God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you are in isn’t punishment; it’s training (Hebrews 12:7 MSG).
Crises affect everyone. Certainly this is true, considering the past 5 months. We are all in this one together! Dwight Carlson says, I am convinced that how we respond to crises is more important than what the crisis is or what caused the crisis in the first place – even if it is due to our own sin (from: Overcoming 7 Obstacles to Spiritual Growth).
We may be confronted by a crisis of faith at any time in our relationship with God. As followers of Christ we need to see obstacles, tragedies, and suffering as normal; it is more a matter of how we face this reality and how we come through it. Sometimes it may feel like punishment; but could it be that God’s desire is to help us grow, mature and be trained in righteousness? How are you navigating your way through the unchartered waters we have encountered since March? Are you closer to the Lord or do you feel abandoned by God?
Crises reveal the heart. When we face the biggest challenges to our faith, we can yield to God and grow or we can resist. The Message puts it this way, Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors (James 1:2-4).
Paul reminds the Philippians, There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting (Philippians 1:26 MSG). I believe that when I am brought to the end of myself, then I can grow and mature in Christ. I need to yield to God’s will, and surrender my own will daily.
Billy Graham once said, The key to experiencing supernatural, liberating strength is personal weakness. That’s right, personal weakness. God’s power, shows up best in weak people (II Corinthians 12:9 TLB). The weaker you are, the more God’s strength can show up in you. I am thankful for this biblical truth because I find myself feeling weaker these days; but also more empowered by my God, than ever before.
Be blessed my brothers and sisters; this too shall pass, but let us take advantage of this great opportunity.
In Him, Pastor Tim