Don't waste your sorrows

Author: Paul E Billheimer
Publishers: Jointly by
ELS, GLS and Operation Mobilisation.
Pages 132.

God's eternal purpose, writes Paul Billheimer, has been the preparation and training of an eternal companion for His Son: the Bride of Christ. This preparation takes place as believers engage in spiritual warfare, as they exercise believing prayer.

God has chosen to work in the world through His children's prayers; Christians need prayer in order to practice for their heavenly destiny. This is what a former radio speaker and Bible college president has written in his masterpiece, Destined for the Throne .

All books of Billheimer are challenging reading for all Christians serious about preparing for the heavenly bridegroom. In Destined for the Throne he goes into great detail explaining the plan of God for man, the explanation of the authority and dominion of the church and the power of prayer and praise.

The book, Don't Waste Your Sorrows, is a sequel to Destined for the Throne. Here he deals with the question of suffering in the life of the believer from a different perspective, as an indispensable part of God's present programme of preparation and training of His children. The author also gives a convincing answer many of us ask when problems perplex us: 'Why Lord?'

Suffering which is a consequence of the 'fall' shall produce the character and disposition, the compassionate spirit which will be required for rulership in a government where the law of love is supreme.

He says there can be no unity without love. All discord, division, and fragmentation is the result of deficiency in love. The author finds that tribulation is necessary for the decentralization of self and the development of deep dimensions of agape love. This love can be developed only in the school of suffering. It grows and develops only by exercise and testing. To quote the author again: "here is no sainthood without suffering?the greatest saints are often the greatest sufferers."

This book must be read by all those who entertain honest doubts that strike all of us one time or the other like, 'Why do the righteous suffer?'
It is heartening to hear of the faith built up by success, prosperity and miraculous healing. Marvelous miracles of healing and other answers to prayer exalt our Lord. The demonstration of the supernatural in signs and wonders is scriptural and confounds unbelief stimulates faith in the hearts of God's people, and brings many souls to the Lord.

But how can the apparent failures to be explained? A few are healed but the multitudes are not. A few have miraculous answers to prayer for healing and prosperity, but most do not. Are all those in this category to give up and wallow in self-pity and defeat?

Perhaps such questions had arisen in your own heart confronted by the contradictions in life experiences. You may have wondered how it is that only "God's chosen few" enjoy the so-called "benefits" of faith.

The author, on the basis of Biblical authority, affirms that the great majority who remain financially limited or physically afflicted have also the same opportunity to make great contributions to the kingdom and bring joy to the heart of the Lord and win eternal rewards as those who are favoured with supernatural deliverance here and now.

"For our affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."(2 Corinthians 4: 17,18) This passage from the Bible is profound.

That one's sorrows are actually working for the faithful believer is predicated upon the faith that the unseen is the ultimate and supreme reality and that the present and visible are only relative and ephemeral.

The book makes absorbing reading and inspirational.

Look at statements which compels attention: " 'Thus the supreme purpose of life on earth is not pleasure, fame, wealth, or any other form of worldly success, but learning agape love. In the ultimate social order of the universe (the Kingdom of God) rank will be determined not by talent, magnetic personality, intellectual acumen, earthly success and affluence, but by one thing and one alone agape love.

In the 13th chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, the nature of love is described. It says that love is kind, patient, long suffering etc. It also says : "Love suffers." This means that love must suffer voluntarily. Love that does not accept suffering voluntarily is a misnomer, for the essence of love is decentralization, that is, repudiation of self in behalf of another.

There is no decentralization without voluntary acceptance of suffering. In the universal absolute sense, concludes the author, there is no character without suffering. Suffering love is the cornerstone of the universe because without it there is no decentralization of the self and therefore no agape love. Only great sufferers are truly benevolent. We say amen.