Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 12, 2018
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18
In preparation for the writing of my first book, “Betrayed by God? Making Sense of Your Expectations” I did some online research to find out why people walked away from faith in Christ. Over and over folks shared their disappointments about their expectations not being met. “I prayed and God didn’t answer.” “I was abused as a child. Why did other people get the life I wanted?” “I asked God to set me free from my addiction, and He hasn’t helped.” Basically, all of these folks were saying the same thing: “Christianity, and faith in Christ don’t work because it hasn’t worked how I want.”
Granted, it’s normal to feel the sting of disappointment when life hurts. But we have to remember that Christianity isn’t proven by having a pain-free life, or by things going the way we desire.
We may not experience the happy marriage we have longed for, even though this is what God desires. Our children may still walk away from Christ after we have repeatedly prayed for that not to happen. We may lose our job and experience financial difficulty. If we are looking for life always to go the way we want or to be pain free as proof of God’s love for us, we will be disappointed, our faith will suffer, and our love for Him may grow cold.
Christianity doesn’t work because we always get what we want. It works because Christ is always with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. The power of faith is not that trouble disappears and all of our prayers are answered according to our wants, but that Christ gives us His perspective when we need it during troubled times.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
We say, “Lord, please heal my body” and He says, “My grace is made perfect in weakness. I will show you the beauty of my presence in your trial so you can experience a peace you have never known.”
We say, “Lord, please give my husband a new job this month.” He says, “I will not give him the job this month, but I will sustain your family. I will move others to financially give so you see my grace and love for you in action through my body.”
We say, “Lord, please prosper me and give me the career I desire.” He says, “I will lead you to the career you will desire, but now I am teaching you to trust me.”
There are times when God answers our prayers exactly how we want—and those are joyous times. But when this doesn’t happen, the Lord always gives us another gift. . .perhaps greater peace, joy, faith or a deeper sense of His love.
The key is to keep our spiritual eyes open so we notice the good when it comes. Bitterness from feeling ignored by God or that He has overlooked or denied you will never serve you well.
“The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17b).
PrayerLord, I praise you that you are always working things out for my good and your glory and that you never allow a trouble in my life without good reason. Help me to live by faith and trust you when things don’t go according to my plan.
ApplicationMake a list of the most difficult experiences in your life in one column on a piece of paper. In a second column, list the good that has come from each experience. Then, thank the Lord for His faithfulness.
Related ReadingPsalm 32:7-8; Psalm 9:9-10, Isaiah 26:3
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