II Thess. 5:18 - "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (KJV)
The Lord directed writing more difficult blogs. However, no recollection exists of one with more significant personal insight. Another person prayed regarding my chronic major anxiety disorder. Saying, 'This sounds bad Lord but help me to quit viewing it as a curse." The Holy Spirit seized the moment for conviction.
Accepting physical healing in this life may never occur. My attitude toward the sufficiency of grace missed the mark. I viewed enduring, persevering, or pushing through suffering as success. This failed to see it as God does. He commanded me to give thanks for the illness? Perplexed from over forty years of battle, a treasure from the Spirit waited. After praying, spiritual eyes were opened.
Without this thorn, my life path would mirror siblings. A Creator exists, placing the universe in motion and allowing it to run the course without intervention. He attends to more important divine matters than earth. God uses the infirmity and pain in spite of anger rising toward Him. Looking searching, there is no hope apart from Christ.
In Corrie ten Boom's book The Hiding Place, she recounts complaints of fleas infesting the barracks at the concentration camp. Her sister stated, "The fleas are a blessing from God." Later, they learned the bible study done in secret happened because Nazi guards avoidied the fleas. Fleas allowed Corrie and her sister to share Christ with gas chambers only meters away.
How many souls were saved from a 'curse' of fleas? Do we often miss God's greater good simply thinking the circumstance must simply be endured? Does God not work all things for good if we love Him and answer the call of His purpose?
Job gained and audience and God spoke. Laid low learning God's ways are completely beyond human understanding. In repentance and thanks the Lord's holiness overcame Job. No promise of blessing or restoration. God silences arguments, demands, and justification with a glimpse of glory.
Over time our view skews from the Lord's if continuing to believe suffering and hardships exist to simply be withstood. Circumstances and people move from being subject to the effects of the fall of man to becoming 'cursed by God.' Though not conscious in thought it becomes evident in attitude, withdrawal, and avoidance. We now are one step away from treating the circumstance or person as a 'curse.'
Doubt enters concerning God's love, goodness, and purpose. Judging as the disciples, if prosperous blessed and righteous but blind questioning who sinned for this 'curse' to befall? Our discernment becomes based on physical sight, thought, and feelings. Beginning to think God is good, but not quite that good. Otherwise, why would He allow the additional misery of fleas when facing death in an extermination camp?
Perfect good appears too no longer be on God's mind. Failing to answer, act, and resolve as prayed, we now descend into what many say is the greatest of sins (plural): ungratefulness and lack of thanks. With spiritual eyes, God's love and eternal wellbeing is always seen triumphing over things of earth. We are to contend in the Spirit to view, grasp hold, and walk the life of Christ.
If facing bankruptcy, life long illness, abandonment, or death of a loved one do, we give thanks in all things? God really does mean to give thanks in all things. If we do not, failure begins by not seeing Christ working an eternal purpose. Even in death, does God not use a life well lived in Him to bring others to Christ?
God is more committed to our eternal position than earthly health, wealth, and comfort. The Father asks us to count all loss in order to gain deeper intimacy with him through Christ. To see and touch lives in giving thanks in all things. Why was Paul able to assert the adequacy of God's grace? He gladly (thankfully) proclaimed Christ in weakness, hardship, and suffering. Knowing what mattered was God perfecting eternity in hearts.
II Cor. 12:9 - "And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (NASB)
Attributions: New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © by The Lockman Foundation
King James Version (KJV) Public Domain