Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)
TITLE: Salvation's Opposing Sensations
By Jacob Drollinger
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While our walk with the Lord is always going to bring us abundant life, sometimes it’s not exactly the abundance we were hoping for or had planned on. In one sense, the condition of being on fire for Jesus is the sweetest sensation a person could possibly know. On the other hand, because Satan hates all that is good, once that he sees a life transformed by faith in Christ, he will never cease in attempting to make it taste as bitter as a Chinese pine nut.
I have witnessed this contrast in sensations personally. When I was eighteen, I was emotionally lost. I suffered from a strange psychological illness which eventually brought me to the end of the rope of torment. I tried to end my life by carbon monoxide poisoning, and the resulting brain damage created a profoundly altered physical condition. My physical functioning gradually improved over the course of the next eight years. I finally found salvation as a twenty-six-year-old, and from that time forward I have been in a nearly constant state of disintegration and dissipation. It has indeed been, in part, a bitter thirteen years.
Although life has been a troublesome journey since I was eighteen, God has also added an improbable sweet pot of honey to it. He gave me soundness of mind, and left me with intelligence enough to graduate from college. I have found true love in spite of myself, and I married that true love. I have also become a father, and my daughter loves me as if I have no flaws. As bitter as he has allowed life to become, in my darkest hour, I could never have imagined the blessings which he was to bestow upon me.
At times our glorious journey seems to be an endless series of trials and temptations. As we grow stronger in Him, often these tests feel as if they become more and more demanding. We should always try to look at it through His divine eyes, however perplexing this may become. If the Lord is testing us we should look at it as an honor, for He alone knows what He has put inside of us. As in the story of Job, He allowed Satan to torture the man of faith, because He knew the strength with which He had fashioned him. Job said, “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” Job 2:10.
In his infinite wisdom, God will always know the amount of resistance we need. If an athlete’s training is never intensified, how will his performance improve? If one never experiences the darkness of night, how can that person appreciate the brilliance of the day? If we are never given anything bitter to eat, how will we truly know what sweet is?
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