From Edified, written in 2006

From Edified, written in 2006

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”
Psalm 18:30
 
Recently I listed out the difficult events that have occurred among us here in the last 4 months:
 
•one family had to go home because of their small daughter’s serious medical problems;
•another of our workers lost his brother (39) to a heart attack in July;
•and then his father died unexpectedly in October;
•A believer had a serious operation and then died at age 33;
•my father died the same month;
•another of our fellow workers had emergency quintuple by-pass surgery;
•three weeks later I had emergency double by-pass surgery;
•the unbelieving brother of a local pastor was killed in a car accident, age 39;
•one of our old believers was just diagnosed with colon cancer and will have surgery.
 
These events came one after another, with hardly any time to recover in between. If they were attacks by Satan, God was certainly not taken by surprise and is using each one for good.
 
F.B. Meyer is credited with saying: “TRIALS ARE GOD’S VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN US. “The Lord knows that if we take up the grace He offers, with His power we will be able to move through whatever trials He allows.
 
Trials are intended to drive us into Scripture and to expose our wrong thinking so we can be aligned with God’s thoughts. Difficulties are to deepen us and to demonstrate to the world how we can take God’s help and move through stress and mourning with grace.
 
We can skip the early stages of grief (shock, anger at God, bargaining and denial) in dealing with such events, and we can move through the later stages (acceptance, adjustment, establishing a new norm) more quickly with power and healing.
 
In Psalm 3 David talks about his own trials, “…how many rise up against me, many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you are a shield around me, O Lord, my Glorious One, who lifts up my head.” Our confidence is in the goodness, power and meticulous love of our Sovereign God; He helps us to turn away from the negative thinking of the world (such as Murphy’s law) to praising Him in the midst of whatever comes.
 
This has had personal application for me. As I was wheeled into the operating room for my emergency double by-pass surgery, a comforting thought came: “This is really a win-win situation. If I die, I get to go to heaven; if I live, I get to stay with my wife, my family and friends!” I had no fear or anxiety whatsoever, just a rich, settled peace. It is great to be a believer in Christ and to know where we are going!
 
Prayer: “Praise you, Lord Jesus, for the peace you offer us in every circumstance. Help me to continually look to you in each event, to take refuge in you through offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving and thinking your Word. Amen.”
 
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