"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

About me

Monday, November 19, 2012

Faith in the Divine Filter

"Why is this happening to me?"

This is not so bad a question for Christians to ask, so long as we are prepared for the answer - so long as we seek the truth, rather than conclude that there is none to be had.  There is always a true answer to this question, truth that is long-standing and settled in the mind of the Lord. 

This truth is situated in the heart of Romans 8:28:  "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  This is doubtlessly one of the most beloved verses in Christendom, but let us take care that our regard springs from good and true reasons.  This verse appoints us not, as some suppose, to a life of ease (i.e. everything will go well), but to one of purpose.  A cursory run through the biblical narratives suffices to reveal teh prodigious hardships that have been endured by God's chosen, even the most formidable and earnest of His saints, even when none of their actions would merit such trial. 

Beyond this, James urges his readers to "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials" (James 1:2), certain that it is not a question of "if," but "when."  Joseph delivers this wisdom to his traitorous brothers:  "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..." (Gen. 50:20a)  Evil is directed toward us, but God means it for good. 

Returning to Romans 8:28, we see the absoluteness of this divine work:  "God causes all things."  This means that every one of the events and circumstances which find their way into our lives are intentional, and that intention is laid down by none other than our loving, omnipotent God Himself.  There is, in effect, a divine filter that assures that those trials which actually reach us are designed for our good.  Consider how this same filter was seen in full force in Job 1 - God turned aside barb after satanic barb before allowing a very specific trial to visit its devastating impact upon His servant Job. 

With this in mind, the astonishing thing is not that we believers labor under difficulty, but that we labor under such small difficulty.  Indeed, the care that our Lord demonstrates through Romans 8:28 means that we should meet trials with something approaching curiosity:  why, indeed, has this particular trial made its way to me?  How will God use this for good?  This neither blunts the force of the trial nor softens its difficulty, but it frames it in the appropriate context of God's selective, sovereign purposes.  It invites a righteous response from the heart of faith that is assured both of the Father's changeless, loving motivation, and of the Father's faithfulness to lavish the needed grace to endure upon our humble frames. 

Does the tragedy of the present hardship crush my very heart?  My God has good and loving purposes behind this circumstance that will far oustrip and outweigh the immediate anguish.  Is this trial immense in its power upon me?  The power which God communicates to my soul is stronger yet, is stronger beyond my feeble reckoning. 

Any number of difficult things might have come about today, but this is the one that did, by God's will, for His glory, and yes, for my good.  Praise Him in all things!


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Bluehost Coupons