“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Ouch….again. I’ve been convicted this weekend about my attitude and being frustrated with the parts of my story that I don’t understand. I’ve doubted the way things have played out over the past year and a half, and I’ve even said “I hate” the way certain things have gone.
Oh God, please forgive me for doubting You and being unstable….and for being so easily tossed about by the wind of the opinions of others and my circumstances….
This could speak to so many areas, but in this entry, I am referring to something very specific that I have been wrestling with. You see, there is a piece of my story that required legal action. While it was necessary at the time, and I waited until the 11th hour when I literally had no other choice, it is still not the way I would have chosen, and it leaves me feeling grieved, misunderstood, and frankly alone.
As I look back on the details of how things played out, the truth is that after I genuinely repented of my sin and my part, I gave it all to God and prayed for His covering and guidance every step of the way. While the effects of sin are always death and destruction and the consequences are real, I also believe there is always a bigger picture and a redemptive plan in the making with God. He sees the end from the beginning and is always at work behind the scenes. His perspective is limitless and ours is so finite….and most often self-centered.
By doubting His sovereignty….I have basically said by my words and actions that the way He chose to work things out…was WRONG. In my searching and wrestling, I’ve acted as if I know better than God and as if I don’t trust Him.
The results of the legal action brought some financial provision for me that I literally could not have survived without…as my 10-year marriage and family were falling apart, I was abandoned and left with nothing but a two-year old and a newborn to care for.
I’ve had to completely start from scratch, but I know that God has and will continue to provide as He has promised in His Word. (Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply ALL your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.)
So…it looks like we’re back to trusting God in and for the crooked places. And having FAITH in Him when we can’t see or don’t understand…since that’s the very definition of faith. (Now faith is the very substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1).
We must choose to forgive those who pass judgment on what they don’t understand….because if we don’t, we will end up bitter, resentful, and angry. And I really don’t want that. I want more faith to trust God for what I don’t understand….and to trust Him when things don’t make sense or when they don’t go according to MY plan or what I think is best.
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is probably the best devotional I’ve come across. The entries are short yet powerful and always timely no matter how many times I read them. NOT coincidentally, today’s devotion goes along with what I have shared, so I will close with it!
April 8 – I Am With You and For You
“I am with you and for you, your constant Companion and Provider. The question is whether you are with Me and for Me. Though I never leave you, you can essentially “leave” Me by acting as if I am not with you. When you feel distance in our relationship, you know where the problem lies. My Love for you is constant; I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is you who change like shifting sand, letting circumstances toss you this way and that.
When you feel far from Me, whisper My Name. This simple act, done in childlike faith, opens your heart to My Presence. Speak to Me in love-tones; prepare to receive My Love, which flows eternally from the cross. I am delighted when you open yourself to My loving Presence.
Genesis 28:15 – “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Romans 8:31 – If God is for us, who can be against us?
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.