Can I grab your hand and take you on a journey to see the remarkable things that God does? I hope you will allow me to do so because seeing God at work is amazing and awe-inspiring. When we see God’s faithfulness either in our own lives or in the lives of others, it strengthens our faith and breathes new life into us. It is spiritually rejuvenating and I think all Christians need to be uplifted from time to time, especially in this economy.
Today, I am going to write on trials because we all experience them in one way or another. As believers, we talk often of our trials but not all trials are the same. Some trials we’ve brought on ourselves, and therefore God is chastising us. When we are in habitual, unrepentant sin, our life is going to be hard and it is going to get painful. A Biblical example of this would be David and Bathsheba. We all know the story of this lustful adulterer, who then became a murderer (how would you like to have that as part of your reputation?). Obviously, because David went outside of the will of God he was disobedient, and therefore he had consequences to his actions. He was chastised as a result and thus he endured some hard times, aka- trials. He most certainly was refined in the process because of his poor choices. Of course, we when are in sin, we need to repent and get right with God.
Then you have others types of trials. Trials that sift us, refine us, and that take us through the sanctification process as Christians. When we are walking with the Lord and we are obedient as much as humanly possible, trials still come our way.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Here are some Biblical examples: Daniel in the lions den, Joseph sold into slavery and then later put into prison, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace and of course our faithful friend, the expert on trials, Job. Look at those men for just a minute and reflect on their lives. They were honorable, filled with integrity and committed to pleasing the Lord, yet they lived in some tumultuous storms! However, God saw it fit to put them through those things or allow them to happen so He could teach us and others to look to these men as an example of faith and trust in the Lord. When you are in a trial like this one, you need to have the right perspective.
In my prior posts, I would write about what God had done in our lives as we were going through all of our trials, but today I am going to share with you our current situation filled with more uncertainty and hardships. I would love for you to join me as we watch God together, use His miraculous hand to shut the lions mouth in my own life, if you will.
The last time I wrote you I told you that our dream home, located on Ashbury Lane, was going to be sold on the courthouse steps in April of 2010. So, in March of that year, we packed up our home and moved to a rental house and lived there for 10 months…until God moved us BACK to the property on Ashbury Lane! Ridiculous and crazy, I know. (That’s a story in itself that I will tell at another time.) We moved back to the home on Ashbury this past January, which is where we live now.
So here we are now, July 10, 2011. Our home is scheduled to go to sale (again) tomorrow, July 11th, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Now, let me take off my mask. You know the mask I’m talking about. I’ll call it the Christian mask that we wear that shows everyone that our lives are perfect.
Here is our reality. My husband, being in real estate, has no new clients that he is working with, so in the mean time he has been doing handyman jobs of all kinds. You name, he does it and we are very thankful for the work that God has given him. Up until this time, he has had some daily work but even that has died off and he has had no upcoming jobs. Over the last month his transmission went out in his truck which cost him over $1500 and I ended up in Urgent Care twice, costing us an additional $200. Here we are with just a few hundred dollars left in our pockets, no new work for my husband and a home that is going to be sold soon and this time, there is no money for us to move to a rental home. In fact just this past week our phone was disconnected and the gas in our home was going to be turned off the following day. As my husband shared all this news with me I asked him if he got the mail yet, to see if there was a check in it. I knew that God was going to provide for us, but I just did not know how. Soon my husband came in with a mail piece and he said listen to this. I smiled. I knew that God was doing something. He read me the current electric bill which said we had a credit balance. What? How do we have a credit balance when we owed them from the last two months? The bill said we had a credit of $500. How is that possible we thought? We never had $500 to give them. I smiled at my husband and said I am sure the check they received for our bill had Jesus’ signature on it. Oh and by the way, my husband received work that same day and a day later we were blessed with money for groceries. Make no mistake about it, that’s God’s hand my friend!
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
|We can either become better or bitter.
I never thought I would say this, because when I read this verse as a new believer, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had read! Consider it joy? What? Why? How is that possible? But today, many years later and many trials later, I can say trials are a good thing because they strengthen our faith and trust in God. As we come out of a trial, we are closer to Christ and perhaps we have a stronger resolve or conviction to follow Him, IF we have chosen to run towards the Cross and not away from it. IF we have chosen to become BETTER as we look to strengthening our relationship with the Lord and not BITTER because we have a sense of self-entitlement.
The Cross is where we find hope, healing, refreshment, inspiration, encouragement and the strength to endure the path that is set before us.
In our society we often hear about two different perspectives on life. One mindset being that the ‘glass is half-full’ and the other being the ‘glass is half-empty’. I want to challenge you today and encourage you to try and change the way you think about your glass, (your life). Regardless of your circumstances, whether they are financial, marital, health-related, etc., think of your glass as being FULL, full of the Living Water that is!
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17
God is doing amazing things in the lives of His princesses, but generally speaking, we are just too busy and too worried, anxious, fearful, consumed with our problems, etc., to stop and take notice of how He works things out in our lives.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
He has a great plan for you and me.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Search for Him with all your heart and trust Him.
Let’s go to the Cross together. I’ll do the best I can in Christ’s strength and through this blog to lift you up and grab your hand when you are down, if you promise me to extend your hand to another when they are down. That’s how the Body of Christ works. It is the Holy Spirit working through the King’s princesses. What do you think? Do you want to join me on this journey as we tell others of His awesome works?
“A psalm of praise of David. I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.” Psalm 145:1-6