Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of Feb. 6, 2012                           
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Job 1:21
He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die.
The LORD gave me everything I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!"

I use to have a file folder titled “Things I do not understand.” Within that folder you would find things that have happened in my life, which I just couldn't make sense of. You would also find some questions that I might ask God if I had the opportunity.Inside my folder were things you might also find familiar. Although I had quite a few categories tabbed, you may relate to titles such as “broken relationships, health issues, social injustice, divorce, rebellion, financial woes and job security concerns.” These are things that once we are in them; they are extremely hard to understand. The primary reason we cannot understand might be that we never planned for it to work out the way it has.  So what do we do with our disappointments?  How do we reach a place of peace when our prayers remain unanswered?

What I am about to share with you has not come easy to me because I am an “I’ve got to figure it out” kind of gal.  May I just say that this kind of nature is exhausting! Thankfully, God has revealed a better way to me through a simple object known as a manila folder and the Holy Bible.  When things happen in our life that we cannot make sense of, it is common nature to expend our energy on trying to reason it out in the mind.  When something happens that we have not planned for, we might find ourselves in frenzy. What usually ends up happening is that we become frustrated and confused. This is also primetime for doubt to enter our mind. And, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves in the sin of bitterness.  

I have discovered that filing away the hurt is not the answer. I had to learn to pray diligently through the circumstance. I had to learn to trust that God is at work behind the scenes, whether I got the answer I expected or not. I also had to come to the realization that I am not in control of a single thing. Yes, God may use me within a circumstance to bring about His outcome, but in the end, the result belongs to Him. Once I surrendered to the fact that I have no real power to change the heart or mind of another person, and sometimes circumstances are out of my control; I was on my way to experiencing some peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). I believe in order to experience God’s kind of peace; we must surrender to His sovereignty. I am so praying to get there.

We are God’s creation and He alone holds the original design for our life. Unfortunately, sinned entered the world and what was intended to be a perfect plan, was thwarted by personal choice. Now I’m not saying that everything we endure is our fault. What I am saying is that because of sin, we now experience things that God never intended for us to know (Gen. 2: 15-17). Sin changed the dynamics of creation and there is no getting around this fact.

The Book of Job has been very helpful to me in understanding that no matter how bad it might get, I am to hang in there with God. Job is an example of someone that experienced pain beyond our imagination. Despite it, he would not let go of God. We read that his wife in her own pain encouraged Him to curse God (walk away, give up, don’t trust). His friends also tried to insinuate that maybe he had done something to deserve what he was receiving. May I just say here that we really do have to be careful when receiving counsel from man? If you don’t know the Word of God we can be deceived. We can also cause harm to others when our opinion doesn't match up to truth. It is never my intention to mislead you. If something doesn't sit right with you, then check it against God’s Word please. 

Romans 8:28-29
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Life’s Application Commentary:
“God works in “everything” – not just isolated incidents – for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy but to fulfill His purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called by him, that is, those whom the Holy Spirit convinces to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mind-set. They trust in God, not in worldly treasures; their security is in heaven, not on earth. There faith in God does not waver in pain and persecution because they know God is with them.”

When God finally reveals His perfect plan to His children; the Bible tells us that it’s going to be worth it!  It might not seem so today, and I’m sure it didn’t seem so for Job as he watched his world crumble. However, Job lived as a child of the Most High. He knew that today is not all there is. He knew that his trials were things he could not understand, but he never let go of hope. Let’s learn from Jobs example. I want his confidence! I want his faith! How about you?

Friends, even if God never turns our situations around this side of Heaven, we can rest assured that if we have asked Jesus into our hearts, if we have repented of sin, God will do just what He has promised. He hears our prayers. Let’s be still and know He is God
(Psalm 46:10). Be blessed as we file this Scripture into our minds.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (NIV)

With this said, I have sent my folder to the shredder. I no longer need to hang onto the things of which I do not understand. I don’t have to revisit discouragement, and I don’t have to relive pain. Instead, I am going to chose to trust that whatever I endure, it has purpose. I might not like it, but that doesn’t change the fact that if it was allowed to touch me, God knows about it and He’s working behind the scenes to respond to my prayers in His way, His timing. This is so very freeing!

In Christ by grace,

Want to explore this in greater detail?

Be Still by Stephen Curtis Chapman

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