These four words are so easy to say, but truthfully, they are so hard to live out.
Crap happens—wars, hurricanes, rape, abortion, tornadoes, homeless.
This last week has been a challenge for me, because my brother is in a cruddy situation. But yesterday, he received a blessing. The situation is still crappy and any prayers will be greatly appreciated, but it’s getting better.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
This life is a mess.
Bad things happen because of sin. Sin hurts everyone.
“Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
God does NOT create sin, but allows the consequences of it. God created everything and “it was good.” Man brought sin into the world by disobeying God and eating the fruit.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
God does not call us to live comfortable lives:
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the other prophets were: ignored, mocked, alienated.
Peter, Paul, and the other apostles were: imprisoned, stoned, beaten, killed.
Jesus—was: ignored, mocked, alienated, imprisoned, beaten, whipped, crucified.
“You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all”
God does not call us to live comfortable lives.
This world is not our home.
But He will take care of us.
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a snake; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13
We are impatient people. We want answers NOW!
vs. God is patient—His timing is not our own.
God’s kingdom is an upside down kingdom.
His definition of success, a “good life,” purpose, is not manly, but holy.
“Lord, I need You, oh I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You”
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . .
‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34
God is greater than us; therefore, how can we possibly hope to completely comprehend/understand Him?
“Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid, for the LORD goes with you each and every day.”
We can’t fully understand God. We will be confused, we will question, we will doubt.
. . . But . . .
God is good.
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
God is the Creator.
God created the universe.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:1-7
God created you.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . . Jeremiah 1:5
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
God has a plan for you.
“Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say”
We may not understand, but we need to trust Him.
In God we trust.
“You give and take away
You give and take away
But my heart will choose to say,
Lord blessed be Your name,”