Romans 8:28 (NKJ): And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
These few words have gotten me through many tough times. Some days, these words are the only thing that kept me going. Why? Because my experience has shown it to be true.
However, there are times when I don’t want to accept it, and I want to be mad at God for letting bad things happens. In that way, I am much like a sullen teenager.
It all comes back again to choice. We can choose to believe God’s words or we can choose to not believe. Let me just say from experience that it is much easier to believe on the forefront of my problems.
I save myself a lot of unnecessary heartache and consequences if I simply take God at His word first.
Often times, the words “to those who love God” are overlooked. But, personally, I think those words are very important. Why? Because those who love God, I mean really love God, are willing to put their trust in God’s Word. They are willing to hold on to hope despite the circumstances around them. Trust me, this week, I tried to give up. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not easy. Satan is real and is truly out to bring us down. Sometimes I want to simply go back to being a pew sitter where Satan left me alone. But I can’t. Why? Because my love for God will not let me.
My oldest daughter is leaving for college in a week. Yesterday, for the first time, I shared with her the story of my youth, the real story-the hard experiences of my life. I wanted her to see that my life has been anything but easy, but God used those experiences to bring about some very good things for me, namely her.
After I shared my story, she asked me, “If you could go back and do it all again what would you change?
This got me thinking. I mean really thinking.
If I could go back and edit my life what parts would I keep and what parts would I erase?
Would I erase my father’s abandonment?
Would I erase the years of being a bully and being bullied?
Would I make myself skinner?
Would I avoid the certain relationships that caused me great heartache?
Would I be a better teenager and save my mother from years of fear and hopelessness?
Would I erase my teenage pregnancy?
The obvious answers here would be, “YES!!!” But would those be the right answers?
What if, just maybe, all those heartaches, disappoints, and setbacks are the very things God used to bring me to this point. What if those very things are the hard circumstances God used to grow me?
Do we really think a nice, easy-free life is going to make us happy?
I’m serious. Think about it. If I erased every painful moment of my life, would I incidentally erase the circumstance that God used to wake me up to the importance of obedience? Would I erase the circumstance God used to strengthen my marriage? Would I also erase the good brought from a bad choice, for instance my oldest daughter? Would I erase the circumstances that brought me to salvation?
I know it sounds crazy, but I believe God uses trials, storms, and consequences to grow us a lot more than He uses sermons, Sunday School teachers, small groups, or books.
Proverbs 20:30 (NIV): Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.
Sometimes it takes cancer (in ourselves or a loved one) to wake us up to our immortality and the importance of where we spend eternity.
Sometimes it takes the loss of a job to wake us up to our utter dependence on God.
Sometimes it takes tremendous heartbreak to lead us to Jesus.
It all comes back to belief. Do we truly believe God? Not, do we believe in the existence of God, but do we truly believe God? If the answer is, “Yes,” act like it.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,