Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Faith Builders

I've been having a rough time (at least by middle-class American standards) the past couple of weeks. Appointments cancelled on three hours' notice. Tempting invitations arriving too late to accept. Indefinitely delayed paychecks and imminently due bills. An overload of reading material. Communication difficulties with friends. And an overall sense, cf. C. S. Lewis's "Counting the Cost," of "God is pushing me to keep growing--but now that I'm mature enough to to be reasonably comfortable in my own conscience, I'd rather rest here forever and not have to keep struggling upward!"

Trouble is, the journey toward Christian perfection is less a climb up Mount Everest than a trek to the North Pole. We aren't walking over fixed granite but over floating ice; so when we sit still, we don't stay where we are--we drift backwards.

Many people say (and virtually all of us have thought at times), "I won't believe God loves me unless He removes all the difficulties from my life. If He did, I'd be a better Christian." But the Bible and even secular history provide ample evidence that those who "have it best" in worldly terms are the first to slide into moral laxity. God doesn't withhold what we want because He enjoys torturing us--He does it because He loves us enough to value our ultimate best over our momentary pleasure.

The next time you're tempted to whine, "God, why can't I have this or that right now?" try praying, instead, "Lord, please give me the faith to trust that You will work this situation out for my good."

"It's easy enough to trust Jesus
When blessings abound all the way,
But I just can't see
How He could love me
And stand by while I struggle each day."

No--
It's easy to revel in riches
And forget Him Who gave them to you,
But the saint with less
Can still be quite blessed
And know God's gifts are many, not few.

"It's easy enough to be faithful
So long as life's tragedy-free,
But my faith's gone dark
Through a broken heart--
How could Love let this happen to me?"

No--
The life that knows only the sunshine
Can easily fail to bear fruit,
But the plant grows deep
Through the days you weep
And shed tears that can water the root.

It's easy enough to blame Jesus
When life isn't all that you crave;
But the saint who grows
Is the one who knows
The true joy of just being God's slave.

1 comment:

peacechild4 said...

We truly grow up when we learn that God is good and blesses His people and His burden is light.. That His path is straight and his strength perfect even in our weakness!!

Jesus did say in this world we would have troubles.. but He also says that He has overcome the world.. and that we in Christ overcome the world..

Our victory is assured now.. we must walk it out in faith.. seeing not the troubles many though they may be.. but seeing the victory which is ours if we can believe and stand on what God has said.. We will come through even the valley of the shadow of death!! For God is not our enemy but our Saviour!!

1 John 5:4
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Christian love to you!!