When everything in your life is going great, you might speak about the goodness of God with a joyful heart. How easy is it to do this when everything is going wrong?
In the good times, it is easy to agree with the words of Psalm 115:3: “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” This Scripture and many others proclaims God to be the ruler of the Universe, and as such, He has the right to do whatever he desires.
An example of this is found in Daniel 4:35: “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
The sovereign power of God is seen in three principles:
• God is omnipresent (present everywhere)—Psalm 139:7-12
• God is omnipotent (all powerful)__Genesis 18:14
• God is omniscient (all knowing)—Psalm 139:2-6
When things go wrong people often find some comfort in Romans 8:28: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
When you get punched in the gut by the heartaches and trials of life, God will breathe life back into you, and He will use these unwanted experiences for your benefit. He is present when you or a loved one is forced to face depression, divorce, or death.
When you think you are alone, He is present, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. When you feel like you do not have the strength to go on, His strength will never fail. When you do not know what to do, He always knows the way through the darkness.
In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote to them about the benefit of suffering: “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too (The Message).”
In the tough times, remember this: God is always “alongside” of you. Take His hand, and let Him guide you.
2 thoughts on “3 P’s For the Big D’s”
My best friend, who is elder at a church up in Salina, once told me that the hard times are like when we were hanging with our buddies back in the day, and one of them would playfully punch you in the arm, and it hurt like hell, but you just laughed because (a) you knew this was a sign of affection among men, and (b) the only reason your friend punched you that hard is because he knew you could take it.
That kind of makes sense.
My friend says that when trials come your way, God only allows them because He knows you can take it, and in a way it’s a show of love and respect that he trusts you to deal with them. The way a hard bunch in your arm is a show of love and respect between men. I don’t know if I follow him completely, but it makes God more personal to me, the way Mechtild of Magdeberg once wrote, “I, God, am your playmate!”
Phil 4:13 is interesting when you compare older and newer versions. Older: I can do all things through Christ WHICH strengthens me. Newer: WHO strengthens me.
The focus of the older versions is in the doing, while the newer is on the person of Christ. Older: Every punch you take prepares for the next one