I am greatly encouraged as I write this blog today; not because everything is going my way, or because all the sources of pain, doubt and anguish are gone; but because I am reminded that even as I go through the valley, God is with me; and as I go through the fire, it will not consume me.
Listening to a sermon today, I was reminded that God is not great in my life because there are no obstacles; but rather because we triumph in them because of Him. I am asking myself and you this question: would David be the David we know, had he not faced the obstacles of Goliath, Saul, Bathsheba and even his own brothers? Would we be as inspired by what he overcame had he per say not gone through all of this and all we knew was David believed God, faced no obstacles, and puff he went to heaven?
Would we sing of the God who parts the Red Sea, had the Israelites not faced an enemy in the rear and in the front? And death stared them in the eye, but God delivered them? Would we talk of Jesus as the healer, if there were never sickness? Would we be talking of a God who heals the lame, the blind and the deaf if these never existed? Would we talk of the God who provides, even manna from heaven if the Israelites never faced the possibility of certain death in the wilderness? Would we have any heroes to celebrate, if there never was anything to overcome?
To be honest I do not know; but when I think of this, I am reminded of Jesus saying “In this world, you will face many trials, but take heart for I have overcome the world” and of the exhortation of James to rejoice when we face trials, for they work in us faith and perseverance. I am reminded of when Jesus says “No one sinned for this man to be born blind, but it was that the glory of God may be revealed” I am reminded that my life is a rigged fight; I will overcome…because in him, I am more than a conqueror.
And in the same way this encouraged me, I would also like to encourage you: it is not important to know why a trial has come to your house. And I think in any case, many of the answers we give do more harm than good. But rather, I say let us look at every trial this way: it is an opportunity to see what the faithful, loyal love of our Father can do: it is an occasion for God to prove himself strong on the behalf of those He loves and for us. It is an occasion to taste, and see that the Lord is good.
Our trials may be big; and part of me thinks they are supposed to be; for even when they are far bigger, more complex, and intimately ingrained in the fabric of the society we live in, they remain far inferior to God. They do not pose a challenge at all to the God who spoke all the earth into being; only to us, they reveal our answer to the question “Do we really believe that the God we serve is indeed bigger, and on our side?”
So be encouraged; take heart, your God will indeed surely cause you to triumph, He has never lost a battle, and He will not start with you..