28]
What do curses mean in the Old Testament?


[00:48:15]
Do we have the power to curse others?


Theme Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:19

Our God is a God of order. Psalm 89:14 says that righteousness and justice are the very foundation of His heavenly throne. This means that all He does must be based in what is right and just. While some of us may look at this through fearful eyes, this is actually great news. It means God is and always will be dependable and trustworthy. If this is the case, why did God seem so over-the-top angry in the Old Testament? Why did He seemingly curse not only wrongdoers, but the generations that followed them as well? Did these “curses” of God work the same way the curses of our day are said to work? Were they a wishing of evil upon someone or something? Did God give anyone the authority to curse others?

Continue Reading

The idea of a generational curse can be daunting

From the sound of it, somebody does something deemed bad or evil and the response to that action is to strike their children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and so on with some dark and even sinister retaliation. Such treatment reeks of injustice, revenge and nastiness. The problem here is that in the Old Testament, God has pronounced generational consequences, but they are often interpreted as generational curses. There is a massive difference between the two. Such a gross misinterpretation of Scripture results in a serious misunderstanding of God’s character.

How do we know this is the case? How do we know God isn’t cursing generations of people for what they didn’t do? It all comes down to understanding what curses mean in the Bible, beginning in the Old Testament. This is no easy task. In the Old Testament alone there are over a dozen words that are translated “curse.” To really know what the Jewish Scriptures teach, we need to gain a comprehensive understanding of who cursed what, to what end result and what it really meant.

The first curse

The best place to start this investigation into Old Testament biblical curses is at the beginning. The first curse pertaining to humanity was when God pronounced the curse upon the ground for Adam’s sake. While this was a serious consequence, it is also critical to remember that this curse was proclaimed within the context of God’s previous blessing. The key thought here is that God was proclaiming a consequence for sinful actions and not “cursing” Adam in the sense that pagan beliefs would have us believe.

Check out our September 20, 2021 podcast, “Am I Living Under a Generational Curse? Curses Series (Part II)” for more. We examine several different accounts of God’s “curses” in the Old Testament and see exactly what they were intended to accomplish. Putting all of this in order ends up being a fascinating journey of discovery. We learn the thinking behind God’s procedures and consequences. We uncover a level of wisdom and justice on the part of Jehovah God that rises high above the typical idea of revenge that people say God has. Join us; there is much more to this than meets the eye. Did you miss Part I? We laid a lot of groundwork worth exploring.

 

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July 26, 2021

Ep.1188: Do We Have the Purpose of the Holy Spirit Backwards?

Distinguishing God's power from our own desires in our daily life

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:51]
What was unique about how Jesus and the 12 apostles were able to use the holy spirit?


[00:31:31]
Can we ever decree and declare what we want to happen using the power of the holy spirit?


[00:49:32]
In what ways are we authorized to use the holy spirit?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 5:16

The call of Christianity is unique. It is a call to sacrifice and humility, a call to the subduing of one’s own will in favor of God’s will. While there are many noble purposes in this world and many humble and dedicated people, a Christian is called to the ultimate purpose of eventually reconciling the world back to God. Even more unique than that, Christians are called to become a "new creation," based on the indwelling of the holy spirit. This is a grace-based privilege and something we need to have a clear understanding of, as well as the deepest respect for. Why does God’s holy spirit dwell within His chosen ones? What does it do for us, and more importantly, what doesn’t it do for us?

Continue Reading

God’s spirit is of paramount importance in Scripture and is revealed in the Bible’s second verse as the power that drove creation.

As we progress through the Bible, two things become clear:

  1. God's power appears often
  2. The way it functions definitely changes as the Bible and God’s plan progress.

This is an important factor in determining how the holy spirit works now in our day.

Trace how God's power functions in human beings -
How has it changed over time?

God’s spirit is directly spoken about in relation to people once in Genesis and once in Exodus.  The first is Joseph when Pharaoh - of all people - remarks that God’s spirit must be in him. Joseph had just miraculously interpreted a forgotten dream of Pharaoh’s. In Exodus, a craftsman named Bezalel is plainly proclaimed by God to have His spirit. God’s purpose in this was for Bezalel to craft furniture artwork and embroidery for the Tabernacle. These two examples give us a good insight into how God’s spirit affected humans in the early days. God’s power was essentially loaned to those who needed to do very specific things for Him.

Once Jesus comes on the scene, the role of God’s power working in humanity changes dramatically. The fact that the spirit rested upon Jesus in the form of a dove just scratches the surface regarding the spirit’s role. Jesus was filled with the spirit. He taught, he reasoned, he healed and he raised people from the dead because the power of God dwelt within him.

Interestingly, the apostles also had similar experiences as a result of the spirit dwelling in them. Does this mean we should be having the same experiences? Check out our July 26, 2021 podcast, “Do We Have the Purpose of the Holy Spirit Backwards?” for more. We follow the patterns laid out by the Scriptures to show us what God expects of us in these End Times. We also observe what the Bible reveals we should expect from God’s spirit. The fascinating thing is, the biblical answers may be surprising. Join us and see!

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March 16, 2020

Ep.1117: How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part II)

Finding the biblical pathway that leads us away from burnout

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CHAPTERS

[00:22:13]
It's one thing to admit we are overwhelmed. How do we manage all we need to do?


[00:38:14]
How do we take steps to remove the fuel of burnout?


[00:52:31]
Why doesn't burn out just go away once we recognize it?


[01:04:39]
What does victory over burnout look like?


Theme Scripture: Job 10;1

Burnout is nasty.  As we found out in Part I of our two-part series, it can demoralize and diminish the efforts and quality of care from medical professionals and first responders.  But it doesn't stop there.  Even though the rest of us may not have other’s lives in our hands, burnout is more than capable of continuing to ruin lives...if we let it.  The good news about this ever-growing and worrisome phenomena is that it can be handled.  For regular people who get overly inundated with the unrelenting pressures of work, family and social issues, there are answers.  Or, if we find ourselves feeling like we are drowning under the weight of Christian responsibilities, there are answers.  The really good news is these answers have both biblical and medical foundations!

Continue Reading
ns!

Our focus on burnout in medical professionals and first responders in Part I gave us a foundation.  Part II continued building by focusing on you and me and the daily challenges we encounter through our jobs and life experience.  We saw the exact same debilitating process at work.

Oour burnout heroes: Moses and Elijah

There is no better way to understand this power of burnout than to see it displayed in the life of some of your heroes. If they can be debilitated by its affects, then we are certainly vulnerable as well.  Moses and Elijah were two Old Testament heroes of faith who stood head and shoulders above the people of their time.  Moses triumphantly delivered over two million people out of slavery.  He did it through faith, obedience and courage.  They literally walked away from their captivity.  Elijah faced off with an evil king, stood alone against 450 prophets of the false god Baal and walked away with a resounding victory for the one true God.

We love the heroism of these stories.  What we often don’t pay attention to is the stories after these victorious events. God would continue to require more of these leaders, and they both experienced burnout in the aftermath.  n fact, in the depths of their burnout experiences, both Moses and Elijah even despaired of life.  This really shows us how insidious burnout can be.  It can creep into and take over the lives of the most powerful, faithful and courageous heroes.

Lessons to fight back

The experiences of Moses and Elijah teach us profound lessons to help us fight back against burnout. Some of those lessons have to do with understanding our limitations and being open to receiving the right kinds of help.  These things may sound easy to do, but they are the exact opposite. Observing the stories of our two heroes makes this challenge plain. When in the throes of fighting burnout, we become blind and deaf to the solution-oriented things around us. All we are capable of seeing is what our own mind is open to and what our own eyes can observe.

Check out our March 16, 2020 podcast, “How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part II)” for more.  There are concrete answers to this serious dilemma and we list them out.  Moses and Elijah show us even higher levels of heroism as they each overcame their burnout experience.  Don’t miss how this is done!

 

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March 09, 2020

Ep.1116: How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part I)

Recognizing and resolving issues that contribute to burnout

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CHAPTERS

[00:16:01]
What does burnout look like?


[00:30:14]
Resiliency is an remedy for burnout. What does Job teach us about resiliency?


[00:45:13]
What can we do to avoid heading in the wrong direction when under extreme stress?


[01:03:31]
What practical ways can we stand firm against burnout?


Theme Scripture: Job 10:1

It is a common saying that the two things you can count on in life are death and taxes.  While that might be true, there is another thing lurking in the background of the lives of more and more people every day:  BURNOUT.  With all of the overstimulation a technology-based society produces, we are set up for burnout.  With what seem like ever-increasing job demands, we are set up for burnout.  Personal communications are instant, always available and on multiple platforms, and we feel we need to respond instantly as well.  This sets us up for – you guessed it – burnout.  This is just what applies to us - the average, "go to work and make a living" person.  Medical professionals, first responders, military men and women – all set up for this scary precedent!  This is serious.  What can we as Christians do to recognize, respond to and relieve this dangerous pattern in our lives and the lives of others?

Continue Reading

Looking at the medical field

To be able to overcome burnout, you first need to understand it.  Looking at the medical field, we find detailed explanations of how it works.  We also find lots of practical experience.  It turns out, the people who help us understand it are also the ones who suffer greatly from burnout themselves.  As part of our journey to crack the burnout code, we interviewed a Christian medical professional who has suffered from it.  Hannah’s story set a foundation of experience for us, upon which we could build practical knowledge.

Health care industry - everyday burnout - spiritual burnout

We chose to observe burnout as affecting three different categories of people.  First are the health care professionals, first responders and military personnel. These are the men and women on the front lines, who have the lives of others in their hands. Their burnout is associated with always needing to do the right thing in very imperfect circumstances, and often with less than adequate support.  Second, there are the rest of us who find burnout as a result of our jobs, our lives, disease, trauma and unforeseen circumstances.  The third category we labeled as spiritual burnout, meaning feeling isolated and far from God as you strive to serve Him.

Looking to Job for answers

The good news is that the same basic principles of burnout recovery apply to each of these three specific categories.  To illustrate this, we used the example of Job, the Bible character who tragically lost everything. He burned out but in the end remained faithful to God.  How did that happen?  Where did he go wrong and what did he do right?

Check out our March 9, 2020 podcast, “How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part 1)” for more.  Between Hannah’s medical and Christian insights and Job’s tragic losses and unhelpful “comforters,” we find many points of reference to build upon.  The bottom line is:  walking the path towards burnout is a pressure-filled journey that pulls us away from our best selves.  Walking away from it is possible but challenging.  In Part 1 of our two-part series, we help you discover how to succeed.  Don’t miss this vital input to prepare you for Part II!

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October 21, 2019

Ep.1096: My Life is Full of Suffering – Am I Cursed?

Properly interpreting our misery and understanding biblical curses

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:13:15]
Does God curse people today?


[00:24:57]
Why do bad things happen to good people?


[00:40:54]
What if we keep experiencing pain and suffering?


[00:56:02]
What if our suffering is as a result of external pressures in our life?


Theme Scripture: Romans 8:17

How often do we hear of someone who just seems to have everything going wrong in their lives? They suffer loss, they have physical ailments, they are deeply distressed and their life seems to be going nowhere.  Sometimes when we are that suffering person, we may begin to wonder, what did I do to deserve this?  Is God mad at me? Am I cursed?  When in dire circumstances these can be very human questions that actually have the ability to unravel our faith.  We can easily allow seeds of doubt to be planted in our hearts which leads to becoming unnerved in our minds.  Bottom line, if we weren’t thrown off by our circumstances, we can certainly be derailed by our reactions.  Does God really get mad at us?  As Christians, does He ever curse us?

Continue Reading

Weren't Adam and Eve cursed?

Even though we may not think so, the idea of God cursing individuals is actually a strange one. I say that because when we look in the Bible to find a history of God’s curses, it does not read the way we might expect. Let’s start with Genesis and the serious sins of disobedience Adam and Eve committed. When it came down to proclaiming consequences God began with Satan. The deceiver was in the form of a serpent and God did curse him, relegating him to the dust of the ground. When it came to Eve and then Adam, he did not curse them. He punished them, but there was no curse upon them. God did, however, curse the ground because of Adam. This curse implied that the ground outside of the garden would not have the same natural fertility as the ground in Eden. Essentially, God’s gift of a life-sustaining environment for his human family would need much more of their own effort to keep them going.

Wasn't Cain cursed?

The same basic theme is applied when Cain killed his brother Abel. The only curse recorded was again upon the ground and not upon Cain himself. So, what’s the point of all this? It is to establish that God (while He does use curses in some places) is not some curse-happy Dictator who vindictively spoils peoples' lives when they make Him unhappy.

Now let’s go back to the question of our personal pain and hardships. God does NOT curse us with suffering. On the other hand, a strong case can be made that He actually is blessing us because of and through these things. Check out our October 21, 2019 podcast, “My Life is Full of Suffering – Am I Cursed?” for details. Once we firmly establish what curses really are, how they work and why they are there, we then address suffering. We open up how the Bible speaks of trials, pain and trauma coming from many different kinds of experiences. We look at these hardships, weigh them in the context of God’s grace and reveal His extraordinary blessing and providence in their wake.

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