Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Most of us have asked “Why”? Why do the pressures of life come so vehemently, and so persistently? If you’ve not heard that thought rattling around in your head, you’ve led a sheltered existence!
Troubles and testing are common to humans. My bride reminded me yesterday that “it’s hard not to be human”. She’s right, and yet, God’s Word enjoins us over and over again to be filled with faith. Is faith necessary just to get through the testing and trials, or is there something bigger in question? I think the answer is “yes” to both. Faith is part of getting through our trials, and it is more than that; faith is a gift we receive from our troubles. Remember what the apostle James wrote:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2 - 3 (NLT)
One of my mentors in seminary was Dr. Jerry Breazeale. He defined faith as confidence in the ultimate vindication of God’s purpose and righteousness. In other words, whatever’s happening right now is not the end of the game – ultimately God will put things right! But Dr. Breazeale went on to say that “faith is not really faith until it’s been questioned at least once.” (I think he may have paraphrased that from his friend, Dr. Vance Havner, who I heard say “Christians are a little like tea bags; not much use until they’ve been in hot water for a while.”)
Just making it through seminary was a trial; even with the likes of Vance Havner and Jerry Breazeale at your side and rooting for you. I wanted to quit sometimes (particularly when tests were scheduled).
And we find ourselves asking “why”? What’s the purpose, the point of all this struggle and testing?
And then someone, unsolicited – comes up to you and thanks you for the advice.
And you can’t even remember what the conversation was about…but it meant something to them.
And you realize the trial was not about you; the trouble and its purpose were bigger than either of you. Somehow what you were going through was part of a grand scheme that God was orchestrating.
And you still can’t figure it all out.
And now it doesn’t matter, because you realize your faith in God’s way has increased, and He will sift through all your “whys” and other foolish worries, and in the end it will be just fine.
The “ANDS” were all connected….AND they form a grand pattern of His care for you.
And…isn’t that what you were asking for when you placed your life and future in God’s hands?