It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
Though Jesus was Your Son, Lord God, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. I suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. You know, Lord, the way that I take; when You have tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to Your steps; I have kept Your way and not turned aside. I shall remember that You, Lord God, led me all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble me and test me, to know what was in my heart, whether I would keep Your commandments or not. I should know in my heart that as a man chastens his son, so You, Lord God, chasten me. Therefore I shall keep Your commandments, Lord, to walk in Your ways and to fear You.
May I learn more about Your faithfulness, Your power, and even Your love from the hard times You allow me to experience, Lord God.
PSALM 119:71; HEBREWS 5:8; ROMANS 8:17–18; JOB 23:10–11; DEUTERONOMY 8:2, 5–6 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God
It's no coincidence that in my trying to grapple with my circumstances these days that a post like this one would be inevitable.
I look back over the years of my life and yes I can see the hands of my God turning up the heat here and there. Causing or allowing things to happen that pushed me in ways that I thought would break me. Turning up the heat in metal purification removes impurities.
My life in Christ began at a very early age. It began with excitement that quickly was squashed by my peers in elementary school. I was constantly wondering and watching. God indeed was with me, as I look back, more often than not it was me who drifted in and out of obedience.
Growing up in a Christian home and Church kept me from making many of the same mistakes as others that I knew in my younger days. I tried to be active in youth groups and in serving where I could.
But still, whatever plans that God had for me, it would be decades before the realization would come. I, in my excessive enthusiasm, likely didn't help much by jumping in thinking that I had God's plan for me figured out. Satan pounced quickly and indeed as Scripture says he came close to devouring me. Again, I can use my 20-20 hindsight glasses to see where God told him "this far, no farther".
I haven't been through what I have been allowed to go through without it having the approval of the One who's workmanship that I am. To change me, to create in me a new heart, one that would be more obedient required the trials of life.
Look at the Old Testament and you can see the same in the lives of countless others. Life being permitted to have trials and tribulations in order for the Will of God to be revealed in that needed way to glorify Him.
Our lives are not to be lived for OUR comfort and ease. They are to be a reflection of the work of God in our lives in order to show others that God wants to save them too.
The Father's business that Jesus was telling others 2,000 plus years ago as not been completed. All Christians everywhere are never told its ok to relax your guard concerning sin and the schemes of the Devil. All generations are told that in this life we will have affliction, trials and troubles. From those as close as family to those that are in place by God to govern this world. We are aliens in a foreign country after coming to Christ. Awaiting either that call to come home to our home or for the Rapture of the Church to happen when we all leave at once.
When God allows the heat to turn up He has the reason for it already revealed to us. To make us more like Christ.
When life is hard we know why. We still cry out to God asking why all the while knowing why. Jesus did on the cross, we will when we carry our own cross.
I look back on the last 2 plus months and will tell you that God has indeed been removing more dross. More of the things and thoughts that have no place in where He's taking us next. Things that have been a part of my life for over 20 years. I have hurt so much in recent days that I can only just cry. I don't even have words at times like that to express to God. The Spirit, according to the Bible, takes over in those moments of my life.
There indeed were moments where I had been asking God, asking Jesus, why He had forsaken me. I know that He hadn't, no more than the Spirit had Jesus while on the cross. But the reality was I just hurt that bad.
The truth is that I am still His workmanship. I am still a work in progress. His perfect result of all this will indeed be for my sanctification. Just as we have as our reason for moving.
You can expect afflictions in this life but if you are in Christ you won't walk alone in them. Psalms 23 is probably quoted as much as John 3:16. I may be going through the valley of the shadow of death but the thing to note is the word THROUGH. We aren't staying there. Regardless of what Satan tries to convince us of. Job didn't stay in that state that the Lord allowed him to be in. He saw him through it. Job's ordeal lasted but weeks, but his obedience to God helped bring him through it. God blessed his latter years more than the former ones that he thought were so good.
Afflictions will be a part of life.
Affliction brings me closer to my Savior.
Affliction will have its perfect result in a person being more like Christ.
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