When I started this blog for News Worthy Network, I hit it hard, putting out some of the dirt of my past, my pain, so you can know how mistaken we sometimes are of our perception of other people, who we think, could never understand what we are going through because they have it all together. Now I'd like to jump to the present.
Yes, I married someone I really didn't love. I found out you can learn to love people for their kindness to you. As you work and live together, love can be found. When you honor the commitment of the marriage vows, God helps you through the times when you fall out of love, until you fall in love again. You never consider leaving when things aren't going the way you think they should because you have someone who cares, someone collecting your tears and comforting you no matter what the situation. That someone is Jesus and he has been there for me during 50 years of marriage.
People fail me, People fail you. I've always liked the fact of knowing when I am upset, yelling, kicking and screaming, God is waiting nearby until I finish venting and then he quietly asks in my heart, “Are you done now?” Softly he reminds me of how much he cares. He made a contract with me to never leave me nor forsake me. And one by one he brings scripture to me, reminding me of how much he loves me and who I am in him.
It's easy to think that you are nothing more than a wife, mother, old person, young person, handicapped, or whatever tag people give you, but when Jesus tells you who you are to him, tears flow, comfort comes and strength for your inner woman is provided. You see, life will never be fair, easy or the way we may want it to be, but with Christ, much of that cancels out and doesn't seem to be as big a deal as at first. Learn to celebrate the good times and depend on the Lord to guide you through the bad.
It's easy to pick and choose snippets of Bible verses to fit our particular need at the moment. We often take things out of context - not looking what comes before or after a verse to understand what has been said. A famous misquoted Bible verse for people going through hard times is 1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV. God never said he wouldn't give us more than we can stand. What he did say:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
So the first thing we have to grasp is... there will be temptation – for everyone, no exceptions. The second is...he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. This part is up to us.
I'm curious when people seemingly don't have any commotion in their lives or in the lives of those around them. Only two things are possible... they have learned to fully rely on God or they aren't following the Lord at all.
Let me put a commercial break in here. Falling apart in front of other people, asking what they think via phone or social media while we are dealing with whatever test has come our way, is not necessary. Faith only grows as we allow God, his word, to speak to us. So if you have a lot of “drama” in your life, good, God's got something to work with. I base this on several portions of scripture, but one set in particular.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4, KJV.
Yep! Get happy. If things aren't happening the way you want them to, he is growing your faith. Can't he just bestow unwavering faith upon us? No. It would not teach us that what God speaks is absolute truth.
I raise an eyebrow when folks (pastors too!) say they have no patience. Does that mean they do not allow the Lord to stretch their faith because they don't want any trials? This is what comes of an instant gratification society where we are told we don't have to wait for anything; whatever you want, you got it. Wait a minute, I think Roy Orbison is hiding somewhere.
Some bits and pieces that I find useful are: our labor is not in vain; be strong in the Lord; when I'm weak then I am strong; I can do all this through him; stand firm thus in the Lord; wait for the Lord. Oh gee, there it is, the word wait.
Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the armor of God and when we have done all we can do that we are to stand. That implies, do not sit down, do not cower, do not return to your unbelief, do not try to pass it off, do not quit. Wait for it! Stand.
God does not hide what life has to give us or what we need to do about it. You will never see the Lord working in your life until you allow him to give you what you do not have by whatever means works best for you. Although we would prefer a vibrant faith to be obtained in some other form, it cannot grow without trials and temptations.
What are you going through? How is God building your trust in Him? Do you believe he will help you?