"Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner."
-- 1 Peter 4:12-13 (The Message)
So blessed by these two
Being raised in the church my entire life and coming to know Christ at an early age, I think I always assumed that life as a Christian should be a cakewalk. And the second that things go awry, I find myself wondering where God is. Through recent months -- all without coincidence -- I've been sunk into an in-depth small group study of the book "Radical" by David Platt. Also in recent months, I completed a Wednesday night Ladies Bible Study by James MacDonald, "When Life Gets Hard." In addition, I have watched several dear friends face heart-wrenching health issues with their children. Through this series of events, I've realized that as Christians we're called to endure suffering just as Christ did on His journey to the cross. Luke 9:23 urges us to daily "take up your cross and follow Me."
I so easily get caught up in my own little pity party, poor me, poor me and it's so very pitiful. Though we are called to suffer just as Christ suffered, enter in His unfailing and unshakeable compassion and mercy and strength. That's the ticket for big-time endurance. As the scripture above (1 Peter 4:13) clearly points out, trials are put in our lives -- not by coincidence (because nothing is coindental with God) -- but for a very particular purpose: To refine us and make us more and more like Christ.
Back to my own pity-party sob story... When I look at the "trials" happening in my little life compared with an overall world view, what I thought were a big deal are so very, very small. All of a sudden, I am washed with the realization of God's overwhelming blessing and provision in my life. Such that I could never thank Him enough. But, the story doesn't end there. How great a God that even He cares about my pitiful problems and is in complete control of every situation come what may.
Morning by morning, new mercies I see...