Busy couple of days, sure you can relate ;) Finishing up question #1, Vernick was asking, "Do you believe that if God doesn't allow you to have the desires of your heart, it is because He loves you and that His heart knows what is best for you?" Who can't find themselves in this place at times, maybe for some people a lot more often, needing to be reminded that God is in control and that He has plans to bless us an prosper us, to give us a hope and a future? I know that, for me, there have been many answers to prayer that were a big Yes, and many that have been a big No or - more confusing- not answered at all, it seems. This is when we are told to trust in God's character. He has the plan! And, He can be faithfully trusted to carry it out. One of the thoughts that so encourages me when I find myself in this place is reminding myself of Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross for me. ( And you, too!). God loves us even enough to send his only son to suffer, bleed and die a criminals death on a cross to save us from our enemy!! !
How is that or a knight in shining armor to rescue us, huh? We have a God who cares, who ALWAYS has a plan, who promises that He will not leave us nor forsake us. 'On the Christ the solid Rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand' ( shout-out to Sovereign Grace ministries, that's the refrain of only one of their incredible worship songs. ) Now that I am all fired up, I trust that you are too! LOL :) For anyone struggling here today, one book at our church's book table is ' When God Weeps" by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes. It is a great read. If your unfamiliar with Joni ( as I was), she has been wheelchair bound for more than thirty years following a diving accident as a young teen. Her url is www.joniandfriends.org .
But, back to business! Vernick closes up shop on question #1 by asking, ' If God chooses to not allow you to have what you want, are you willing to yield that decision to Him, in faith?'
There are many thing in my life I do not 'want' , meaning, if I could go clean slate and pick and choose all that I *wanted*, I would not *choose* these particular things. But, we are foolish aren't we? And God knows what is best for me, so I can be sure- in faith- that the 'don't want's' in my life are ordained for me, and must be there for a reason. I am sure learning things about God I would never have learned if I didn't have to lean on Him so much, many days. Do you think my self-sufficiency would be out of control if these thorns were not with me? I was! There was a time I didn't think I needed any God to save me, that I wasn't a 'bad' person, that I could take care of myself...just fine. Oh how that seems so foolish now, but only because God- by His grace- for whatever reasons he has- chose to reach out for me and pull me out of the pit I was running with all my might into! Trusting on my worthiness was a very foolish path to be one, especially for me!, but also for each one of us since God says not one is righteous, not one. And, since God is the only omnicient and omnipresent creator I know, it is pretty clear that not only am I not in control here ( Thank You , God! ) but it also reminds me of God's mercifullness with me, and all of us. He is ever merciful to those He calls his children, and even to those who's hearts are far from him... for a lifetime, however long that may be. Let's Thank God together today that He has spared us from the eternity in hell we deserve and given us a free gift ~ the most impressive gift of all!~~an eternity in Heaven with Him ! Even before we die, while still here on this earth, God is with us-isn't He?
I love this quote from Jonathan Edwards I found on to be a pilgrim at eblogger beta...
" The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to Heaven to enjoy God fully and infinately is better than the most pleasant accomodations here. Fathers or mothers, husbands or wives, or children or the company of our earthly friends, these are but shadows ; God is the substance! These are but the streams; God is the ocean!"
So even if all of our human relationships are 'not perfect' - we are all sinners, right? we must not forget to be including ourselves in that - that doesn't really affect the Main Thing, does it?!
The Main Thing is Enjoying God, and that we can do no matter what sin we are struggling against. No, I'll never be perfect and without sin ( till I get to Heaven...yippee!!) but it is still possible to live a cross-centered life ( plug: great book titled just that by CJ Mahaney) even so and read that little book if you have any doubts about that ;)
...Should we even venture into question #2, just yet? I think question #1 was such a good one that we should steep in it for just a while longer .
God Bless You!!