In the previous ‘Lone Survivor’ article, I established that life presents opportunities that are, let’s just say, less than optimal; in fact, they can downright stink. However, our trials and afflictions are tremendous opportunities to show God’s faithfulness in our own lives to others, the world, the lost, etc. It not only shows us where our trust is, it shows others what we put our trust in … in God or in man’s ways. We have two (and only two) ways in which we can choose to respond in times of trial:
- We will allow God to show His faithfulness despite our circumstances, a witness and testimony to the world and ourselves. Or,
- We will do as the children of Israel and complain and murmur and the world will interpret it as complaining about or against God.
What is in our hearts; whom do we really place our trust? Do our words, does our life show a steadfastness about our faith or a vacillating tendency to waver? Trials are a wonderful time to evaluate our reliance. Will we be like the Israelites and wish we could go back and do as their heathen captors do or will we lay our lives down and truly trust God? How big is the God of the universe? How much do we really trust and yield to Him? Do we trust him only in the good times, only in the affluent times, only when our spouse is showing us favor or do we trust Him in the hard times, the destitute and desperate times, in the times when we lose our best friend?
The awesomeness about the God I love is, despite the times I’ve waivered in my faith, He loves me. Even when I’ve given my affections and trust to another (work, religion, my family, my hobbies, even church), or complained about the way my life has taken a turn for the worse … my God loves me, accepts me, forgives me just the way I am, regardless of what took my eyes off of Him. He loves me so SO much, that in spite of my humanity and self-centered ways, we opens his arms and welcomes me home. He loves me too much to say “you’re not welcome,” and yet so much to take us where we are and make us into the best we can be.
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Author and Finisher of our faith! Without Him, we are nothing. Without Him, we have no hope of faith or salvation during our trials here on Earth or salvation from our sin. His working in us, affords us the ability, the grace, to withstand our trials and complete, or ‘finish‘ the race marked out for us. When we are growing weary, it is important to remember where our strength resides and steadfastly look to Christ for our help. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Look to God and when the hard times come, trust in Him. As odd as it may sound, it really is true. When we keep our focus on God, all the cares of this world dim in comparison to the wonders of a life with God. God will keep those who trust in Him, those who are resolute on Him in perfect peace! Some of the verses I’ve referenced in this article are: Ps 73:25&26, Colossians 1:24-29, Philippians 3:7-9, Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 26:3.
Though we are all challenged with life-issues, we have a choice how we will handle them. Marcus Luttrell (played by Mark Wahlberg) said at the end of the movie, “No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets or no matter how far you fall, you are never out of the fight.” So tell me, what do you fight, that makes you want to quit?
Until later . . . Jonathan Watson
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