As people living in a post-Eden world, we rarely encounter a perfect situation in our lives. No matter where we are, or what we’re trying to accomplish, more often than not the setting is far from ideal. Sometimes, it’s downright ugly. We live and work in situations that are not what they should be, among people who don’t lead or respond in the way that they should. (And unfortunately, we tend to be as much a part of the problem as anyone or anything around us.)
The good news is that, in Christ, we know that every moment has a purpose— every circumstance we encounter is working together for good (see Romans 8:28). And so the questions need to be asked: Am I learning to live that truth out in every circumstance? Am I growing in my understanding that God— not chance or chaos—is in control of each situation I face? In light of God’s sovereignty, the most frustrating interactions with other stubborn, selfish, broken humans take on a new form. They becomes much more than just a chance to gnash our teeth or fight harder to prove our point. In light of God’s sovereignty, the most heartbreaking losses or fear-filled moments become more than something that simply must be survived. They become opportunities.
Ultimately, every imperfect situation is a chance for us to choose whether or not we will truly trust Christ and rest in his grace— right now. They are chances God gives us to find complete satisfaction in Him as the Source of truly everything we need. And on a more concrete level, I believe that our trials are often ripe moments for us to both learn and do something specific that honors God.
For us to truly live this out, there must be a fundamental shift away from feeling that this moment of pain, or frustration, or fear has been orchestrated by random chance. We must believe that it is not chaos that ultimately holds the reigns of our lives, but God. What a difference it would make then, not to shake our fist at the sky and cry out, “How could this be happening to me?” but instead to humbly say, “I’m listening. What would You have me learn? What would You have me do?”
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line— mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. – James 1:2-5 (The Voice)
[Originally posted here.]
For more information on GBC, visit begrace.org.