Friday, October 14, 2016

"Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified."

What if it takes more faith to believe God will see you through your difficult spot, than it does to believe that He will remove it? Some of what I write in this post is a reiteration of what was shared at our IGo ladies meeting this week. It spoke right into some of  the things I'd read, heard, and been thinking about lately.

Sometimes we think that having enough faith will make something happen. Like faith is the magic potion, just gotta have enough of it.

Perhaps coughing up enough faith to get us a one time deliverance is easier than believing day by day, step by step, that He is faithful to see us through. More faithful than our fickle feelings. More faithful than we can see with our human eyes.

Just maybe the good things He has for us don't include deliverance from health issues or a strained relationship or a financial crisis. Maybe the path is through this, not away from it.

I think we often get this idea in our heads about what we think His will is. And somehow, if we don't have enough faith, then He can't complete His will? Huh? Isn't that reducing God's power to the size of our faith?

Jesus asked the Father to "Remove this cup from me." God could have. He could have even figured out a different way. But He didn't because death on the cross was the most perfect and beautiful way--even in all of its ugliness.

And God didn't remove Paul's thorn in the flesh either.

Can God heal us, or deliver us? Absolutely. Jesus did lots of healing in the New Testament. But if He chooses not to heal you, do you still believe that He is good? Can you fathom the fact that maybe in His love for you He is allowing this situation?

We often define a blessing as a good thing: healing, success, positive answers to prayer. Many circles talk about the need to "claim promises" in order to unlock these blessings. Some will even refuse to acknowledge doubts for fear of contaminating the word of faith they are speaking. But perhaps a too-narrow definition of "blessing" is contaminating our view of faith.

I'm still thinking this all through, but I fear that this whole idea of naming and claiming things puts redemption in a box. And redemption is something that I get excited about. I watch for it.

Of course our world is fallen. But we sure think we know how to fix it sometimes. Shame on us! That's the work of Jesus. Let His will be done for our good and his ultimate glory.

"...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..." And how can I share in His sufferings if I always demand He removes suffering from me?

And that's the other thing. Psalm 106:15 "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." Is that what we're after? "

Seriously. There are more New Testament promises to indicate physical hardship and trial in the last days than there are indicating ease. But the promises of His presence and our being blessed as we endure are there over and over. Go check it out for yourself.

The amazing thing about God is that He can take the broken and painful, and in the end bring something beautiful and amazing out of it--something that could not even have been, had the painful situation never come to pass.

"What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?"


  1. This is good stuff here, Lisl.

  2. As I was reading this I thought of the song, "Blessings". I see you did too. I believe it's true but that doesn't make it easier.

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