Friday, July 19, 2019

It’s Not Personal – But It Is

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.  James 1:2-4, NIV,

When bad things happen to us and times are hard, it can be very difficult to not to feel like God doesn’t care about us.   He has the power to stop anything and to fix anything.  So why does He let things happen to us if He has the power to keep it from happening and the power to fix everything? And sometimes, many things happen at once – when it rains, it pours.  It seems unfair, like we are being attacked intentionally but this is not the truth.   
Every one of us will go through trials because they are a part of life.  Trials are not something that God inflicts on us on purpose because He is mad at us or doesn’t care about us.  He does allowtrials in our lives for a reason.  Every single trail we endure serves a purpose.  We can either sit down and cry about it, stew in anger, or buckle up for the ride, seeking God’s purpose in this season.  
It is strictly God’s power in us that sees us through the hard times.  We look around us and see the mess but He sees the purpose and the future.  His plans go way beyond what we can see.  We see all the broken pieces, but He sees immeasurably more.  His work in us during trials can be used to bring healing and hope to someone else in the same kind of trial.  
Pain always feels personal.  Trials can break us down if we let them.  How we handle what we are feeling will make the difference. It’s hard to keep trusting Him when we are discouraged, and it is hard to accept that His timing is better than ours because we want our timing and our plans to work out our way!  He knows the future and we don’t.  He knows what is best for us and He loves us.  He doesn’t desire to make us suffer but He does desire to strengthen our faith which comes through trials. Saying we have faith in God is very different than having to cling to Him and trust Him in a dark time.  If we look to God and trust Him, and if we are open to His perfect will, He will transform us and mold us into who He created us to be through our trials.  He will always be faithful.  We can make the choice to trust him.  We can trust because we know He is sovereign.  We can trust because He is faithful, and trustworthy. We can trust because He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  
The trials we endure are not a personal attack on us but God does make them personal to us by using them for good in our lives. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen  Ephesians 3:20-21

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