I’m listening to a Matt Chandler sermon and one thing grabs my attention. After he mentions that he was battling cancer and that he believes that God allowed it to be put into his life he says “Do you want to argue that God couldn’t have stopped it?”
Anything and everything that happens in your life is allowed by God. Bad things are allowed by God. Not because he wants his children to suffer, not because he isn’t seeing their pain, and not because he doesn’t care. But because there is something he is using that circumstance for. There is a reason that he will bring you through hard trials. What is he trying to teach you?
My husband told me several times that he knew for a fact that God told him to marry me. This didn’t make any sense to us as I was threatening and preparing to leave him. It was confusing and seemingly pointless. Why would God have told him to marry me only to let me leave the marriage?? That isn’t something God would have done. God hates divorce! But God allowed me to leave for a reason. He allowed our second attempt at fixing our marriage to fail for a reason. Why? What was he trying to teach us?
When we are going through hard times, times that seem like they are going to destroy us, God is trying to teach us something. I believe that he is bringing us to a point of brokenness, whatever that might mean to us personally, so that we can fully lean on him and realize that he is our saving grace. He is the reason we are here. He is our savior in every sense of the word.
If we look at all the disciples and prophets in the bible, they lived fully and passionately for God. Their lives were horrible. They were stoned to death, poor, homeless, hungry, friendless…but they were passionate. They were on fire for God. God allowed them to have bare lives, lives that were filled with nothing but God, because he wanted them to know that he was their sole provider. He wanted to show them how powerful he was and that he was paying attention to every detail of their lives. Why do we look at our lives when they are going wrong and wonder where God is? Why do we look at other peoples’ lives, watching them suffer, and think that God wouldn’t want that? God doesn’t want us to be in pain, he doesn’t want us to hurt, but sometimes it takes some pain for us to release control to him and allow him to be God in our lives.
Having money and comfort in life isn’t wrong, it’s also something that God has given us. But that doesn’t mean that he only wants us to have comfort and wealth. It doesn’t mean that wealth is proof that God is leading you or intimately involved in your life. Ultimately, God wants us to be as close to him as we can be and this may mean taking things away from us to allow us to make him priority in our lives.
In order to have a dynamic testimony you need to have a dynamic life.
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to the world.
1 Peter 4:12-13
So because of our trials and hardships, we are “partners with Christ” and we will see his “glory revealed”. How awesome is that? Because we are going through hard times, because our marriage is falling apart but we are clinging to God with everything we have, because we have been diagnosed with cancer but we are strengthening our faith, because our Dad left our Mom but we trust God knows what he is doing, because our brother is addicted to drugs or our sister is pregnant but we continue to focus on God, because we aren’t getting the hours at work we need to but we’re trusting that God is working…because our lives seem out of control but we have faith in God and we push through with trust in him and his way and timing, we will see God’s glory revealed.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see God’s glory!
Who can speak and have it happen if The Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
What if, when we go through hard times we pray “God, I can’t handle this on my own, give me the strength to deal with this. Show me what you want me to learn and help me to draw closer to you through this.”