Romans 5:3-4 “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
How often do you “glory in your suffering” or “consider it joy when you face trials”?
I’ve experienced a hard couple of months in my personal life. We all go through tough times. It’s how you allow God to use those tough times that makes the difference.
As I was thinking through some things today, I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps God’s purpose in what I’ve been through is to bring me to the place where I rest totally in the sufficiency of Christ. Yes – it’s easy to say you trust Jesus but do you totally trust him? Do you totally rest in his care?
I’ve always been able to handle just about anything life has thrown at me. I’m a strong independent woman. And – that’s not necessarily a blessing. While I would dedicate my abilities and efforts to God, that isn’t really what He wanted. I would even pray for God to bless my efforts but what God wants is not my efforts.
He wants me to be totally yielded to Him. God doesn’t need me to help Him. He needs me to get out of the way and let Him be God. He needs my availability not my ability.
I experience peace when I focus on the person of Jesus not on what I can do for Jesus.
Many people think that God won’t give me more than I can handle. I think God does give me more than I can handle sometimes. He gives me burdens that I can’t carry alone in an effort to break me. He wants to bring me to the end of my own resources so that I can understand that He is the only resource I need.
As long as I can do it myself, I will never really understand that He doesn’t just give me strength, He is my strength. He doesn’t want me to get stronger – He wants me to become weak so that He can express Himself as my strength.
Sometimes I pray for God to change my circumstances when what I don’t see is how God wants to use those circumstances to accomplish His purposes in me. God’s design is that I would give up all hope in doing it myself and fully trust Him to do it through me.
Don’t become so preoccupied with what you are doing for God that you lose your focus on the One who called you to it. Busyness, even in ministry, can be a deterrent in your intimacy with your Savior. (Think about the story of Mary and Martha)
Resting in Christ is the main responsibility of a believer. Let everything else flow from that.