April eight, 2020
Can We Actually Belief God?
Right this moment’s Fact
Contemplate it pure pleasure, my brothers and sisters, everytime you face trials of many sorts… (James 1:2, NIV)
Good friend to Good friend
A number of years in the past I purchased a field of Cheerios that got here with a free kids’s ebook. The little ebook that got here with the O’s had a darling and oh-so-prickly little varmint on the entrance cowl. The title? How Do You Hug a Porcupine?
The story is a few younger boy who witnessed a bunch of his buddies hugging a myriad of animals. They hugged canines, bunnies, cats, horses, cows… you get the image… all cuddly and comparatively protected.
All of the whereas, the younger boy was questioning how he might hug a porcupine. The primary character tried a number of inventive methods to affectionately method his quilled pal. He didn’t wish to get harm, so at first he dawned some baseball catcher’s gear, then he tried reaching from far-off whereas a field protected his physique, and at last he tried to tame the spikes with marshmallows.
By the tip of the ebook, he concluded that he wanted to maneuver slowly and that the easiest way to hug a porcupine is that this: CAREFULLY.
Cute story. Easy ending. Hug porcupines fastidiously. Positive.
I simply want that hugging the porcupines in my life might be such a easy and cute journey.
All of us have them, you realize… porcupines: struggles, trials, pains, mountains, name them what you’ll, they exist and they’re prickly. And unusually, oh so unusually, the Bible tells us that we’re presupposed to hug them.
“Contemplate it pure pleasure, my brothers and sisters, everytime you face trials of many sorts, as a result of you realize that the testing of your religion produces perseverance. Let perseverance end its work so that you could be be mature and full, not missing something.” (James 1:2-4, NIV)
The rewards sound good, don’t they? Who doesn’t wish to persevere… to be mature and full, not missing something – not poor in any method?
Now, let me simply go forward and ask the questions that all of us marvel. How on the planet are we supposed to think about checks and challenges as presents – as pure pleasure?
I’ve learn this cost 1,000,000 instances, but the strain of it nonetheless usually grinds me like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I imply, c’mon!
It’s the other way up and inside out to think about it pure pleasure once we undergo and undergo arduous issues.
Once I’m going by means of a troublesome time my pure response is to complain or really feel sorry for myself – to not say, “Thanks for the reward, Lord! Oh, what pleasure!”
And if it is a good factor for me – to embrace my struggles – then why is there such a disconnect between my heat longings and this chilly calling? Can we even belief a God that will name for such a weird paradox?
I go searching on the groanings of mankind and marvel, can God really be loving and permit little ladies to be molested by family members… porn-addicted husbands to stroll out or shut down… pure disasters to wreaking havoc on civilization as they wipe out beating hearts by the hundreds… hundreds of thousands of infants to be legally slaughtered within the title of ladies’s rights?
The simpleton reply is: Sure. He can.
However what He permits – His sovereignty – is much from easy. Removed from neat. Removed from comprehensible.
So how is it that James teaches we’ve got to depend the trials of our lives as blessings?
I see you squirming. I do not like this dialog, Gwen! Why can’t we simply discuss in regards to the snug aspect of Christianity like love, grace, peace, unity, potluck dinners, unstated prayer requests, and heaven? The place’s the straightforward button?
Patsy Clairmont stated it this fashion, “Hope does not announce that life is protected, due to this fact, we will likely be; as an alternative, it whispers that Christ is our security within the midst of harsh actuality.”
Whereas a life purposed for Christ is chock filled with blessings – a lot of which are utterly unbelievable and comfy – every surrendered life can be stuffed with struggles that God makes use of to assist us grow to be mature and full.
The Bible doesn’t sugar coat this. It says that we’re promised challenges and trials… that once we select to observe Christ some issues will really worsen, grow to be harder – that the world is fallen – damaged – and that it’s going to hate us because it hated Christ… that we’ve got to take up our crosses and observe Him. Love as He loves. Be holy as He’s holy. Forgive as He forgives. Endure as He endures.
We should be keen to seek for the blessings within the blisterings in addition to within the bliss.
The excellent news is that there are at all times blessings within the blisterings. We simply must search for them. When our eyes are open to see the wonder in our damaged, blessings circulation… even within the bloodiest of blisters. As a result of trials are trials with all their ache and ache, however hidden at the hours of darkness nook of each problem is an intimate, intensely private invitation for us to satisfy head to head – coronary heart to coronary heart – with our Comforter, our Head-lifter, our Healer, our Tear-catcher, our Supplier, our Counselor, our Refuge, our LORD.
Thank You for being my security. When my days are filled with trials and ache, I do know that I can belief You to supply the knowledge, provision, consolation, and style I must endure. Assist me to hug my porcupines right this moment and to see that every problem offers me a chance to show my eyes towards Yours and to know You extra intimately.
In Jesus’ Title,
Now It’s Your Flip
What porcupine are you struggling to hug? Want a bit extra encouragement? Swing over to my blog. Submit a prayer want, then pray for the posts of some others as we take this dialog deeper in group.
Extra from the Girlfriends
Would you like extra postivity and inspiration in your days? Hang around with Gwen and buddies! Hearken to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, train, run errands, eat guacamole or journey. Podcasts are additionally excellent to hearken to as you do family chores! (Laundry anybody?)
Every GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is stuffed with enjoyable, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that may assist you realize and belief God extra.
These discussions encourage you in significant methods to dwell out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus within the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to hear on iTunes, or go to GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for extra info.