Tuesday, June 4, 2013

But God Is Faithful

We all must endure trials of various kinds and in varying degrees of intensity, and most of them we would just as soon not have to face. But this is not how it is to be living in a fallen world. God said in Genesis 3 as a result of sin that there would be pain and toil and sweat. Yet God has also determined that He would use these same things to accomplish show His love and faithfulness, to demonstrate to man His need, to bring about salvation and to fully accomplish His purposes.

One of the passages of Scripture that I initially didn't spend much time looking at in relation to struggles was 1 Corinthians 10:13 because it used the word “temptation” and temptation didn't necessarily speak to where my struggle was.

1 Corinthians 10:13. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

But when I went back and studied James and discovered that the word we read as “trials” I James 1:2 is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 10:13 of “temptation” and even elsewhere as “testing,” a light bulb went on. It was then that I realized that all of these things God brings into my life under His sovereign hand are indeed trials in which we can see Him prove His faithfulness (test) or we might be tempted to look elsewhere for our own answers (temptation). Knowing this then it wasn’t any wonder that James goes on in verse 5 of chapter 1 to tell us that if any of us lack wisdom we are to ask of God who will give it to us generously and without wagging His finger in our face. It also shed light on the verses which came later to tell us that God does not tempt anyone to evil, but we are all tempted when we take these thoughts toward evil in our own minds and run with them.

This led to a study of considering God’s instruction from His word of the verses speaking of trials, testing, and temptation and what I came up with was an amplification of 1 Corinthians 10:13, which in a meaningful way which reminds me of who I need to turn to when things get tough – no matter what the thing at the moment, and what I need to do in response. This also led to a new STOP sign for me. When things come up rather than saying, "But God, I ..." it is my desire and goal to say and mean, "BUT GOD, You..!" He is indeed sovereign over every aspect of our lives and we are called to trust Him fully (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“There is no test, no trial, no temptation to sin, no pushing, pulling, prodding, or anything else that comes my way that makes me any different than anyone else. We all experience these things, maybe in different ways and at times to different degrees, but I am no different than anyone else.

“BUT GOD…. He is always faithful in all things. With every trial, test, or temptation—no matter how big or how small; with all of these things He has set a limit to them. He will not allow anything into my life beyond which He also has not given the ability to victoriously endure. With every single test, trial, and temptation He has provided a way of escape, and He will keep me from being crushed, and He will bring me out standing on the other side. This is true whether that other side is realized in this life or ultimately in His presence. This is a certain fact.

“Therefore, I will place my trust in Him and look not to the size of the situation, BUT to the size and faithfulness of my GOD.”

Today Sarah writes about those challenging times and staying in close communion and communication with our faithful God.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (6/4)

Welcome challenging times as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle!

The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

No comments: