Seeing God's hand in the trial, and trusting Him that He allowed it in your life—doesn't mean that we like the trial. We can still choose by faith to put our trust in God right in the middle of it. There is something in it we can learn and even be thankful for as we are going through it.
Corrie Ten Boom, that great saint who hid Jews in her home during World War II, detested the fleas that had infested her barracks when she was in a concentration camp after she was caught harboring Jews (her story is told in The Hiding Place, book and movie). The fleas were driving them mad. She learned to thank God in spite of the fleas. Soon, she discovered the cruel guards would not come into their barracks because of the fleas!
In Romans 8:28, God tells us he works all things for our good. I don't think that means everything is good but that He will work it for our ultimate good. We can thank Him that He is working everything out in our lives—even people who trouble or annoy us, as I said in the clip—for our patience and good. His will is always the will of love, and Romans 8:29 tells us God's purpose is to conform believers to the image of Christ.
God's will for us is to be joyful. This joy does not arise from our circumstances, but from the blessings of knowing Christ. He wants us to pray, to be thankful, and to be joyous. This is not given as good advice in the Bible—but a command! It is His will for us! (based on trusting the God who desires nothing but good for us as we just read in Romans 8:28)
My own daughter Mary provided a great example of this to me just last week as I was helping her with school work. Out of the blue, here's how our conversation went—as Mary spoke first:
"I'm so lucky."
"What made you say that?" I asked.
"I'm just sooo lucky that I was born blind."
"And why do you say that?" I wondered.
"People who go blind, like at 63, feel so sorry for children who are blind. It's so hard for them when they go blind at that age. I'm just so lucky that I was born blind. I'm fine!"
Can you hear her heart? Mary has a thankful heart. She "sees" other people and their suffering and she is naturally "other oriented." When she comes into a room, she immediately defaults to THERE YOU ARE! in her inner spirit. (unlike me—who thinks of myself, what I "look" like, if I have on right clothes, if I will say the right thing, if I sent that person a note yet, etc. which is false humility and not Christlike and shouts HERE I AM! in my inner thoughts).
Now I can't get off the hook in this, because God has shown this to me; I aim to confess it as soon as I realize I have the wrong thinking again—and then ask God to help me think of the other person as I approach them over my selfishness that He came and died for.)
For me to say, "Well, that's just how I am," is rubbish because Jesus lives in me and says that I am a new creation in Him and just like I trusted Him by faith for salvation—I need to go on trusting Him in faith to save me from the power that sin has on me.
May we all go on trusting in our perfect Savior. Our part is to trust, His part is to work. Remember to receive everything in your life from God's hand. Nothing can come to you without His permission. His will is always the will of love!
Don't you want to serve our fabulous God who loves us with an everlasting love with your whole heart?
I'll see you on the blog tomorrow, and back for this series on Thursday when I'll introduce you to another of my other Christian heroes—whose faith inspires me right where I live to not be complacent in my faith.
"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. For those God foreknew
He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
~1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
Walk by Faith,