Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 25

Day 25 - Transformed By Trouble

It is interesting how in some chapters there are only a handful of parts that capture my attention - parts, which deserve to be highlighted.  As I was reading through this chapter I found myself highlighting continually. This chapter really touched me!

God never promised that our lives would be without troubles, but what He does promise is that He will be with us through the troubles - and that they are all a part of His plan for our lives. For it is through our circumstances that our character is built. In fact God relies on our circumstances to develop us to be Christlike more than our just reading scripture. 

The Bible says: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit."  It is through our most darkest days when we pray from our heart and not from script. When our prayers are most sincere, when we reach out to the Lord. It is through circumstance that makes our relationship with God stronger. 

Pastor Rick teaches us that "because God is sovereignly in control, accidents are incidents in God's plan for you. Because every day of your life was written on God's calendar before you were born."

Paul said: "We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character."  We must remember that everything we go through here on earth is a part of God's plan for us and every thing we go through during our time here is temporary, but the character that is built as a result of the things we go through will last forever!

We must however, remember to keep Jesus in our minds at all times - and consider how Jesus would respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in.  We must not allow ourselves to become bitter by the world. We must not allow ourselves to become hardened. Rather, we must allow the troubles in our lives to make us stronger, smarter, more loving, forgiving, better - Christlike.

The difficult part perhaps is in remembering to rejoice and give thanks for the lessons we are given by God. The Bible says: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  Pastor Rick points out that God asks us to give thanks "in all circumstance" not "for all circumstances"  many things in life are evil, sinful trespasses against us and God does not expect that we are thankful for these acts of suffering, but He does expect that we remember He has a plan for us and that every thing we go through in life is a part of His plan to build us up spiritually. Everything we go through is used by God to develop us. To enable us to grow.

It is difficult to keep your chin up when you are suffering ... when you are hurt ... when life hands you a raw deal ... we are often tempted to ask God "Why Me??"  - haven't we all done this?  Today's lesson teaches us that what we need to ask is "What do You want me to learn God?" remembering that there is a lesson, a purpose, His purpose, in every circumstance and situation that crosses our path.  This can be difficult to remember when hard times do not seem to make sense, especially since God does not light up our whole path - we cannot see what is coming twenty years down the road. And that is probably best, as we are stronger today than we were twenty years ago - and surely will be stronger twenty years from now .... better equipped spiritually to cross what ever bridges are down that road.  God does however, illuminate the next step for us, and once we get past it - the following step is illuminated ... and so on.  All we need to worry about is what is in front of us now, and when you find yourself going through hell .... keep going!

And when you come out the other side, remember to give thanks to God for bringing you through! 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28