Life's Curve Balls
Life certainly throws us a lot of curve balls doesn't it? I know I personally have had some tremendous trials, mostly health related, but not all of them. Probably everyone reading this has experienced something similar at some level. You know, often we will say the Devil is tempting us, and we may or may not be serious about it when we say it, but sometimes it may very well be true. We know God doesn't temp us, but He does allow us to be tested not only by temptation to sin, but by having our lives shaken, maybe severely shaken. Look at Job. Even the strongest of Christians sometimes will have their faith tested by having their lives turned upside down. What is God bringing about in all this?
I'm not a person full of words of wisdom, but God is, and there are numerous Bible passages that God has given us regarding such times of uncertainty or fear of what we may be facing or don't yet know. Here are a couple to remind us where we are in the bigger picture.
The Apostle Paul was plagued by something he never fully describes, but he says, "I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me". Did you see those words, Paul blamed Satan and whatever it was, it was bad, either physical or mental suffering, or both. He asked the Lord 3 times to take it away, but the Lord replied, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Not the answer Paul wanted, but he responded by saying, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12: 7-10)
The other comes from Proverbs. 3 The heading in my Bible says 'Wisdom Bestows Well-Being'. This scripture is not speaking about specific times of trouble per-sey, but about our constant thought processes and response to them, that obviously help shape us for times of trouble, help guide us through them, and then help us recover from them. Vs-5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." This scripture is addressing several aspects of our lives, including our belief, faith and commitment. Vs-7-8 then says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." We must keep our faith in Him strong, not giving in to temptation and not turning to our own wisdom, especially when times are tough.
We may see pain, hardship, adversity, fear and dread. But let us never forget that God may be opening a new door of opportunity for us or through us. What is it God is working to accomplish?
Today, whether you are facing health issues, temptation, fear of some kind, or are just confused by the world and looking for answers, remember that God is in control. He may not cure us as we view a cure. His plans may be beyond our understanding. He may take us through the shadows of death, He may even take us home, but it is HIS strength that we must depend on. We have been reminded in these verses that it is God who is all wise and all knowing, and if we hold fast, submitting ourselves to Him in times of trouble, He will be there for us, not only with wisdom, but with strength and guidance and help in our time of need.