"We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4
says the same: "Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials… the
testing of your faith develops perseverance."
Ever read those passages in the Bible?
They sound so good, and so right, but have you ever really thought about what it means to 'face trials?'
Our life has been a strange trail this year. Out of the 10 most stressful parts of life, we've endured 7 of the most traumatic experiences in life.
A Major Cross Country Move.
A New Child.
A New Job.
Death near our family.
Change in Financial State.
It's been a crazy year.
In fact, just last week, I laid on the table at my new friend/chiropractor. He basically looked at me and without even touching me he said, "Why are you so stressed out?"
Ever had an experience like that?
If God is so sovereign, I often wonder why He allows all this stuff to go on, especially to those of us who have dedicated our lives to His service.
Think about it.
Mother Teresa underwent a life of enduring stress while she gave herself to the poorest of the poor.
Martin Luther King was shot in an attempt to bring people together under God's banner of equality.
Jim Elliot was shot after giving His life to spread the word to the Indian villages of Ecuador.
I'm not insinuating that my trials are on any sort of par with those mentioned above, but I'm wondering….God Why?
Why do you take us through financial, physical, mental, spiritual desert times? Wouldn't we benefit the same from living in Communion with you all the time?
Well, the answer is Obvious, and the theology needs to change.
The idea that God's blessing equates to that of material wealth, physical health, and spiritual satisfaction is just not a viable Biblical Narrative.
Abraham might have been wealthy according to the world's standards, but he had to walk his son up a mountain for sacrifice. Can you imagine what that might have been like?
All of Noah's friends drown.
King David was chased his whole life by the enemies of the state.
Think Jonah and the Ninevites.
Samson and the Philistines.
Saul to Paul.
Even Peter and the Apostles.
It's almost as if the core of faith is dependent on tragedy and trail. What if we are unable to know the depths of God's love for us, until we allow those trials to work on us? My youth director called it "strength of Character." I call it "strength of life."
For us to understand the deep truths of Gospel, we must put our elves in a position where pain and trials might pressure us to truth. It's like a lump of coal that takes immense pressure to become a diamond. But when formed is just that….a diamond in the rough.
God continues to work on me. Harder and Harder. I long to be the man He is fashioning me to be.