September 10, 2018
- By Ed Powell
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"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13
Have you ever asked God "why" when you encountered some very difficult situation? I have. We ask God "Why?" as if we think HE does not care or is unaware of what we are facing. We seem to forget the irrevocable covenant God has made to every believer: "I will not leave you or forsake you." Should I question His sovereign purpose?
Everyone faces the inequities of life--consequences, people, family, friends, and circumstances that we cannot find answers to. Job was perplexed as Satan attacked his body and stripped him of EVERYTHING...EXCEPT his faith in an Almighty God. Finally, God removed the scales from his eyes and Job cries out to God..."I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear...BUT NOW MINE EYE SEETH THEE" (Job 42:5).
God revealed, in a measure, His greatness and majesty. Job saw himself in the penetrating light of God and recognized the sovereignty of God through it all. "Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6). When we, like Job, cannot understand or reconcile the circumstances we are going through, we must submit to the sovereignty of God.
He often allows things in our lives for His divine purpose. We should not question God, or debate the validity of HIS plan and purpose. It is for us to DARE TO TRUST His constant care, His unfailing concern, His loving compassion, and His unerring faithfulness. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Paul, after his conversion, was attacked on every side: "In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. Three times I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I was shipwrecked..." and numerous other perils (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). Paul could have said..."Look at all of this. I tried to proclaim the Gospel, be faithful, live circumspectly before all, prayed, labored, sacrificed..."WHY LORD, IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?" But there was not a word of self-pity, complaining, or concern about himself. He knew his times were in the hand of God...regardless of the encounter!
"WHY?" Should that word ever be on our lips if we are fully trusting HIM? When we cannot "see His hand" nor understand the adversity that we face...we can "trust His heart!" When there is no way out but up...God is ready to put His loving arms beneath us and be our sufficiency.
But He will not impose Himself on us. He wants us to place "unwavering faith" in Him. Solomon said, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
"My child, I have a purpose in all that I allow, I ask thee then to trust Me, though all seems dark just now. There is no other pathway if thou wouldst really be conformed unto the image of Him who died for thee. Then shrink not from the training I needs must give to thee, I know just how to make thee what I would have thee be" (author unknown).
To us is given the responsibility of OBEDIENCE...the results are HIS responsibility.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2018-09-10
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