It’s a new day and oh, I have several new thoughts from our Father to ponder today here with ya’s, dear family of faith!!! I am doing ok today, so please don’t worry about me with this writing. I am writing this today because yesterday, I shared about how our attitude is key to running our road of purpose well. Today, I want to begin looking at a few issues that can make a difference in our outlook before we go on to the next comparison of a physical athlete running a race and a spiritual athlete running. To get started, I want to talk about this topic:
Disappointment and anger at God:
As we run along the “cross” road, we will encounter many different experiences. It is possible to have experiences that even trigger disappointment with or anger at God – our source of everything!!! YIKES!!! I have certainly experienced this in my own past life and there are several examples of God’s people who experienced this throughout the Bible. I don’t want to make light of pain, dear one, as I know it is very real from having experienced pain in life myself. However, I would like to share with you some insights that have helped me in this area of life.
As you read through John 11:1-44, it tells the story about two sisters, Mary and Martha who both loved the Lord and had spent a great deal of time with Him. They had a brother named Lazarus who grew very ill. They sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” The Scriptures go on to say that Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days. He said “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” When Jesus did arrive, Lazarus was dead and buried in a tomb. Through a miracle of God, Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead which indeed brought glory to the Son which was needed to build faith in God’s people. Jesus had told His disciples in verses 14-15 “Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” This story tells me that even though trials may be part of our lives, it sets a stage in which God’s glory can be revealed so that our faith is made stronger and our faith is made visible to others. If we never saw anything in life that led us to see our Father’s power and authority over the enemy, we could be overwhelmed by fear of the devil as he prowls this earth so I am thankful our Father desires to show us His glory over evil!!! Jesus has the power to combat our enemy and has forever thru His going to the cross to pay the penalty Himself for all the sins of the world that separate us from a holy perfect God apart from our faith in His sacrifice for us. It was the enemy that introduced sin into our lives in the Garden of Eden by convincing the first people that God was to be doubted. Satan is an angel who was kicked out of heaven because of his jealousy towards God. Satan desires that people reject God and choose to follow him in all that is contrary to God. YIKES!!! WATCH OUT!!! We are in a spiritual battle and for a time, people have free will to choose who they will spend eternity with. There is a time coming soon when those who follow Jesus will be removed from this earth to His heavenly paradise kingdom where there will be no more evil!!! YAY!!! WAY TO GO JESUS!!! WAY TO BRING THE VICTORY FOREVER FOR US OF FAITH!!! 🙂
This story of Lazarus has another point that has greatly ministered to me personally. When Jesus did finally arrive on the scene, Mary ran out to greet Him. When she reached the place where He was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” Jesus asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:32-36)
Did you know that Jesus weeps for His people, precious one? Not only does He weep for us, but He sympathizes with us and intercedes or prays for us. Now how concerned and sweet is He for us!!! Romans 8:34 says “Christ Jesus – who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.” Hebrews 4:15-16 states “For we do not have a high priest (meaning Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
When we have disappointment about God’s will in our lives, Jesus understands and we need to not let our disappointment keep us from going to Him in prayer for strength to do His will. Jesus experienced the same temptation when He was facing the cross!!! It says in Mark 14:35-36 that in Gethsemane, “Going a little further, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.” However, just as the passage in Hebrews 4:15-16 says, Jesus was without sin and hence, He submitted to the will of the Father. Look at how He closed His prayer –“Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Jesus was struggling with the earthly experience of carrying out God’s eternal plan. The same is true of our lives. We can get our eyes fixed on the earthly experience instead of looking at our situation as God sees it – through the eyes of eternity, forever victory and the good impact our divine efforts on earth can make!!!
There has been numerous times in my life when I have struggled with disappointment to the point my heart has been so grieved that I didn’t even know what to pray. It is at these times when the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, interceding or praying for us in accordance with God’s will with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26-27). During these times, I have been comforted by closing my eyes and imagining my loving Father putting His arms around me, holding my head to His chest, crying with me and praying for me. It strengthens me to know He is there with me and He understands my pain. His life on earth involved suffering too. This is important to remember!!! I, as have all people shared in Christ’s suffering brought about by the enemy into the world by his introducing sin into our lives in the Garden of Eden, but through Christ, we have victory and God’s authority over the enemy!!!
While for a time the devil still prowls the earth seeking to destroy what God wants to do on earth, there is a day coming when we will be forever free from all suffering the enemy seeks to inflict upon God’s people. As God’s people of faith in Jesus, we have God’s help now and we shall all be able to share in our inheritance of the glorious riches of His kingdom coming in full soon that we have thru His suffering on the cross for us. There is a day coming when heaven will be filled with people of faith and the devil no longer an issue!!! WOOOHOOO!!! OH GLORIOUS DAY!!! UNTIL THEN, JESUS’ PRESENCE IS HERE ON EARTH WITH US AND THE POWER OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT IS WITH US TO GIVE US FOREVER VICTORY!!! HOOORAAAHHH!!!
Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 says “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” God wants us to grow and mature to be more like Him, just like a parent wishes for their child. James 1:2 says that we should “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18.)” God has an eternal plan for us that we at this point do not fully understand. This is why God tells us in Proverbs 3:5 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Nobody can come close to having God’s knowledge and power. Job was a man who came to this realization in the midst of great disappointment after losing all that he had including his health, but through the eyes of faith and spiritual understanding, he could accept God’s plan for his life. Job gained wisdom through his trials. We gain wisdom from our trials as well and quite often God uses us to help others by our own experience.
Sometimes God uses people in my life that never say a word to me or do anything for me. Just seeing their godly example or hearing of their faith and perseverance in the midst of a trial encourages me and helps me to keep going even though the going may be quite difficult. I am thankful Jesus kept going as His perseverance paid off in victory forever!!! So will ours, precious family!!!
God’s ways are holy, righteous, perfect & just. (Hosea 14:9, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 77:13) Psalm 145:17 says “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made.” He loves us greatly!!! I am so thankful that God did not turn His back on mankind in anger when they disappointed Him in the Garden of Eden by giving in to Satan. I know my own personal sin is a disappointment to God as is everyones. Yet, I know that He still loves me, forgives me and through Jesus, He sees me as holy, without blemish and free from accusation. (Colossians 1:20-23) YAY!!! THAT IS TRUE FOR US ALL OF FAITH IN HIM!!! Have you ever pondered what would have happened if Jesus had not trusted in God’s will for His life? As difficult as it was for Jesus, the good derived from the eternal plan of His death for our sins far outweighs His earthly struggle. He now enjoys the many eternal blessings that are His because of His faithfulness to the Father and that includes having us as His family back to be His forever!!! Our lives on earth are a very tiny speck compared to the length of our eternal lives. In the trials that we experience, eternity needs to be our focus.
Struggles in life??? Like Jesus, we can take it to the Father and pray for strength to do God’s will in it, trusting that His plan is always working for the good for us as His family of faith!!!
In the midst of my trials, I aspire to have the same attitude as Paul in Philippians 4:11-13 where he said “I have learned the secret of being content in whatever the circumstance, in any and every situation.” “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” In the midst of our struggles, let us remember God loves us, He is with us, He weeps with us and He is praying for us. He has not given up on us of faith in Him. Oh let us not ever give up on Him who has always good plans for us!!! All the time He is good, He is good all the time!!! He only does good!!! Next topic – forgiveness!!! Yes, we are forgiven thru faith in Christ Jesus’ amazing love as this song says here!!! Let us give thanks!!! I am happy and smiling with you about our Father’s love and victory for us!!! In good hands, we are!!!