James 1:12~“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
A smooth sailing ship transcends the most turbulent of seas, proving to be a steadfast faithful vessel. It is such an easy thing to praise and worship God when everything in life floats with ease. However, what about roads traveled down where the pathway is bumpy, filled with unexpected zigzag detours along the way. This scenario can produce deadly consequences, whether literally or metaphorically speaking, the outcome is destining to finish off with a devastating life changing experience. In the literal sense, a train could lose its railing grip, jumping off track and crash and burn; while metaphorically, an unholy person who dishonors God’s Will and chooses to live by their own; will ultimately lose their soul on a downward spiral leading straight to hell.
Interestingly enough, in my own personal journey, it’s always through the most challenging circumstances which tend to lead me closer to God’s calling for my life. I learned to not question the reasons behind every fateful situation, as I began substituting the “why me syndrome;” for accepting calamitous events with grace—as a measure of taking responsibility and paying penitence for what possibly could have been avoided if not for my reckless actions; or to simply accept adverse circumstances by realizing that sometimes bad things happen to good people.
Today marks exactly one week since my big fat ball of personality—Roscoe went missing, so basically I found myself with two choices; to either sit under a rock in a fetal position of self-pity wondering why such an ill-fated act occurred, or accept the reality of the situation through faith and prayer. I chose the latter, hoping for a miraculous reunion with my dog, but in the end, the true reality is that everything happens for a reason, and God’s Will be done. My former self would probably have consumed a bottle of wine trying to escape in a fog of drunken bliss; but the new me continues to revere and praise the Name of my Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ, thanking Him for allowing the Holy Spirit to peacefully sustain my heart and soul during this difficult season. Life is filled with countless lessons, both good and bad, but if God can bring us to it, He can bring us through it; and I choose to experience life with confidence and a prayerful spirit believing that all things work together for the greater good.
Philippians 4:6~“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Our Heavenly Creator meticulously designed everything exactly as it was meant to be and nothing or no one could ever change its course. I take refuge in God's eternal Word knowing that my lifestyle and choice of free-will shall determine whatever path was destined for me from the very start. The Bible is our map, equipped to pave the way at a crossroads—one road leads to sin and destruction, and the other road leads to righteousness and life everlasting. All of the directions for living are available to each and every one of us who seek to know the heart of God as He will also reveal to us the truth within our own hearts.
Although God is incapable of tempting us since He is divinely pure by nature; He will still test us to see what we are made of and if we are freely willing to love and worship Him in all circumstances. But most importantly it is important that whatever we ask for in prayer…it is done according to His Will and not ours.
1 Thessalonians 5:18~“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
If we do not ask in accordance to God's will, do we comprehend the essence of what genuine faith truly means? Faith is trusting in the Word of God which cannot take the place of asking according to His majestic Will. Sincere faith goes hand and hand with believing that God will deliver what He sees fit for our lives; He knows what is best for us even when we are blinded by the full picture. God may have something much better in store that will supersede whatever we have asked for. It is crucial that we learn how to trust God and to pray based on Luke 22:42~“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus Christ is our greatest teacher of how to pray according to His Father’s Will, as Christ so selflessly exemplified in the previous scripture.
1 John 5:14~“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
The waiting period subsequent to our prayers should be utilized as an opportunity to develop patience and other Godly attributes. A seed planted in a dirt field of trials and tribulations will harvest wiser, stronger and more obedient God-fearing Christians who are pleasing to our Lord above.
Blessings of peace, joy and love in Christ our Savior be with all who are reading this message. Encourage someone today who may be suffering through a rough patch and show them how to keep the faith through your loving compassion; then recite these gentle words to comfort the heart of their weary spirit, ‘this too shall pass.’