The words of this old hymn rang through my head today as I thought about what I have dealt with over the past few weeks.
There might be those who would say, "If you were truly following Christ, why did you suffer a stroke?" Those are the same people who think I got cancer because I had a lack of faith in God, He was displeased with something I'd done, of I needed to confess a hidden sin. My reply to that is that our greatest testimony is exhibited when we are in the "flames of adversity" for that is when we show the world that God is greater than strokes, God is greater than cancer, God is greater than anything that can come against us.
Sometimes God gives the resources such as a good job in order to meet our needs. However, sometimes He chooses to have the ravens bring our daily bread just like He did for Elijah. What do I mean by that? Sometimes our resources dry up and we have no choice but to depend on God and God alone.
Oh, I won't pretend that this is a rather precarious position to be in. You can be sure that things such fear and doubt will be screaming at you, asking you where God is now and trying to convince you that He has brought you out into the "wilderness" to die. Does that sound familiar? Hmmm... there's this story in Exodus that sounds like that, I think.
I don't know about you but I don't want to be like the murmerers and complainers. I want to be like Caleb and Joshua who trusted what God said, no matter what. I want to be like Elijah, trusting that God will provide for me... even if the way is a bit unconventional. LOL!
I want to be able to say the same thing the Apostle Paul said when near the end of his life he wrote:
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12
We say that we trust God but do we still say that if we are in the furnace or the lions den rather than outside of it? Do we still say "I will trust you" if we are wandering in the desert with no oasis in sight? Will we will continue to trust Him even as we face a giant with only five smooth stones in our pouch? Are we willing to stand against the status quo like Elijah, pour water on the woods and still believe that God will send down His consuming fire? Oh that we would trust Him regardless of our circumstances! Oh that we would learn to trust Him... no matter what!
Wow ... I have found through my walk that many times I have been confronted by people who tell me that my faith is weak and that therefore God brought some trial to my life or that I did something wrong and therefore God did something bad to me. But that is not what I know to be true. God never brings us evil, God never inflicts pain upon us ...
I was in a car bombing when I was 22 years old. Luckily, Thankfully, there were few people who were actually involved. There were just four of us in the path of the bomb. The intended victim wasn't even there. But another woman died in my arms. It was an horrific experience and for years I blamed God for putting me there. I felt like He had not protected me from the horrors that I saw and experienced that day.
Twenty years later ... I found I was wrong. God hadn't put me in that situation and He had protected me. I was the only person uninjured in the bomb. I walked away with a blood stained dress and a temporary hearing loss.
I often wonder what I missed over those twenty years that I spent blaming God ... instead of praising Him for surrounding me with HIs protection and grace to survive and walk on in life.
God does amazing and beautiful and loving things for each of us every day ... our job is just to trust in Him.
Thank you for this blog.
Excellent blog and comment. Anyone who knows me knows that I would agree 100% with what is written here even if it meant 99% of all my "friends" turning away in horror of someone not "believing God".
God watches over us--Period. It is not for us to determine how He does His job, only to trust Him that no matter what, He is there and He will take care of us.
Thanks for placing this subject into full view again for it is one that must be continually brought up to counter the all the arguments.
[quote]our greatest testimony is exhibited when we are in the "flames of adversity" for that is when we show the world that God is greater than strokes, God is greater than cancer, God is greater than anything that can come against us[/quote]
Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Kprincess! I am often saddened that we take for granted or even dismiss as trivial by our words and actions the truth that we are "Eternal" beings through Christ. I know we have a 'survival' instinct, and as Christians our hearts desire is to live for Him...but when we pass from this world our living for Him will still be in full force! If our hope is in this life only, as Paul wrote, then we are most miserable. How I long for the day I will be with Him...and that day is Now and Forever! That is what I hang on to...He is with me in everything, always.
This is a great message. It's true, it's easy to say we trust God when we are feeling like we are in a safe place in life, but when we are faced with true difficulty and life-changing events, it really means a lot when we still trust God to see us through. Thanks for sharing this message, it was a great reminder!