We have a wonderful friend who has recently come to the Lord, and who has been being delivered from a life full of heartaches. It’s wonderful to feel the healing that happens every time we pray together. It’s amazing. But what’s strange is that within the first few months of her life in Christ, her landlord is evicting her from her house. Week after week she comes to our prayer meetings with her eyes full of light and love. It has been such a remarkable testimony to all of us. But what is it about a trail that helps us figure out this life in Christ?
Well, we know that after Christ was baptized he was led by THE HOLY SPIRIT into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It’s as if there is a going away party from the worldly ways that must take place. Like a kind of stripping away of what you know to be good and an introduction into what you now know to be true.
When I first began my life in Christ I fell off of a ten speed bike knocking out teeth, breaking my jaw, and causing a bad facial hemorrhage. This accident caused financial trouble that really demanded that I choose who I would turn to. I remember the moment in the midst of all this heartache when I chose to bless God for it and surrender more of my heart. It was the best day of my life; The circumstances resulted in the greatest spiritual perspective I had ever had.
And although I did gain a perspective that I hadn’t had before it seems that trails and tribulations seemed to come afterwords. Last week I had a coworker speak to me in a rather harsh way that made me mad. It reminded me and showed me things in myself that other wise would never have been uncovered.
James, who was also known as “camel-knees” in the early church, said “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Wow, is that an amazing statement or what. When I was younger I would read that scripture and think that that was a way to help us endure trails by telling us to readjust our thoughts. In the same way I would read “pray for your enemies.” These ideas seemed so far fetched so intangible, so unrealistic. It was as if they are lofty ideas that show us our own failure. And to the religious and the unbelieving I expect these perspectives have become fact to them.
But, here is where the Holy Spirit in us can show us the truth. In the book of Job the devil came to God and asked permission to test Job. That means that Satan only could do what God allowed him to do. So in essence Satan was a tool in that case to test Job and prove his faith in God. I believe that this same principle is in effect today that God allows trails to come your way so that you will become a stronger individual.
When received as truth there is a liberty that this concept brings. That whatever happens to me, God means it all for good (Romans 8:28). There is no problem that is not understood and governed by God himself. But this does not mean that well “I will just live through hell and because God is knowledgeable it will be alright”. We have the opportunity to be children of God and to be co-laborers with him. When he sees us drifting from His presence, He allows uncomfortable situations to drive us to his presence. When he sees the future what you will endure in the coming years as a couple he will allow small problems in your relationship so you will have to work out some of the inconsistencies that will bring you strength and cohesion, that if not dealt with now, later might rip you apart. When you endure a painful situation and overcome it, and then a few months later meet someone with the issue you previously encountered and can now speak comfort and truth into their lives, that’s God being infinitely wonderful (2 Cor.1:4).
Christ says that ,
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for those who come to me and hear my words and put them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid a foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But those who hear my words and do not put them into practice are like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struckthat house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
The torrent is going to hit your house, whether you have your foundation on Christ or not. In Christ we can be unshaken and unafraid of any thing that comes our way.