Looking at trials through the lens of God gives a whole different view. It’s the difference between looking at the view from Mount Humphreys at 7,000 feet to looking at the view from the summit at 12,600 feet.
If we look through the lens of God at our current trials, you will see a whole different picture. Like standing at the summit of Mount Humphreys, you’ll see the bigger plan. From the higher view, you can see all around to the very curvature of the earth. Rather than despair, you’ll see joy and hope. Without the Word, without reading and facing unpleasant truths, we approach the Mount Humphrey’s of our troubles with despair and anger.
I think of Paul and what he suffered. Would we have quit mid-game after the first stoning?
Americans like us love our comfort and prosperity. We love to blame other people and justify our choices. We don’t want to give up things to help someone else. We don’t want to repent. Some of us are great at making good choices, but feel the consequences of someone else’s bad decisions. Then, we cry to the Lord, “Why!” when tribulation rolls through our life like a rock slide.
I have made bad and good choices. My life has felt the brittleness of the bad choices and I learned from those lessons. I have also endured the bitter consequences of other people’s choices, and those hurt worse. My pillow bears the memory of nights spent in tears.
Did Paul cry? Did he despair? Did he quit?
Paul was repeatedly stoned. He was jailed. He became shipwrecked.
But he didn’t quit.
So don’t you quit either. Bear the responsibility of your bad choices and make amends. Be better than you were yesterday. Bear the hurts caused by others with equal gusto and forgive. Let it go. You will change from each experience, but how you change is up to you.
What kind of change would you like to experience–growing bitter because of circumstances out of your control or growing better, stronger, and more faithful as God peels away the stinky parts of us?
Having grown bitter once in my life, I will take growing better.
Is there any bitterness in your heart today that you need prayer for?