Skip to main content

So that's what you are planning!

Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. (Romans 12:12)

How many times are we less than delighted with the plans we see being laid out before us? We might be a little 'okay' with them, but in the long run, they aren't what we really 'wanted', so we end up going along with them, but not whole-heartedly. God isn't always going to lay out plans we are going to jump with joy about. Some of the stuff he asks us to walk through will give us an opportunity to develop trust in his direction, while other stuff will be easy-peasy. It is the stuff we walk through that will eventually develop our character and a deeper trust in his ways that we struggle with the most.

Why? It requires us to be patient and that isn't always the easiest reaction to things that give us a little 'trouble' along the way. In fact, we want to either bypass the trouble, or get some kind of instant 'faith boost' to make it through without much effort. Unfortunately, those 'instant faith boosts' don't always come - sometimes we just need to walk through that hard stuff before we really begin to 'feel' or 'appreciate' that our faith has actually been increased. Prayerfulness in the midst of the trouble is always God's recommended plan. It is how we develop the patience to walk it out. 

I have sometimes begun my prayers in those times with complaint - telling God just how 'uncomfortable' I am in the midst of the trouble, how much I want 'out' of it, and what I believe HE should do in order for me to be relieved of it. Ever been there? In rather short order, I usually find God changing those complaints into more of a discussion - showing me where I need a bit of change, how much he is caring for me as I go through the challenge, and what steps to take next. In essence, he is helping me embrace the trouble with less complaint and more trust. How about you? Have you started out with complaint and ended with thankfulness, not really understanding how you got from 'crankiness' to 'joyfulness'?

It is only by God's hand that we walk through those troubles. We can be glad in the midst of troubles, but it may take some honest 'unloading' of our feelings and frustrations before God in prayer to get us to that point. Never be afraid to express yourself to him - he knows what is in your heart, but sometimes he just needs to hear us express it to him. In so doing, we open the door for him to bring peace in the midst of anxiety, hope in the midst of what seems to be unlikely, and freedom when it seems like we are being 'boxed in' by some force beyond our understanding. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,