Saturday, August 23, 2008
Consider it Joy
Consider it PURE joy my brothers, when ever you face trials of many kinds... James 1:2I love how God works! Not the "trials of many kinds" part so much, but how He sends His word and His truth as a sweet aroma to his children's lives, like throwing them a life preserver. He has sure been putting me through a growth time the past year, but continues to throw life preservers. Hebrew 12:1-11 summed it up for me during my time with God this morning.
Throughout the past week He has gently been revealing what I have been ignoring. It is not God punishing my sins, it is his disciplining for my growth in righteousness, for his glory and my joy. It is easier to say God is not fair to treat us this way, than to admit that we have sinned/are sinning in our lifestyle and choices and that He is in His fatherly position to correct that in whatever way He sees fit. Our lives are the conclusions of our choices, with eternal consequences.
Jon Bloom, of Desiring God Ministries, wrote in his August newsletter:"It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons," he (Paul) said. In other words, he did not want these saints to interpret their painful experiences as God's angry punishment for their sins. That angry punishment was completely spent on Jesus- once for all- on the cross. Instead, this was the message they were to understand from their hardships: God loves you! (Yes, you!) He has fatherly affection for you. He cares deeply for you. He is taking great pains so that you will share his holiness (Heb 12:10) because he wants you to be as happy as possible and enjoy the peaceful fruit of righteousness (12:11).
Throughout my trials and discipline I tend to throw it back at God. Why did you do this? Why do I deserve this? It turns into a smoke screen to not see what I am doing. How I have failed to live out the fruits of the spirit. His purpose in discipline is for our own good. He presses on until we finally break. Our struggle should be with sin, not with Him. He has brought some eye opening revelations the past couple of days, simple things like love, respect, submit. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But things none-the-less I have been refusing Him in my life in different areas, with different people He has called me to. I humbly repent. His grace is sufficient. It's all for His Glory.