Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world where both believers and unbelievers are hit with the tragic consequences of sin.
God allows evil for a time although he often turns it around for good (Romans 8:28). We may have no answers as to why God allows evil, but we can be sure he is all powerful and knows what He is doing.
We may have no answers as to why God allows evil, but we can be sure He is all powerful and knows what He is doing. The next time you face trials and dilemmas see them as opportunities to turn to God for your strength.
You will find a God who only desires to show His love and compassion to you. If you can trust Him in pain, confusion and loneliness, you will win the victory and eliminate doubt, one of satan’s greatest footholds in your life.
Make God your foundation. You can never be separated from His love.
“For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
~ISAIAH 57:15 NIV~
“In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”
~EXODUS 31:17 ESV~
The giver of life is also the renewer of hope, and He is ready and waiting to fill you with new life, new hope – to transform your heart and lift you out of the pit. All you have to do is ask.
Breath of life, breath into me Your sweet joy and peace.
Help me see the coming years as an opportunity to discard the old and embrace the new.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”
~EPHESIANS 4:1-3 ESV~
God has chosen us to be Christ’s representative on earth. In light of this truth, Paulchallenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received – the awesome privilege of being called Christ’s very own.
This includes being humble, gentle, patient, understanding and peaceful. People are watching your life.
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him,
for we shall see Him as He is”
~1 JOHN 3:2~ (NKJV)
God’s ultimate goal for us is to make us like Christ.
As we become more and more like Him, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be.
How can we be conformed to Christ’s likeness?
BY READING AND HEEDING THE WORD
BY STUDYING HIS (JESUS) LIFE ON EARTH THROUGH THE GOSPELS
(Get ready for a Life-Changing Encounter with God as we continuously seek His face)
BY BEING FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT
AND BY DOING HIS WORK IN THE WORLD
(even simple things matter)
Embrace Your Identity In Christ
“He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:22a NLT)
Your faith will grow stronger as you focus on your identity in Christ (Galatians 2).
What this means is that you abandon any image of yourself that is not from God. You stop accepting what others have said about you, how others have labeled you, and how others have defined you.
You start believing what God says about you, that he is pleased with how he created you, and that God defines you.
You’re not defined by your feelings. You’re not defined by the opinions of others or by your circumstances. You’re not defined by your successes or failures. You’re not defined by the car you drive, the money you make, or the house you say you own when the bank really does.
You are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22).
The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are, and no one else has a vote in the matter.
This “identity issue” is an important part of living the abundant life. Jesus was able to face the incredible demands of his mission because he knew exactly who he was. He knew that he mattered to God, and that gave him confidence to move purposefully in faith. (RICK WARREN)
Saturate your mind with the truth of God’s Word. It’s filled with reminders of His unconditional love for you. He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). He says that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35). Don’t let the enemy steal your identity. You are God’s masterpiece. Believe it! (Joyce Meyer)
Let God use times of waiting to mold and shape your character.
Let God use those times to purify your life and make you into a clean vessel for His service.
~Henry Blackaby and Claude King~
The ability to wait in the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and what God is doing. It means confidence in God’s person; confidence in His wisdom, love, timing, and understanding of our situation and that of the world. It means knowing and trusting in God’s principles, promises, purposes and power.
God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself. The younger brother knew that in his father’s house there was abundant “food to spare”, but he also discovered that there was grace to spare. There is no evil that the father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace.
Act 1, then, demonstrates the lavish prodigality of God’s grace. Jesus shows the father pouncing on his son in love not only before he has a chance to clean his life and evidence a change of heart, but even before he can recite his repentance speech. Nothing, not even abject contrition, merits the favor of God.
The Father’s love and acceptance are absolutely free.
Why does God allow trouble to plague his people? How can it be considered loving for him to permit trials to run wild in our lives?
I gained fresh insight into these questions while watching a spellbinding four-minute video called “How Wolves Change Rivers.”
A slightly-too-exuberant, yet-delightfully-British narrator recounts the changes that resulted from the entrance of a pack of wolves into the eco-system of Yellowstone National Park. It turns out that deer overpopulation had left massive portions of the park barren. Constant grazing had turned valleys into wastelands. The lack of vegetation had caused soil erosion, which destabilized the banks of the river, slowing the flow of water. The lack of sufficient water and vegetation, in turn, forced wildlife to move on. In short, life was fading from the park.
Then a pack of wolves moved in.
Do you think it would be life-enhancing for a pack of predators to be released into a national park? I imagine your initial response would be, like mine, “No, that sounds terrible.”
But it turns out that it was the best thing that could have happened.
Wolves and a World of Good
The wolves predictably killed a few deer, thinning out the population. However, that was not the most significant change. The remaining deer were forced to move to higher terrain and abandon the grasslands of the valleys.
These areas that had been mown down for so long then began to regrow at an accelerated rate. Aspen trees quintupled in size in less than six years. This growth brought back birds to nest in the branches and beavers to eat the wood. The return of the beavers meant the return of beaver dams, which created pools that allowed for the repopulation of fish, otters, ducks, muskrats, reptiles, and amphibians. The wolves also cleared out some of the coyotes, which caused rabbits and mice to return. This change led to the return of hawks, weasel, foxes, and badgers.
Yet the most amazing impact occurred in the river itself. Because grasses were allowed to regrow, the soil collapsed less, allowing for firmer riverbanks. Which gave the river flow greater direction, which reinforced the animal habitats.
In short, the entrance of a few wolves created a whole world of good in Yellowstone National Park, transforming wastelands into lush valleys teeming with life.
So it turns out that the best thing to do to promote life was to release a few wolves into the valley.
Difficulty Brings Blessing
Why mention all of these phenomena? Try for a moment to imagine a board meeting where, after hearing desperate pleas for help to save the aspen trees of Yellowstone, a park ranger responded by saying, “I’ll tell you what will ensure reforestation: a few more wolves around here!” Would anyone have taken him seriously?
In the same way, I think we would accuse God of being insane if we heard him respond to our cries for greater intimacy with our spouse, greater fruit in our ministries, or greater intimacy with him, by saying, “You want more life? I’ll tell you what will give it: a medical emergency. Or losing your job. Or a car accident.” We would think he’s out of his mind.
But search your past and tell me if it isn’t true: Often the introduction of something difficult, and even dangerous, into our lives by the hand of God results in unanticipated, yet undeniable growth. Difficulty brings blessing. Hardship brings joy. Wolves change rivers.
This reality does not mean we should court danger. What it does mean, however, is that we should pause before we accuse God of injustice or indifference when he allows hardship to enter our lives. It just might be the best thing for us. In fact, for those who love him, and are called according to his purposes, it will be his working to produce his best for us.
Count It All Joy
James certainly thought so. In James 1:2–4 he went so far as to say, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James was so certain that the introduction of difficulty into our lives carries the potential to bring blessing that he calls us to rejoice, not only after the trial has ended, but even while we are still in it.
Which does not mean we need to pretend that difficulties are pleasant. They are not. Nor does it mean we should not pray to be delivered from, or seek to remove, hardships from our lives. Both are permissible.
However, we gain much hope from this realization: Often our loving God sees that bringing something unpleasant into our lives will lead to a thousand good consequences. Therefore, as a good caretaker of our souls, he will allow wolves to enter for a season.
So when hardships come, we can cease shaking our fist and yelling at God, and instead lean into him and listen. He is good. He does care. He works all things together for the good of his children — even the arrival of wolves.