As a believer, do you have turmoil and troubles in your life; is your world being shaken? Thank God! Just as a father, with love and caring, chastises his child for its edification and to correct wrong behavior, so our Heavenly Father also chastises us. Any turmoil and trouble that enters our life is from Him, and is for our benefit, for our highest growth as His child–He is lovingly encouraging us to look only to Him for our salvation. If we remain focused only on Him and not on the outward appearance of trouble, we will be rescued, and in the process, our faith in Him will grow. In these times, God is calling for all of His to be walking in faith, so if you find you are being troubled, give thanks, do not fight it; embrace the lessons you are so mercifully being given by Our Father—it is because He loves us and wants us fully prepared for what is to come. Do not waver, do not doubt, and be not discouraged. In our spiritual life, everything is according to faith—this is spiritual law, which cannot be evaded.
Heaven can only be entered through faith. God is all about faith. Our salvation comes through faith. We can do nothing to work our way into Heaven, His grace or His presence. The only thing we can give God, and the only thing He asks of us, is our utmost and complete faith in Him, and our love. He is God Almighty, our Omniscient Omnipresent, Omnipotent Father–who else should we put our trust in?
When we accepted the gift of salvation through the death of Jesus on the cross for the redemption of our sins, we agreed to make Him (not ourselves) the Lord of our lives, and to follow Him. When affliction enter our lives, it is because we are not following Him. The affliction is to show us that we need to correct our course, because we have strayed from following Him; we have taken our eyes off of Him and are focusing on the trouble. When we are focused only on Him, the trouble (loss of job or home, sickness, death of a loved one, challenging co-worker or neighbor, car troubles, etc.) may still exist, but they cannot touch us if we are dwelling in the fortress of God, in the shelter of the Most High, in the shadow of the Almighty, under His wings (like a baby chick takes refuge under its mother’s wings). On our own, we are like defenseless baby chicks. He tells us to take refuge under His wings where we are safe from all harm–not to run chirping into the middle of the yard where we become easy prey for the hawk! Baby chicks know to run to the shelter of their mother’s wings when trouble is near. Why do we so often fight against running to the shelter of our Father/Mother, God and instead turn to the foolishness of the world, which has no answer, only more trouble? On our own, we possess less sense than a baby chick. Our afflictions are God’s way of burning off the dross, so that we can emerge from the fire conformed to His image; the image of the One we have promised to follow.
Psalm 91 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
Sometimes we wonder, “What did I do to deserve this”, or “Why did God allow this to happen to me”. This is a wonderful analogy.
God’s Cake (Unknown Author)
A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”
“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.
“Yuck” says her daughter.
“How about a couple raw eggs?”
“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”
“Mom, those are all yucky!”
To which the mother replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!
God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such difficult times. God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good–we just have to trust Him, and not lean on our own limited understanding.
“Affliction does not come forth from the dust–neither does trouble spring out of the ground.” Job 5:6. Affliction is the visitation of God, praise God for it. Nothing in life comes to us by chance–all things great and small are under the control of God. What we sometimes call good fortune does not come by accident; nor does trouble spring out of the ground. Affliction must not be viewed as a burden, laid upon us by a blind and cruel fate–it is a token of love given to us by our wise and loving Father! Affliction does not come forth from the dust–it is from God. It is sent in His mercy, wisdom and power. “For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.” Job 5:18. His visitation is rich in lessons of comfort, strength and peace—“for all things work together for the good of those who love God”.
“O Lord my God, bless this trial which You have sent. Teach me to feel that Your hand is laid upon me. Help me to know that You are speaking unto my soul. May I look on affliction as Your Fatherly visitation–a token of Your love, and wisdom, and power. “Almighty Father, You have told me that all things are under Your control–not a sparrow falls to the ground unnoticed. Lord, teach me to believe in Your love for me. Oh, help me to feel Your wise guidance and control! Aid me to see that this affliction is sent for my good. O my God, increase my faith. Remove from me doubts and carnal-mindedness. May Your Spirit cleanse and sanctify my soul. Teach me to humbly submit to Your will. By patience and faith may I please You, submitting to sufferings because You send them for my good. “Teach me that pain and sorrow are Your heavenly messengers. Enlighten my eyes, that so I may say of affliction–it is Your doing. To me, have You sent this. Not by chance, but in wisdom, and with loving purpose it has come. Oh, Lord, do with me what seems good to You. Help me to feel that my lot is wisely ordained. If it is in accordance with Your holy and blessed will–then remove this trial. But if you see fit still to afflict me–then teach me truly to pray, “May Your will be done!” Hear me, O God, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.” (Excerpt from Walter Purton, “Lessons of Peace in the School of Affliction” 1868 http://www.gracegems.org/)
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
“Call on me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you.” Psalm 50:15
“Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
“Do not let Your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; Trust also in Me.” John 14:1
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God.” Isaiah 40:10