Sometimes life throws challenges our way and we have a choice on whether they become a hurdle or a runway. We can see them as an obstacle or as a stage on which God’s glory can be seen. Often we base the choice on our own expectations and the outcome we desire. We can also allow them to misdefine our identity and worth.
As Christians we sometimes define our life by our blessings but the hard truth is our life is not about us. When we accept the gift of salvation we also choose to make Him Lord. Yes He is a loving Father and He knows how to give good gifts. However sometimes those gifts come wrapped as trials and tribulations.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Romans 8:29 NKJV
If Jesus had to face hardships and hurts why would we think we are going to progress through this life walking on fluffy clouds? Jesus’ life was marked by the most horrible hardships ever faced and He chose to allow God to be seen in each one. He allowed them to become a runway on which the glory of God was spotlighted for all to see. Over and over we see Him yield to the will of His Father. He didn’t just praise Him when He felt blessed or wanted to. Jesus said ‘Your will be done ‘in the hardest of times. We see this when He was sweating blood in the garden, when He was being tortured, beaten and even crucified. We have allowed a false narrative to settle into the church that says that we have a say in the outcome or circumstance and only when they match our desires has God answered. He is the King of Kings He doesn’t answer to us.
We often take these gifts that He gives us and turn them into hurdles that we war against as if they shouldn’t be in our lives. As hard as these times can be we should be rejoicing that God is using them to transform us into His image. He longs to use them to draw the lost to His truth and love. How can He do that when we spend our effort letting them beat us down and stop us from showing His love and kingdom to those who have no hope. If we as Children of God act as though we have no hope because of a circumstance how then can we lead others to hope in Him?
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NKJV
Often we can read a word like this and dismiss it by saying ‘but you don’t know what I have been though’ or ‘no one knows what I am dealing with’. While this may be true nothing compares to what Jesus went through. We can easily dismiss the opportunity of giving God glory by magnifying what we are facing, our emotions and expectations about our circumstances.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:1-5 NKJV
As someone who is and has been facing many trials let me assure you I have had to remind myself to allow each one to be a runway for God. My regular prayer is Be Glorified. Be glorified as I battle stage four cancer. Be glorified as I grieve the sudden accident of my dear Kathie and subsequent downward spiral of her health. Yes, even be gloried as I mourn her death and grieve our separation and yet rejoice for her entrance to Heaven. Be glorified in the passing of another dear friend Charmane who walks in Heaven. Actually knowing her she runs, leaps and dances in Heaven 😊. She also I am sure was one among the great cloud of witnesses welcoming my dear sister Kathie home last night.
Beloved friends, it’s not that we won’t face hard times but that He is with us in them! These past eight months have been nothing but a downpour of hard times but trust me when I say if we allow them to be a runway they will also be the sweetest of times as well for it is in these times when we truly see God.