We are usually wont to consider the opposition and we face in this world as impediments placed in our path by our evil adversary, Satan. It is true that the enemy goes about as both an angel of light to distract us and as a roaring lion to strike fear into us, lest we who are Genuine Believers living as children of The King effectively communicate God’s wondrous love and grace to receptive hearts.
At other times, we might acknowledge the chastisement of God upon our lives, by saying this which has befallen me is God’s call to turn from some path I have chosen which is contrary to His revealed will for my life. Certainly Scripture points out that those who are His children will be chastened by Him as loving and redemptive correction.
There remains a third cause for the challenges of life, and one which I believe is more common than the other two. That is that God leads through such difficulties and challenges in order that we who know Him personally might grow to be more like Him, and in so growing expand our effectiveness in this world.
Scripture teaches that God led the Israelites out of Egypt by a certain way. It was a way of hardship, privation, and delay. The trip, which encompassed almost two years before they arrived at Kadesh Barnea, could have been accomplished in a fraction of the time, but God was teaching His people some things. Regrettably, they failed to apply the lessons learned and suffered the chastisement of God’s hand, and additional training.
When you and I begin to look at everything that befalls us as “God’s Will,” we will be better able to face the future knowing, with certainty, that He holds everything in His hand. Now, I’m not promoting senseless fatalism here, rather, an aggressive acceptance of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where we, by faith, trust that God is molding and making us into more useful instruments for His glory.
Certainly we must deal with the adversary. Certainly we must examine our lives to see if we conform to His plan for our lives. But, we must also accept that growth comes by the exercising of one’s muscles, and faith is grown by trusting God to lead us through the challenges of living in this world. Giving thanks in “all things” for we know that what is happening is the “will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.”
From: "A Word For Living" by Mike Rasberry
© Mike Rasberry 2013