“Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness.” Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest-June 25)
Through trials and sorrow I can either find myself and grow in my relationship with God or I can become lost, and bitter and turn my back on God.
It is in difficult moments that I must make a conscious choice of who God is and who I want to be. Will I love and serve God even when my way is difficult? It is up to me to decide if I will grasp the truth of Ecclesiastes 7:14. “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other…”
We can not find ourselves in the midst of prosperity. In good times pride swells, but a humble man seeks God when life’s difficulties come upon Him. James speaks of drawing near to God and in return He will draw near to you. (4:8)
As you face adversities, do not forget that God is still in control. Cling to Him, humble yourself and learn all that you can. Don’t allow frustration and discouragement to draw you away from God, but instead look at them as unique opportunities to strengthen your relationship with Him.
I’ve been talking with the Lord lately about where we are now in life. About some of my likes and dislikes. And when I begin to complain about some portion that is not exactly what I would prefer, God gently reminds me that “it’s not about me”.
Serving God is NOT about me, nor should it be. Serving God is about Him. What does He like, what does He want from me, what are His standards for my life. In our increasingly narcissistic society we tend to think that everything should make us feel good. We complain when life is boring or not fun and refuse to participate in anything that we don’t find personally enjoyable. We have come far from seeking the common good and doing things because it is the “right thing” to do. And we don’t want anyone to step on our toes by pointing out some ungodly trait we possess or suggest that our thoughts and actions don’t line up with scripture.
Recently I came across this blog from Oklahoma Wesleyan President Dr. Everett Piper in my archives. He wrote this in response to a university student who was offended in chapel when the message from 1 Corinthians 13 “stepped on his toes”. The blog quickly went viral, which gives me hope that there are still some in our society who understand that it is NOT about us. I have included a link below to Dr. Piper’s blog.
“God I trust You. And I know you want my best. But I know that Your best is not easy and most often it is painful…that frightens me.”
A friend posted this quote on Facebook. Im so glad he did, because I have been trying for a while now to put this sentiment into words.
Have you ever been frightened by the path down which God leads you?
It is natural to desire the path of lease resistance, the easy way which will cause you little effort to endure. It is not so natural however to deliberately choose to practice discomfort.
By actively choosing to put yourself in difficult circumstances, you are helping to prepare yourself for those times which you will inevitably experience.
God knows that what is best for us is not necessarily the things which come easily. The best things in our lives are those for which we have had to work, strive and sacrifice.
The next time you are faced with an uncomfortable situation remember that God is molding and preparing you for your future. He is always working things for your good and is not thwarted by your complaints. He loves you too much to allow you to always take the easy road.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4