Monday, January 27, 2020

Through it All

Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:8–9 

There is a positive aspect to suffering. We all endure suffering to some degree, but the good news is that through it we can become like Jesus. Are you willing to pay whatever price is necessary in order to become like Christ? There are some things that God can build into your life only through suffering. Even Jesus, the sinless Son of God, was complete only after He had endured the suffering His Father had set before Him. Once He had suffered, He was the complete, mature, and perfect Savior through whom an entire world could find salvation. If you become bitter over your hardships, you close some parts of your life from God. If you do this, you will never be complete. Some places in your soul can be reached only by suffering. The Spirit of God has important things to teach you, but you can only learn these lessons in the midst of your trials. King Saul was made king without ever enduring hardship, but he never developed the character or maturity to handle God's assignment. David spent years in suffering and heartache. When he finally ascended the throne, he was a man after God's own heart. Don’t resent the suffering God allows in your life. Don’t make all your decisions and invest everything you have into avoiding hardship. God did not spare His own Son. How can we expect Him to spare us? Learn obedience even when it hurts! - Blackaby 

It's interestingly, sometimes painfully ironic, that the year is 2020.  There's the cliche`s of hindsight being 20-20.  Jokes about seeing the future clearly this year. 
There's that challenge to look to this or that.

What you believe you can do often is the result of what you have been through.  I know that I mistakenly have that thought all too often.  

Mistakenly?  Yes.  Because There's times in my life when I know, however difficult, that I am being taught something.  Then there's the times when my eyes are opened to a lesson that I didn't even realize that I was being taught. 

You probably have lived a similar life. 

It's the pattern of learning that Jesus used. Lessons within lessons. 

Lessons in physical fitness take much out of you.  Some call it 'the burn'.  You are to push yourself in order to achieve a goal. 

Then there's times when we have jumped the gun.  Went and attempted something we were not ready for.  The pain is obvious.  We shrink back the next time it comes around.

Again, been there done that. 

God has a time table for our learning just as He did with the Disciples. Only when they stuck to HIS time table were lessons learned.  When they tried to get ahead of Him they were corrected. 

I have unfortunately been corrected quite often in life.  God has said His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than ours.  We see a few trees and think we got a handle on the situation.  Jesus sees the whole forest and everything in it.

But still it's the going through things that grows us.  Not the avoidance of things. 

A tree will never have discernible growth rings if it never experiences storms.  The growth rings are what makes it strong enough for the next storm. 

Learning to let go of what's not ours to fix is equally difficult. We want to do something.  But often God wants us to be patient.  

There's also many times when we just will not be shown the bigger picture in this life.  Job wasn't.  Samson in the life we read didn't really get life.  His behavior showed he only began to understand at the end of his life. 

I once knew of a man who, in his prayers, would ask Jesus to help him empty him of himself, so that he could be filled with the fullness of Jesus.  

There's a title to a song that isn't about the Christian experience but it's true nonetheless. "I'm always getting in my way". 

We go through things to become more Christ like.  It's part of what it means to be a child of God.  We aren't saved to go live lives our way.  Following in the footsteps of the one who saved and adopted us is our calling in life.  He suffered so shall we.  He had trials so shall we.  He promised as much.  Notice the Scriptures do not say might have trials and tribulations, it says will.  We will because we follow in His footsteps. 

Things aren't always going to make sense.  Reread the 4 Gospels.  Look carefully at the wording.  Much of what you read even those who lived it, they didn't understand until after the Holy Spirit came and taught them. 

So you are in good company.  

Life not making much sense?  It didn't for them either.  Even when the lesson was repeated.  There's a song by Sanctus Real called "Confidence".  If you can't listen to it where you are, look up the words.  Confidence comes by way of learned experience.

Saul failed and David succeeded when it comes to being King of Israel.  It was David who was promised that from his family line would come the Messiah. Not Saul.  Yet even though it wasn't a worldly success, Saul was told that when he died he would be in Paradise with Samuel. 

Look at this day as an opportunity to show the world how a Christ follower gets through the day.  Your yesterday may not have been all that you anticipated or wanted but if you are alive today it means God's not done with you yet.  He's given you another chance.  Don't dwell on life's perceived failures.  Complex surgeries often look very bad until they are completed.  Then the relief comes.  To remove sinful behaviors and activities we go through a great many complex surgeries. They take the shape of trials and tribulations.  Trust Jesus in being the surgeon and not you.  Don't take the surgical tools out of His hands because you think you got this.  You, like the Disciples, will end up repeating the lesson.  

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