01.05.20, PART 2, “IT’S ALL THE SAME . . .”
How should our response vary in accordance with the situation?
It’s all the same if we are trusting in our Father, believing that He has us in the Palm of His Hands (Isa.49:16). When bad things happen we turn to Him for strength, endurance, guidance in how to walk through the time, believing that if He has allowed it, He has a purpose for us. Furthermore, it will be for our benefit, for “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28).
Thinking of when King David’s throne was under siege by his own son, Absalom, and he was fleeing from him, first hiding, but then sending his troops into battle, even though with a rather unusual request: “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom” (2 Sam.18:5), his response to the threat was ultimately crying out to the Lord:
David felt all alone, abandoned and deserted, betrayed, and turned on, not only by many of his own trusted friends, but by his own son, Absalom (find complete story in 2 Samuel 15-20). Although perhaps from very different vantage points, all of us have faced (or will face) times in our lives when we have experienced similar dynamics.
Whether events and circumstances have been staged by the enemy to defeat us or mapped out by God Himself, to discipline, teach, test, prune, sift and sand, the answer is the same:
For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
Notice how Jesus/Yeshua explains to Simon Peter, clarifying God’s purposes for being sifted as wheat (Lk.22:31,32), that he will be used to strengthen his brothers, in addition to which Jeus/Yeshua instructs him to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). The higher the call, the greater the sifting, sanding, and pruning.
While everyone gets caught up in declaring the promises that indicate that no harm can come to us, it is important to put in perspective that God’s definition of harm does not necessarily line up with our perception of that which constitutes harm. As Joni Eareckson Tada points out: “We think good is health, and ease and comfort. God’s idea of good has nothing to do with physical challenges, it has to do with our souls; when God says He will not harm us, He means He does not intend to harm our souls . . .” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybAjRLadmsE&t=930s).
Understand that through God’s eyes, what He views as beneficial, even essential for us through adversity in life, does not feel at the time as though it were for our benefit; however, God knows the end from the beginning. Often while we are frantically claiming His promises that no bad thing will happen, what we fail to take into account, is this difference in perspective. Things will go much better for us when we put God’s Word, His Ways, intentions, purposes, and how He goes about achieving them into context.
Once we grasp this perspective/truth, it becomes possible to understand that negative happenings are not a negation of God’s promises; they are simply a reflection of what His Word has verified:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God will bring about His purposes in unexpected ways; and that means His promises are often realized in ways we cannot comprehend at the time. His plans for our betterment at the final outcome will very often include unique measures.
A living testament to this principle is exemplified in the lives of Joni Eareckson Tada, and Nick Vujicic, each of whom validate their understanding of God’s purposes for the disabilities/handicaps in their lives (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTVhYO42c_0). “This is the tool that God used to shake me and shape me . . ..” says Joni of her wheelchair. Take it from someone who has lived most of her life in a state of severe handicap, while emanating with amazing joy in the Lord, an inspiration for all to see.
In like manner, Joni shares: “He has prudent purposes in this virus and in its impact . . .. Christians can be confident in His purposes . . . . there is absolutely no reason to be caught up in the panic or in the blame . . .” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwHlJk2L-qE)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTVhYO42c_0 Sanctity Of Life
FEB. 6, 2019, joni eareckson tada & Nick Vujicic, Joni & Friends Ministry.
New Generation | Joni Eareckson Tada & Ken Tada, Apr 20, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwHlJk2L-qE A Calming Word During the Coronavirus, Mar 13, 2020
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.