and to enable us to serve him without fear…. (Luke 1:74).
Sometimes I think that God is always looking for ways to bring more suffering into my life. I have found myself, more recently, in this state of being watchful for the next shoe to drop ushering in the next bad thing to happen. I have not seen God’s hand as one that brings blessing, but sometimes I only see it as one that wishes to continue to allow Satan to sift me like wheat.
When something good starts to happen in my life this thought flashes across my mind of, “Well, I wonder when something bad is going to happen now.” I know the attack of the enemy is coming, so I start to view nearly everything as a potential attack from him. I start to get stuck in this place of worrying as I wonder what he might do.
This is an awful place to live. There’s no freedom in it and God feels more like a computer than a friend. It is true that we suffer hardships, yes. It is true that God allows painful circumstances in our lives to accomplish something greater within our own hearts? It absolutely is, but this is not all God is for us. He is so much greater and He offers so much more for those who would be willing to embrace the reality that He is a good and loving God.
When we go through something bad or life-altering, sometimes we allow our vision of God to be shaped by our pain. God wants to shape us through our pain. If we define who God is by the bad thing that happened in our lives, we will never be able to see God for anything other than what happened to us. If we let go of our pain and look forward to the cross we see that redemption lies there. We see that there is hope. We see there is love.
We need not fear the enemy and live constantly looking over our shoulder, fearful of his attack. We can be confident that we have the weapons of warfare, the word of God to overcome the devil. Those who are in Christ can know that the Father is for them. He loves to shower good gifts upon HIs children and He has the victory for us as we look to the cross, the place of our redemption and the demonstration of God’s great love for us.
We can be assured that no matter what happens in our lives God is good. We would be wrong to define Him by the bad things that have happened to us and only see our pain when we see Him. We need to see that redemption lies in the heart of God. Redemption for all mankind and for our bad situations. Love that is without limit and joy that is for those who would trust in His name.
Lord, I trust you, forgive me for staying stuck in the past and not seeing you for who you truly are. Thank you that you are a loving, faithful, good God. I have learned that I do not need things, jobs, money or prestige, I just need you. Jesus, be my joy, I pray, in your name, Amen.