It would seem odd, but I’ve found many “contradictions” or ironies when it comes to living for God. They appear that way because our logic in no way compares to the vast wisdom of God Whose ways and thoughts are so far above our own (Isaiah 55:8).
There’s a moment when Jesus is tweaking the Law and giving His friends a new commandment: love your enemies, grow in character, and in press through in prayer. His justification is that the Father treats everyone the same. Our flesh doesn’t want to accept this. We want revenge. We want them suffer. God wants to extend His blessings to ALL. “He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty” (Matthew 5:45).
It’s confusing but in God’s economy, our life circumstances are not a guarantee of our standing with Him. We assume that if we live holy and do our best to please God, then life will be fine and dandy. On the other hand, if we live badly, then life will go badly. WRONG. Confused? Join the club.
I’ve seen many get disillusioned because of this paradox, possibly turn from their faith. But the lesson remains the same: don’t trust in circumstances, trust in God!
Just because everything is going wrong does not mean God has abandoned us.
We can be the most faithful, pure, obedient, humble, prayerful, strong in the Word, generous, loving, compassionate, patient, kind, etc. and yet our lives could be a big mess. Cars break down. Houses catch fire. Children rebel. Spouses are unfaithful. Salaries are cut while the cost of living rises. Accidents occur. Our bodies get sick. People die. Life happens.
But as we look at examples through Scripture, adversity often meant the greatest stage for a God-sized miracle! Whatever His reasons be it testing, orchestrating history, or proving Himself…God will have His way and be glorified…if we persevere and keep our eyes on Him, hold His promises close to our hearts, and not give up.
Joseph must have grown discouraged after years of betrayal and rejection. But he acknowledge it was God who turned evil into “good to save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire but a fourth person, God Himself was with them!
Just because everything is going right does not indicate God’s favor.
We can lack integrity, be dishonest, give into temptation, act on our fantasies, cheat, steal, gossip, slander, not pray, not read our Bibles, grow selfish and greedy, be prideful, arrogant, and self sufficient…and still slide by in life with little or no problems. Work promotion. Pay raise. Clean bill of health. Happy and peaceful family situation. Great relationships. Life is great!
And yet, none of this proves an ounce of faithfulness or substantial long term blessing. Let’s not allow ourselves to be fooled by easy going times and mistakenly think that God is pleased with us.
Even the kings of Israel and Judah, as rebellious and wicked as they were, still experienced abundance for a season. But prosperity often signified God’s impending judgment not times of blessing.
- Prioritize His Presence!
- Prioritize His Word!
- Prioritize Prayer!
- Surround ourselves with people who have the freedom to speak into our lives. Hug us when we’re feeling discouraged, slap us when we’re being dumb! 🙂
- Be patient and wait on God!
- Be FAITHFUL until the orders change!