Friday, June 17, 2011

Having eyes to see God in it all

It's true that bad things happen to good people, and so often that leaves us with unanswered questions and a struggle to find God in it all. But I'm struck with how often the Bible says that the adversity or affliction that God's people experience is actually from God. Isaiah 30:20 says, "And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher." James 1:2-3 says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." Though it doesn't explicitly say there in James that the various trials are from God, it's certainly implied by the fact that those trials are described as tests intended to help us to grow. Growth is from God, and so are the tests that produce growth.

It's so valuable for me to recognize this on a daily basis. If I can see life's trials -- big or small -- as something that are often from the Lord for His good purposes, I won't be so vulnerable to offense with God if they persist. Yet so often, I find it hard to see God in the midst of trials. All I can see are the troubles. But God is there, ever wanting to teach us and ever eager to see us grow, and will always eventually reveal Himself amidst our circumstances so that we can see Him as our Teacher in it all.

I really need God's help to see Him at such times, but even if He chooses to hide Himself for a time (see Isaiah 8:17), I want to learn to approach life's difficulties with faith that God really does want to use life's troubles to help me grow increasingly steadfast as I walk in this uneven world. Only then will every problem truly be an opportunity -- for my good and God's glory!

© 2011 by Ken Peters

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