Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dear Friends,

First of all let me say that I don’t in any way hold myself up to being somehow spiritually superior to you two. I am not closer to God or any of that kind of stuff. However, I have lived longer that you guys which has given God the opportunity to do more things in my life. So I want to share with you something that perhaps you haven’t had a chance to learn yet. I would have said it last Friday but we ran out of time.

Something that I’ve found about God is that even His discipline is wonderful. The trouble is, we, all of us, me included are so corrupt, so dishonest, so treacherous, our hearts are so desperately wicked that we actually think that God is out to get us. When difficulties and tragedies come into our lives, we think that God has left the building - Or perhaps that He wasn’t ever there in the first place. Because of that we worry our way through a life experience that in hindsight was obviously a wonderful experience, a profound experience, an experience where we actually grew into Christlikeness. Growing into Christlikeness is the good (vs.29) that God promises to bring to us in all the things that happen to us (Rom. 8:28).

In James 1:17 we are told that “All good things and every perfect gift comes to us from the Father of heavenly lights.” And Amy Grant sings, “Everything good is from Jesus.” Does this mean that everything is good? Mmm, no, probably not. On the other hand, I’ve traveled long enough with God that I would say that it is true - for my own life. I wouldn’t say that to someone else because it still feels harsh to impose that thought on others who may not have had a chance to see the goodness of God in all things.

However, I will say this. Whatever is happening in the life of someone who loves Jesus, someone who longs to please Him and obey Him, as I believe is the case in your lives, whatever is happening in the lives of those people is better than any alternative. Even when we’re down to our last jar of flour, emotionally or physically, God is able to bring to that circumstance a fullness of life that is unequaled by any other source.

God isn’t out to get us. He’s out to love us. God is shamelessly in love with us and difficulties in our lives are not proof that that isn’t so. “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). My belief is that if something difficult comes into my life, because I am never absent from God’s plan for my life, then that circumstance, no matter how difficult, can be used for and is meant for my good, for God’s glory and for the furthering of His kingdom.

All I’m saying is, don’t miss the good that is meant for both of you and can only come to you in the form of this difficulty. In fact, I would encourage you to enjoy the thrill of this ride that God is taking you on. Don’t fight this! Roll with it. Accept it. Learn from it. Enjoy it. Most of all, enjoy it because God is with you. He will never leave you. He will never give up on you. Instead of fearing Jesus, ask Him to get into the boat with you, and I promise you, He will calm the storm.

In Christ’s love - Rod

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