Who’s in Charge Here?
God is the author of our salvation, not the architect of our misery.
I understand the need to search things out, but some conclude to easily that God is “teaching them a lesson” by giving devastating financial loss, sickness and disease, the loss of a loved one, or other such things.
As I heard one minister put it, if I were to give lessons to my children the way some people say God does, my kids would be taken away by protective services. It may seem like two sides of the same coin, but it’s extremely important. If you believe God gave you a disease to make you a better Christian, you ascribe evil to God. There is no disease in Him.
Does He use these types of circumstances to build our faith and form the character of Christ in us? Yes, I believe He does.
God is the one who must give us the opportunity to have our faith tested. It is all of His initiative. –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers
I find comfort in the reality that He is in charge of my testing/training.
I follow Him. He sees faith budding. He uses the circumstances of life, the actions of others, and the attacks of the enemy to prune away the fear and doubt. As a result, more faith and His character is enabled to flourish.
Now, the way I just described it sounds so nice and neat, but we all know it’s not so easy. You may shed many tears and endure sleepless nights. You may feel like you’ve been caught in the undertow of an ocean wave that’s dragging you out to sea. There are times you want to give up and walk away.
This is when you remember you simply have to keep following. Keep trusting. Keep allowing Him to meet you. He was the One who saw you were ready for a test and initiated it. He didn’t cause the pain, but He leads you through it.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. –Psalm 23:4
Evil comes to me, but Goodness is with me. The shadow of death wants to make me flee Him, but my Shepherd comforts me.
We need not fear or dread the calamity; if it comes, it is customized in advance by our loving heavenly Father just for us. We can embrace it with expectancy, knowing that our perseverance will produce true riches. –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers
Perseverance may seem to be in short supply in our world, but our Father values and rewards it. I don’t have to live with the dread of something bad happening. I can live in the expectation that His grace will be there to keep me in Him.
How about you? Do you see a difference in God testing your faith as opposed to giving you a disease? Is it an important distinction? What keeps you following through the fire of delays?
Welcome to week 2 of our book club discussion of the Fire of Delayed Answers (disclosure) by Bob Sorge. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Since the chapters are longer and subject matter warrants, we’ll also be taking 2 weeks for each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, add it to the widget over at my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog and get her thoughts as well. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!