John 9: 1-3(NIV) As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
I shared that yes sometimes we do suffer because of our sinful choices, but sometimes God is asking us if we will allow others to see His power and care over us at work in our suffering and trials. Our unbelieving family, friends and neighbors are met with many of the same trials we face, and God desires to show them there is a better way with Him. When trials come our way will you and I allow the works of God to be displayed in us?
The story of the Israelites suffering in Egypt under the evil Pharaohs is a great illustration of how God showed Himself to the unbelieving world. He rescued them from the most powerful government in the world at that time! Imagine all the patience required of the Israelites and then in God’s perfect timing, He showed up and led them out of the land of hardship. If you are enduring a difficult trial, don’t give up, it always ends well for a child of God! However, just as with the Israelites, your trial may get worse before it gets better. Imagine the initial disappointment they must have felt when they were victoriously marching out of bondage and then wham; the Red Sea was in front of them, and the enemy was aggressively moving in behind them. Do you think you might be tempted to doubt God’s deliverance and move into panic mode? That is not only what the Israelites did, they also complained and whined. Moses encouraged them to stand firm in their trust of the Lord, and not only would they experience the Lord’s deliverance, but they would also get to see the Lord part the Red Sea on their behalf. The Lord also told Moses He was doing this so all of the unbelieving Egyptians would know beyond a doubt that He was the LORD.
I used to ask my kids, “You are either a winner or a whiner, what are you going to choose today”? The Lord can handle our whining as long as we take it to Him, but please don’t dishonor Him by whining incessantly to others because you are telling others you are not trusting Abba. Of course trying to figure out His will and seeking guidance from a trusted friend is a great idea as long as our motive is to seek His will and honor Him. As a believer, the victory has already been promised to you and me; but do we claim victory over our life’s circumstances? When we have a sea of problems in front of us and feel as though the enemy, bent on destroying us, is closing in from behind we are at a crossroads. As His child, I only have two choices; I will either choose my worrisome, fearful ways or I will grab Jesus by the hand and tell Him I trust Him and move down His path.
The Lord is always pleased with His children when they choose to stand up for Him despite difficult circumstances. The devil’s band of cohorts will whisper in your ear, Abba Father has forgotten you; you’re not His beloved baby girl or precious son after all. Look at the evidence against Him, your debts, your straying children, your loveless marriage, your lack of happiness, your doubts and fears, and on and on the lies will go. If Abba loved you, would He allow these trials in your life? I can tell my friend this trial did not slip by Him. He has good purposes for it, but we must trust Him. May you and I have the grace and strength Job had and say, even though I may die, yet I will hope in Him!
Do you believe Lamentations 3:22-25: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him.
How do we believe Him? Inch by inch, we say I trust You Abba in Jesus Name. We have to protect our tender spirit while walking through a trial; listen to praise music, memorize passages like Lamentations 3:22-25. Take extra time in the Psalms and wherever the Lord leads you in His Word.
By the way, after our Moms in Touch luncheon a dear sister shared with me in tears that she believed her daughter born with Downs Syndrome was somehow a punishment from God, but He told her that day her precious life was intended to bring Him glory. The amazing thing about our Graceful, Loving Abba is that whatever the reason for our suffering when we invite Him to take over, He promises to work it all out for our good. Will you let Him?
The Great Restorer
Psalm 27:13 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
Psalm 40:3 (ESV)
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Joel 2:25a (ESV)
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
Has your recent path been steep and difficult? Are you weary and a bit bruised and beaten up? Do you wonder what happened? Do you think to yourself, “It was not supposed to end up like this”? Jesus understands. He asked the Father to take His cup of suffering; but chose to trust God’s perfect will (Mark 14:36). Jesus submitted to our Father’s will and His suffering was great; but the salvation of mankind resulted.
Though your own path may be difficult and you may see suffering along the way, you can sing a new song—a song of joy and thanksgiving—because you are delivered and set free in Christ. Others will be astounded by the joy they see in your transformed life—a life that has peace and hope despite difficulties. You can sing a song of rejoicing in even the worst circumstances because you know all things in this “land of the living” are temporary and God is working everything out for good.
Our God is the Great Restorer. He longs to restore to you all that life’s difficulties and hardships have taken. He desires to give you a new song to sing! Will you pray, “I trust You, Abba Father, for a new day to dawn in my life”?