Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What If?

What if God really does want to use that thing I’m going through for His glory and for my good?  Is it true that something good really could come from this?
Have you ever thought there’s no way …
~this pain
~this loss
~this wait
~this illness
~this monotonous daily grind
~this workplace
~this hardship
~this relationship
…can be used by God?

Too often I ask God to just move the mountain and, you know, bury the thing, make it go away, or at least distract me from it.  And I think it’s perfectly okay to ask God to do that.  But what if He wants to grow me through it so I will acknowledge His sovereignty, His goodness, His justice, His mercy, His provision, His trustworthiness…and His glory?


Suppose He took me around the mountain when I needed to climb it.  Or around the mountain when I needed to tunnel through it.

What does it look like to trust God through these ‘things’ we’d rather not deal with?

Look at the churches in Macedonia who gave sacrificially, even though they were impoverished.  2 Cor 8:2 ~Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

What about James’ words in 1:2-3 ~Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

In 1 Peter 4:12-13, we read ~Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Paul writes, in 2 Cor 1:3-4 ~Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

We can trust these words in Romans 8:28 ~And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The more I get to know my Lord, the more I realize that rather than turning to Him only in times of great need, I must turn to a lifestyle of complete dependence upon Him, in all things.
 
Oh, to adopt Paul’s attitude in Philippians 10:12-13 ~I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Not only can I endure these trials, but I can do so with joy.

I have recently said that I know God will use one my most difficult trials (so far) for His glory, and He has so much to teach me through it…if only I would surrender.   I confess I’ve been so deep in the self-pity and the seeming injustice of the thing that I lost sight of who God is.  As if He had forgotten me.  Or the thing was too great for Him.  Or I’m supposed to go this one alone.  Those are all lies.

I don’t know if God will remove this trial in my lifetime, but in drawing near to Him, I realize He is the Source of all the strength, patience and grace to persevere.


And what if God wants to see us through these struggles in order to prepare us for something bigger than we can imagine?

TO HIM BE GLORY!


3 comments:

lizzielou said...

Prayers for you sweet friend. Thank you for writing this. I so needed to read this while standing in front of my own mountain. God is asking me, "Do you still love me?, even in this?" He is good. He is sovereign. Love you. xo

Wendy said...

Very beautiful writing. Would you mind if I copied it so I could refer to it? Not going to sell it or anything like that. I have had a very hard time lately and your words really helped to know I am not alone and I need to lean on God and know it is all in His time and the struggles i am going through are all in His plan. No matter how hard these trials are, they will never compare to Jesus dying for us. Thank you and God bless you.

Connie Johnson said...

Wendy, I don't mind at all. I know it seems we are all alone in our struggles, but He never leaves us. And you are right, nothing compares to what Jesus has done for us.

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