God always does things intentionally. Every lightening bolt He throws is intentional! Every natural disaster or created beauty is intentional! Every flower, insect, and speck of dust is intentional. God is an active participant in His world and in our lives. He is an active participant in our trials and sorrows too.
This is what makes it so difficult. We know God has the power to change things and He doesn’t always do it. Sometimes, His answer is wait, and sometimes it is no. We rarely like either of those answers.
Knowing there are lessons to be learned is not always welcome either. At times we just desire for it to cease and desist. We want the pain to go away, we want ease and happiness. I just did not care that God was preparing me for another season of maturing in Christ.
In looking back on that time of life, I have a glimpse of what He wanted to teach me. I wish I could tell you I had some spectacular revelation of some great new theological insight, but I can’t. God is faithful, dear ones…He is faithful to present us with the same lessons over and over again until we learn them well.
One lesson I learned as I already told you is that God keeps us. Jude 24 tells us that God will make us stand in the presence of His glory blameless and that He is able to keep us from stumbling. I experienced the realization of being kept by God that October night long ago.
Another lesson I learned is that these trials that we hate so deeply are intentional. Their purpose is to prove to us that our faith is genuine and to increase our faith to the point where we will not question the purpose of God’s activity in our lives.
I have learned that the subject of James 1 is FAITH and its perfection as we ride the waves of trials. It seems to me that coming to a perfect faith is going to be a life long adventure! We tend to think of the subject of James 1 as trials, but the subject is faith. Faith that produces endurance, faith that produces in us trust in God and His sovereignty, faith that hangs on even when we just want to quit.
As that particular trial unfolded I still struggled off and on over the following months. What changed was that I had an unshakable confidence that even as I struggled and wrestled with my circumstances and God’s part in them I knew He was keeping me close to Him. I knew He was not disgusted with me and ready to turn me loose. I knew He continued to love me with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3) and continued to draw me to Himself.
What I experienced, even through my sinful tantrum was proof that I still HAVE faith, something that on a cold October night in my kitchen I was not so sure of anymore…
What counsel would I give you, if you were in my shoes? Well…I would tell you that while God understands your grief and anger at it all, He does not condone your sin. Be careful…God is a holy God and we are to live every moment in light of who we are in Christ (even when we don’t feel like it). Take the long view…God sees and knows things you don’t. He can see how this all ends and you should rest in that reality. Be wise…endeavor to see this from God’s perspective. Most importantly…be thankful. From my position, being thankful was the hardest of all. My heart and flesh wanted to complain (constantly) and I had to practice thankfulness, even when I didn’t feel like it, or want to.
Being God’s “Kept Woman” is a blessing…One I would not relinquish for all the ease or happiness in the world.
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