Inspirational Thought of the Day:
We are often unaware of all the good God is accomplishing while we are surrounded by troubles.
Scripture of the Day:
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
“You are good, and do good”
In a barren wasteland covered in snow, we don’t often think there is life underneath. All seems lifeless, suffocated by the layers of ice and snow. But when the “Son” rises and shines on all of creation, everything underneath the surface is exposed and brought to life.
I don’t know where the errant theology slipped in that everything should be perfect in my life, but it did, almost unnoticed. I felt like I was owed a comfortable life because I was one of the King’s daughters who ordered my life in a way to please God. Yep, if I am honest I really thought that. Subconsciously perhaps, but the expectations of my heart came to the surface.
It feels like a slap in the face when circumstances reach a painful climax that leaves us stunned and disillusioned. It was not what we were expecting.
Suddenly in a landscape we did not anticipate, we are lost. We manage to remember the faith we profess, but our deceitful hearts silently question why and sometimes start to cover over hurt that we don’t dare expose.
In this crippled state, we feel engulfed by our emotions and the world feels blurry. Basic functioning is hard. But in the bittersweet place of brokenness there is a seed of hope that looks to our Creator. We want to believe Him, but we are afraid to have our “hopes” let down.
Confusion sets in as we try to understand what being “good” means when we consider the character of God. We live in a world that lives by the mantra, “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours”. “You be nice to me”, and vice versa. So when things happen that don’t feel “nice”, we cry “unfair”. But let’s consider what might be going on underneath the surface . . .
This God who allowed his people to be enslaved for 400 years also parted the sea and defeated their enemies. The slavery they bemoaned saved their lives from the famine in their own homeland. I am sure there were times where God’s people saw this, but the burdens they bore distracted them and made them forget.
This same God who gave His people over to Babylon also restored them. He destroyed all living creatures on the face of the earth, but kept a remnant alive on the ark of every beast of the earth along with Noah and his crew.
So often we have no idea all that God is doing behind the scenes. He is not surprised by our dilemma. He knew about it already and He wants to carry it for us. And maybe what we despise He actually has a divine purpose for allowing it in and it will ultimately bless us.
I don’t know why Job had to suffer so much. I don’t really get why satan was allowed to ask God to destroy poor Job. That’s because so often we tend to think from our flesh. It does not make sense that any suffering at all could be defined as “good”. Flesh cannot fully understand the ways of a Holy God.
Flipping our perspectives upside down, the Holy Spirit reveals what we really deserve and we accept the plan our Creator has for us. We belong to Him and He will heal all our pain and redeem it for His glory and our good.
The theme of discipline and redemption occurs many times in Scripture, and the discipline is not necessarily a lack of kindness. In His faithfulness, He disciplines those He loves. All hardship is to be endured as discipline by a loving Father. Discipline is a tough word. None of us like it if it is punitive.
We are often unaware of all the good God is accomplishing while we are surrounded by troubles. We wonder why we have to go through it all in the first place.
We do not have to be hypocritical and fake and pronounce when evil occurs in our lives that it is good. Of course it does not feel good. But in the Master’s hands, what was meant for evil will be turned into good. That is just Who He is.
Have we lost someone we cared about? Have we suffered a horrific trial in our lives? In every pain, there is One Who identifies with us and chose to walk that path first. It will not be wasted.
Like Job, who said, “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him”, may God help us to trust God at all times. A goal for a perfect life void of pain is a shallow goal focused on self. But when we consider that we were made for His pleasure, we find our greatest peace in surrendering to His plan even when it includes pain.
We hold firmly to God’s hope because of the character behind His promise. He cannot be unfaithful. It is impossible for Him to do so.
Lord, You are good all the time. Thank You for being our everpresent help in time of trouble.
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