Hope for trouble times

Living. Within the realm of living each of us will experience trouble times. Trouble times are a part of life, even for the Christian.

The Bible assures us that trouble times are permitted for certain purposes in the Christian life. It is in these sorts of times that God allows us to be transfigured and refined.

As we see with Job, sometimes well-meaning friends and loved ones who aim to comfort during trouble times can actually make our situation worse with their advice. “Lean on the Lord.” “Hold on to God's unchanging hand."

This was some of the advice given to me. The problem with this advice is that I didn't know how to do what I was being told to do, nor did I understand what was really meant, thus failure always ensued.

That was until I changed my perspective on how I viewed God.

“Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.” ~ Pierre Teihard de Chardin

Come with me on my journey. You don't have to leave your house; you just need to have a few minutes to read quietly and to pray through what I am saying. Pray and ask God to open the eyes of your heart. To illuminate it with His true vision of perspective. Ask the Lord to change how you see Him so that you can begin to view your trouble times differently.

Before we leave I’d like to ask you a few questions. I ask that you hide these questions within your heart from now on. Hold on to them, remember them. I can most certainly assure you that you will need to pull them out in order to view your life in the proper way.

 Ask yourself the following questions:

  •  Do you believe God is love?

  •          Do you believe God loves you?

  •         Do you believe God is good?

  •   Do you believe God knows what is best for your life?

  •   Do you believe God is in total control of all things?

 These are the questions I ask and answer when I feel the stress level in my life rising.

Why do I ask myself these questions?

Beginning with the first question, if you believe God loves you then you can begin to change your view of what He allows to enter your life. You can begin to view your trouble times as coming from the hand of a Father who loves you dearly in spite of what you feel or what your circumstances lead you to believe.

If you truly know and believe God loves you, you can start to look at the ugly situations that arise in your life as beneficial and necessary though unpleasant.

To illustrate my point, ponder for a moment on the surgeon and his scalpel.

Who longs to be cut open, laid wide? No one right. No one wants to be laid bare, exposed or hurt. But there are times that pain is exactly what the surgeon gives his patient by using his scalpel. In order to make them better, he must first cause them pain by cutting them...opening them up.

Author Ann Voskamp writes, Darkness transfigures into light, bad into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing— He makes everything work out according to His plan.” {Ephesians 1:11}

A Scripture that really puts things in perspective for me is Exodus 13:17-18. Witness how the wilderness experience was motivated out of God's love for the children of Israel. It reads, "Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God said, 'the people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.

Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea ...'" ~ NASB-.

God's actions toward His children are always motivated by His love, even when He disciplines.

I realize I talk about this passage of Scripture often, but it is ingrained in my being. Understanding God in this way has truly made a difference in how I view situations that arise in my life.

Another point worth mentioning is, if what you're going through isn’t a result of you suffering a consequence from your disobedience—rejoice. Yes rejoice. Sit still and rest in the confidence in knowing God is working out your situation.

On the other hand, if your hard time and pain is coming as a result of your disobedience, the first thing you must do is confess and turn away from your sinful action.

God taking His children ‘by way of the wilderness’ was motivated by love. That's what I want you to grasp.
Just as God's love for the children of Israel motivated Him to lead them by the way of the wilderness, sometimes His love for you and me will lead us down a wilderness path too.

Remember, If He isn't disciplining us. He's transfiguring us and He's transfiguring us out of His love for us.

"Out of the darkness of the cross, the world transfigures into new life.  And there is no other way." ~ Ann Voskamp 

Ponder on this until we talk again next Thursday about more hope for trouble times.

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