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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Faith and Affliction

“I believed, therefore I said: ‘I am greatly afflicted,’ and in my dismay, I said: ‘All men are liars’” (Ps. 116:10).

 

These last couple months have been murder. And rich in mercy. While faith delivers us from evil, it also subjects us to men of faith who do evil. Or at least lead us badly.


Faith doesn’t free us from sin-sickness. Because we believe Jesus and Body, we are afflicted. Every day for the last two months I have woken up sick. As I go throughout the day, I howl my lament to Jesus in tears and loud petitions (in the car, not the waiting room or retail line. I had a good mother.)

 

I am undone by Pope Francis leading us into immoral blessings and then slamming dissenters like me as hypocrites. Perhaps our good pope could learn something from the expanding number of ‘irregular’ couplings Mike Bickle hid. Now they surface like carcinogenic sludge that burns the house he built, IHOP-KC. I am seared by a man whose prophetic wisdom is never connected with 43 years of sexual and spiritual manipulations. 

 

I may never stop howling: ‘Jesus, sorry! We are scandalizing Your Name, Your house! Expose and ignite our foolishness! Take us down. Let judgment begin with us’ (1 Cor. 5: 12-13; 1 Pe. 4:17).  

 

Bickle released a prophetic stream into the Church (good) that now drives mal-attuned ‘prophets’ (bad) who claim dreams and visions related to national politics in an election year. That tempts naïve Christians to dodge political complexities with the help of quack prophets who all smell like Bickle now. I get sicker still. May all ‘seers’ be silent before IHOP at half-mast. Read the room, the season. Shut up and pray.

 

That’s exactly where I am. Shut up and pray. I struggle to bear up under the weight of others’ grievous leadership. But I can allow the heaviness to level me and keep me facedown at Jesus’ feet. Maybe that’s what this Lent can be about: 40 days of uniting the affliction we bear for the Body with His affliction, His wounds (Col. 1:24).

 

I recall Psalm 116 and that strange pairing of belief and affliction (v.10).  It’s simple: the whole Psalm is David’s praise to God for hearing his cry for mercy and delivering him from men in their deceitful scheming. Amid thanksgiving, Davids cries out (forgive my paraphrase): ‘I believe You, Merciful God, to deliver me from men who mislead. Men are liars! Free me from their entrapment!’

 

Would you join me and DSM this Lent, starting Wednesday at 4-5:30pm CST as we seek Divine Mercy to free us from entrapment? We are brought low, but He goes lower still to wash us at our most vulnerable. We vow to not harden our hearts toward His Bride, but to allow every hardship to invite Mercy so we can release Mercy to our fellows.

 

I will take one or two verses every week from Zechariah 12:10-13:6 and expound on it in accord with our trials. It is fitting that Zechariah, along with Haggai, were most responsible for provoking the rebuilding of the ruined temple in Jerusalem. They lived to tell of its completion.

 

‘I will pour out on you a spirit of grace and supplication…

We will look upon the One we have pierced and will mourn as one grieves for an only child…

On that day, I’ll open a fountain to cleanse you from sin and impurity;

on that day, I’ll banish the idols from the land…

On that day, I’ll remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land…

On that day, every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision.

He will say, “I am not a prophet, I am a farmer.”

When asked about the wounds on his body, he will answer:

“These wounds I was given at the house of my friends.”’


Join Andrew on Desert Streaming each week as he dives deeper into his blog. Watch here or listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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