Something that I have been thinking about lately is how when the Lord allows things to happen in our lives that are hard, out of our control, painful, scary, difficult, He risks our rebellion in those times for a real purpose.
It is easy to lose focus and faith in times of hardship as anyone knows, and it can easily lead to rebellion against the Lord during those times.
We can rebel by:
- giving up believing in God’s wisdom and goodness and His love
- by turning aside and seeking our own desires and way during that time
- by turning aside from seeking God and trusting in Him through hardship
- by being consumed with worry, fear, and anxiety in the midst of difficult times
When the Lord allows hard times to hit us, and that can be in many many many ways and many different levels, He is willing to risk us questioning His love and goodness, and He is willing to risk us rebelling in such times from Him because He knows that the end of those hard times will produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and our rebellion from Him will serve His purposes in the end of it all.
In the beginning of the new life in Christ, God seems to treat us like a child when He provides evidences and answered prayers in order to increase our faith and build our trust in Him. That is necessary in the beginning. But as time goes on, I think it is safe to say that God starts to withdraw those things, and He begins to test our faith, test our hearts, and bring us a way which we never thought we would go in life in order to get down deep in our hearts that total trust, that total abandonment, and that total surrender to Him—not for what He can do or give to us, but for just Himself—for us to be utterly and wholly devoted to Him just because He is Lord and worthy of it all.
But that utter devotion and pure heart for God does not come cheap at all. It will cost everything to us.
When the Lord allows things to happen that we may have never experienced before, things such as:
- job loss
- health issues
- unexpected weather disasters
- car troubles
- outward oppression or persecution
- loss of loved ones
- marriage/family issues
- issues with your child (health, disobedience, learning, etc.)
- unexpected consequences for our sinful choices (unplanned pregnancy, etc.)
It is in such times that our hearts are truly tested as to whether we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, or whether or not we have some other interests in this world and life that have nothing to do with Him and His will/purposes.
It is in these times that the Lord is willing to risk our rebellion and our questioning Him because He is providing the opportunity for us to grow in Christ and learn really valuable lessons that will come to help us again in the future adversity.
And that is what I am trying to talk to you about right now. During those trying times, whatever they may be, it is in this time that the Lord is giving us the chance to test His Word and His Life and His Truth.
It is like this—– you can know in your mind something that the Bible says such as “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”—– but then when you experience a new challenging time in life, does that Word of God come to your help? Or is it merely a sentence in a large book that sounds nice but doesn’t really help you in the time of trouble?
And that is the distinction that is made between actually knowing the Lord and testing His Word and truth, as opposed to just mentally agreeing with or knowing it.
If it doesn’t become real in our life, as a real fact, then it is meaningless!
You Will Repeat It Until You Learn It
The Lord will take His true child through the same experience until they come down to utter faith in the Lord during that trial, so that when the next trial hits, they will be able to get through it without rebelling or questioning Him.
I was looking back to the day I created this little blog, and I read in my journal my prayer the morning after, and I asked the Lord to make it a reality that He is EVERYTHING in my life, nothing else, no matter what it cost, I asked Him to make that real in my life.
A few hours later, my husband quit his job, we lost our insurance, and I thought I was going to have to get a job and start a whole new life possibly with him somewhere else.
I had already been through this trial many times before, so the Lord had already been doing some things in my heart about it in the past, and His grace was proving to be sufficient in the present trial.
Not even a week later, my husband accepted a job thousands of miles away from our home, and it was just about to be summer time. I was thankful and so grateful the Lord was quick to answer our prayers, but the truth was not exposed as to my true heart just yet.
See, I thought I was ok! I thought I wouldn’t lose hope! I thought I was trusting the Lord and truly accepting the circumstances, but I wasn’t. Of course the Lord already knew that, but I didn’t see it yet.
I grew bitter as the days went by. I questioned God and His love and wisdom. I reasoned that He simply would not allow our family to be separated and that He would not allow my husband to make such detrimental choices if He really loved me and cared about me or our family.
I gave up hope, I struggled to hold onto it and to the Lord, but I was mad.
I wanted what I wanted, after all.
After all I believed was true as to my trusting in the Lord and His love, I came to see that Christ was not my everything, and that I had plenty of other considerations in life other than HIS purposes and His will and glory.
I wanted other things more than I wanted Him and His will to be accomplished in all of it.
The Rebellion Proved Valuable
Without saying it is “ok” to rebel against God, I have to say that my rebellion in this last trial proved to be valuable in that I truly came to learn and see that the Lord is truly LORD OF ALL, even when my husband makes wrong choices, even when I don’t see how things will be ok, even when I don’t understand or like what is happening——-the Lord, He is Lord. I came to learn that after all, that He had other plans for us, and those plans were far greater than anything I wanted to have for myself. He wanted to take me aside literally to the wilderness and speak to my heart, and show me all the things I was holding onto that were not Him. He wanted to show me that I had many many personal interests not only for my marriage and family but for my whole life that did not accord with Christ at all. They were merely for my OWN pleasure—-What I wanted in order to make my life better and happy.
He wanted to take all of those things and show me how meaningless they are in the grand scheme of His Eternal Purposes, so that I would willingly let them go, and accept whatever He wanted me to do and think.
And it took months, but He faithfully led me to that point!
THE PRESENT TRIAL
Now, as the recurring trial hits, I know this time that the LORD IS LORD OF ALL, and there is no reason to worry! There is no point in trying to control things or make things happen or try to save things how I would like them to be. My life is no longer about me or what I want or think should happen. It is about Christ and His purposes and what HE wants to do. I am just an instrument in His hand……I am not the hand holding the instrument. And because I have rebelled in the past trials of the same kind, I learned the hard way how unnecessary was that rebelling because the Lord doesn’t change. His love is constant. His ways are different. He is LORD, and that means I don’t worry or care to save my own life anymore. I give it all to Him and follow Him in any way He wants me to go.
Those consequences from rebelling proved to be a good teacher and it proved to be the Lord sovereignly allowing it all because He knew the end of it, and what it was capable of producing in me for Him! I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache and trouble if I had just trusted Him the first time around, but it has taken about…… 5 times for this to happen for me to be in the position I am in, where I know that He is ruling and reigning, and there is nothing I can do to save my own life.
ANOTHER UNEXPECTED LESSON
One other lesson that was learned amidst these trials was that I must be careful what I say. When the Holy Spirit is ruling the life of a child of God, He will be sure to keep whatever we say in line with our actual life experience.
The day after I made this blog, I said I wanted the Lord to make it a reality that all I want is HIM, and nothing else. That same day, I got what I prayed for— but certainly not in the way I thought it would go.
I didn’t realize that the way He was going to become ALL to me, was by literally losing everything else!
And that is why I say that things do not come cheap when you are learning Christ. You have to pay the cost of everything that is dear to you.
But in the end, it proves to be the only thing that matters, because without the Lord, there is no point and it is all going to be burned up in the end.