Sunday, August 18, 2013

Curve Ball

Sometimes when bad things happen, we console ourselves by saying that God didn't make it happen; that it's just because we live in a fallen sinful world. While God is always in control and must always give permission before things can happen, I believe this way of thinking is partially true. 

Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, "For I know the plans I have for you."

Sometimes life throws us curve balls. It seems like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. 

The truth is, it's not life. It's God. You see, God has character traits He was to build up in us, values He wants the world to see in our lives, lessons He wants us to learn. And sometimes He has to send situations into our lives to accomplish that will in us. 

Recently, "life" threw some curve balls our way. I was frustrated and angry and overwhelmed. I told my grandma, only half jokingly, that sometimes I wish God would just write on the wall what He is trying to teach me. I'm willing to learn. I just want to know what it is. I knew there was a lesson for me in these things. I simply couldn't figure out what it was. 

Then, in the middle of our conversation, God spoke directly to me. I heard the words "learn from me", and I recognized them from Matthew 11:29.

Okay, God. What do you want me to learn? I quickly realized that He was pointing me to Scripture. He led me straight to the lesson. I didn't have to do any digging. He basically answered the request I had uttered to my grandma. He wrote it down for me. What is He wanting me to learn?

I'll let James tell you like he told me:
James 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Paul says it this way:
Romans 5:3
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation."

1.) God wants me to learn to have joy in spite of, and rejoice in the midst of, my trials because He is using them to develop me into a woman who reflects His image. That right there should be reason enough. He cares enough about me to let me face difficulties just so I can reflect Him. He loves me enough to walk me through hard times simply so others see Him in me, and so my life brings Him glory. 

2.) PERSEVERANCE is defined ( as "steady persistence in a course of action . . . in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement" and ENDURANCE is defined as "the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions". What is the "course of action"? Following God and reflecting Him to a lost and dying world with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength - with the way I respond to these trials. Galatians 6:9 says, "So let's not get tired of doing good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."

3.) What is this "harvest of blessing"? Maturity. Completeness. Lacking nothing.  Paul says "let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1b) One day, these trials will make sense. One day they won't matter. Face them with joy and endurance and don't give up. The blessing is worth the struggle.

4.) Hebrews 12:28, "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." No matter the trial, worship Him!

5.) He will give rest for our souls. In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Hebrews 12:12 - "So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees."

No comments:

Post a Comment