Friday, August 26, 2022
Into the Rough Waters
Into the Rough Waters
by David Brenneman
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5 NASB
"Jesus is more concerned about your holiness than your happiness" was mentioned in a sermon that I heard not too long ago. Sort of relevant to my current situation today. Having to go to work on a day that is supposed to be my day off. Going through things that aren't going to make me happy in order to bring about a different result.
Notice in that passage how many times the word we is used.
In and of itself a counter top with bowls and containers of ingredients isn't going to get you something to eat.
Putting the right ingredients, the right quantities, matters.
Putting those in the mixing bowl at the proper time, sometimes brought to a right temperature beforehand, is necessary.
Then mixing must occur with the right vigor. With the right methods.
Then the environment must be right in order to turn those ingredients, that work of preparation, into something edible. The oven must be pre-heated. Or else that part will not go well.
In your life and mine we are going to go through so much that we will not understand. We will think we do, but we must realize we will never ever have the full story as to why we went through the rough waters that we did.
We will not know why they HAD to be rough.
Was it for us?
Was it because of us?
Was it because of someone else?
Was it simply and only because of God's plan for humanity and not anything to do with us individually?
Rough waters are as necessary to our lives as the peaceful times. Drive anywhere in any country and you will likely find places where the roads were rough between where you began and where you are wanting to go.
We don't like rough waters. Yet as the Scriptures read...we are to still be thankful for them.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:4-7 NASB "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Romans 12:12 NASB "rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,"
Rejoicing in things that are unpleasant is a choice. It's often a very difficult choice but it's a choice.
We need to move FORWARD through this life. Have used this example before in referring to Psalm 23, but consider it well that often Jesus takes us by the scruff of the neck to pull us through rough times. More often than not it's because in our weakness we would collapse and not make it on our own.
We face ridicule. We face people critical of us. A great deal of what we face we don't understand why. We don't know at all what the other person is thinking. We have no idea if they are being influenced by God or by Satan...or just their own sin nature.
We hurt. Both emotionally and mentally.
We don't like it. But it's been my experience that every Spiritual surgery isn't going to be pleasant. In Romans Paul says we were grafted into the vine, the vine being Jesus. That grafting process is actually painful. A cut must happen. The end of that branch is exposed until it comes in contact with the vine. The reaction to the vine and what it offers is not what the branch expected.
Our rough waters are for our benefit in Christ Jesus. Simply put if you aren't experiencing rough waters I would wonder why. All who are in Christ Jesus will suffer at some point. Jesus said this. All who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. 2 Timothy 3:12.
But why? Romans 12 has our answer. We are being transformed. Jesus loves us too much to leave us as He found us. We also read in Ephesians 2:10 of being His workmanship.
People are going to either be a joy to be around or honestly a pain to be around.
Things in life are going to either be enjoyable or they won't.
A very great temptation is to be selfish in our desires to push away God's plans for us in our pursuit of only joy in life.
People who hurt us we consider tainted and refuse to be around them. Question is this: What if you are God's chosen instrument to reach such people unto salvation?
There's an appointed day in human history that God the Father has set as the end of "the fullness of the Gentiles". Since the only valuable thing in God's eyes is humanity, the end is tied to someone being saved who is the last to be saved before the time of the Great Tribulation begins. It began by grace in saving the thief on the cross. Will likely end in like manner. Someone will say yes to the free gift of salvation and that will be that. Jesus will get up, give the shout that calls us all out to meet Him in the air.
We will probably ask Jesus throughout eternity of this or that that happened in our lives. I know that I will be asking a bunch of questions.
In the meantime it's urgent to be in prayer To be in God's word. To be in a right personal relationship with Jesus. To be remembering that we who are in Christ Jesus have a divine purpose for our being in this here, this now. Our transformation is ongoing. Our mission is the same as every other saint since the beginning of the Church. Seek and save the lost. We aren't here to make Heaven a place on Earth. We aren't here to skate by in life until we die. We aren't here to avoid people who may or may not hurt us. We see Jesus following the Father’s plan in the Gospels. We see Him talking to the people who were the most unpleasant people. We have been placed in the body of Christ for a specific reason by the Spirit of God for a reason.
It's going to be rough. It's also going to be worth it. It's going to take us places we never dreamed possible. Our happiness isn't necessarily the first thing on God's list for us. Our holiness is far more important. "Be Holy as I am Holy" 1 Peter 1:16.
Prayer is to be like breathing to us who are in Christ Jesus. Something absolutely necessary to live. It's a theme easily seen in the book of Psalms.