Fantasy or Faith?

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Sometimes I am able to solve the BIG problems, make everybody happy, and accomplish amazing things – in my dreams! My mind is able to create a world where everyone lives ‘happily ever after’ when I slip the bounds of consciousness during sleep. Then, I wake up to real life, to the renewed knowledge that solutions are created with hard work and implemented, step by step. It is a world in which I make mistakes, endure outcomes that I did not see coming.  Here is what I also know – often my disappointments become the doorways to discovery of God’s plans. At the end of my resources, if I walk with Him in faith, He acts in His own mysterious ways and almost never within my timetable.

Are you facing multiple challenges, kind of wishing you could find a quick and painless way to solve those problems? Are you tired? Even weariness, however, has its own kind of blessing. When we’re just too tired to stand, we can kneel in prayer and listen to the Spirit more intently.

Peter was inspired to leave us this wonderful wisdom about trusting God through it all. Read it carefully! “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. … Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!”  (1 Peter 4:10-16, NLT)

First, God says that HE prepares us to be part of His work and gives us divine abilities to fulfill His purposes. You can serve Him.  I can, too. Because, He has resourced us!

Second, He assured us that the hard stuff is part of being human and that all of these painful things serve the purpose of burning away the fog that obscures the brightness of Christ Jesus shining through me! Raising godly kids, dealing with our own temptation, doing what God asks us to do, pressing toward excellence in life – these require the presence of the Spirit in us – if we want Jesus to shine through.

Third, He says that the pain makes us partners with Christ, joined in His suffering, and open to the Spirit’s strength. That’s not a very popular idea even in the Christian world where so many trumpet perpetual triumph, breakthroughs, and prosperity for all. Yet, it is a consistent theme in the Word that without suffering there is no real growth.

Fourth, God invites us to praise Him for the privilege of being named ‘child of God!’

If we could find some magical method to create a world of eternal sunshine, without any suffering, full of perpetual happiness, Peter tells us we would not seek God as He desires. Without stress that forces growth we will remain immature, undeveloped.

I loved visiting with my 5 year old grandson on Monday. He was blissfully unaware of the turmoil in our government, untroubled by the decay of our culture.  He is amazingly happy, as little children ought to be. Have you mistakenly believed that disciples of Christ should continue to live as little children- unaware of the world in which they live?   We do need a child-like faith that trusts the provision of our Father, but we cannot lose ourselves in playing at life while the world burns, can we?

I am a mature man, called to the work of building the Kingdom of God in a world full of sin that makes that task sometimes hard. God will not give me all the answers I want, magically waving away every trouble, but He will give me (and you) all we need for ‘life and godliness,’ to live with steady endurance and in full faith in His strength to keep us.

Take Paul’s testimony about God’s sufficient promises to heart today. Here is a word from the Word. “I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11, NLT)

________

God Only Knows

(For King and Country sings a beautiful song! Enjoy)

Wide awake while the world is sound asleep and
Too afraid of what might show up
While you’re dreamin’
Nobody nobody nobody sees you
Nobody nobody will believe you
Every day you try to pick up all the pieces
All the memories they somehow never leave ya
Nobody nobody nobody sees you
Nobody nobody will believe you

God only knows what you been through
God only knows what they say about you
God only knows how it’s killing you
But there’s a kind of a love that God only knows

God only knows what you been through
God only knows what they say about you
God only knows the real you
There’s a kind of a love that God only knows

There’s a kind of love that
There’s a kind of love

You keep a cover over every single secret
So afraid if someone saw them they would leave
But somebody somebody somebody sees you
Somebody somebody will never leave you

For the lonely for the ashamed
The misunderstood and the ones to blame
What if we can start over
We could start over we could start over
‘Cause there’s a kinda love that God only knows

God only knows where to find you
God only knows how to break through
God only knows the real you
There’s a kind of love that God only knows

Joel Smallbone | Jordan Reynolds | Josh Kerr | Luke Smallbone | Tedd Tjornhom © 2018 Curb Wordspring Music (Admin. by W.B.M. Music Corp.) Shaun Shankel Pub Designee (Admin. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.) Buckeye26 (Admin. by WB Music Corp.)

CCLI License # 810055

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