1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
~ Romans 5:1-4
There is pain, suffering and heartache around us daily. We see it in our friends, family and strangers. We see it in our own lives. Why is life so hard, we might ask ourselves?
Christ calls us to minster to one another. He calls us to give a cup of water to those who thirst. He calls us to love the unlovable. He calls us to help those who can’t help themselves. He calls us to care for the widows and fatherless. He calls us to love others as we love ourselves. This week I have been reminded of the time in my life when I had no income, unsure of where my children and I would live, how I would feed them or clothe them.
It was very humbling to rely on others and a test of my trust in God. It was not always easy to believe that God would bring something good from all the bad that was going on in our lives at the time. But because of His mercy and grace, my children and I never went without one thing. A temporary job opportunity led to the wonderful job I have today. A brand new house, never been lived in, suddenly came open and the financial means to rent it came through the assistance of the US Army due to the circumstance we found ourselves in. Many friends and people, I probably do not even know of, came to our aid through our church. Not just financially but practically and spiritually. They mentored my children, prayed for us consistently and stood by us in the worst of times.
The deliverance was not anything I did but everything He did. As a child of God, God promises to take care of us (Matthew 6:25-32), He will meet our most basic needs. But to have God’s favor we must be walking and abiding in Him. I can look back and see that our family did not always do that. The trials and tribulations we went through were a direct result of the sin in our lives. My ex-husbands and later, my own. But just as God heard the cry of Ishmael, Hagar’s son, in the desert under the bush, He heard the cry of my children and provided for them. (Genesis 21:17)
We often wonder why some people have so little “luck.” as the world calls it. The word Luck means, success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. I do not believe in luck because every action is a result of a choice made in the mind or the heart. And what does Murphy’s Law say about every action? There is a reaction. Actions made by choices with our hearts are emotional. Choices made with our minds are intentional. Both can lead to destruction if we are not ruled by something other than our own desires. Both can lead to freedom and peace if led by the Holy Spirit of God. Emotions come from the heart. “The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), Thoughts (temptations) come from the mind. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-16).
God ordains every moment in our lives, from the time we are “knit together in our mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) to the time we take our final breath. He has set the rules of the universe that effect everything we do or don’t do (our actions). For example, if you do harm to others, harm will be done to you. A more common way to say it is, ‘what comes around goes around.’ (Job 34:11) Other principles at play in our lives is the truth about the consequences of sin. The bible says “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Physical death or spiritual death, both is a complete end. The book of proverbs is full of consequences to the likes of laziness, drunkenness and pride.
God allows trials and tribulations into our lives for many reasons. We do not always know or see what God is doing but we can be sure He has our best interests at heart. It did not always feel that way during those discouraging days. But truth is not based on our feelings it is based on God’s word. I can think of at least three that might apply:
1) As unbelievers, He wants you to turn to Him, to trust in His son, Jesus Christ, He wants your salvation (John 13:17)
2) As believers, He wants to conform us to His image by purging the sin from our lives, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and develop our character from the inside out. (Romans 5:2-4)
3) He wants to use our lives to show His son to the world, to glorify His name. (1 Peter 4:16)
The lessons I learned from those difficult days seem so long ago it is now going on nine years since God delivered my house from sin. God forgive me when I lose sight of those lessons and help me to keep applying the truths I learned then to my life today, regardless of circumstances. Let me be encouraging, a lover and lifter to others!
Thank you, Jesus, who loved me and gave your life for me, for all!!!
Grace to you,