Thoughts from the Shepherds #1

Charlie and I have long wanted to share the things that God has been teaching us on a more regular basis with Living Hope. I thought we’d give it a shot. We’ll see if we can keep up.

I felt like this week would be an appropriate one to start with as the weather is keeping us apart. I hope these thoughts encourage you as they have encouraged me.

James 1:2-4 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

I go to this verse whenever it seems like life has handed me lemons and when it’s just not fair. I believe in a God who not only knows what’s going on in my life but controls it in a very detailed way. Whether letting bad things happen or providing opportunities for faith in trial, he’s got his hands on the wheel.
I go through the following progression of thought:

  1. God has not let this happen randomly. He’s still in control.
  2. I don’t understand why this is happening but I can trust that God is good even if, right now, he doesn’t seem good.
  3. If I choose to have faith in his goodness right now then that produces in me a contentment and therefore a joy in him.
  4. I also know that there is more to this life than what I can see. God is at work in me and through me to accomplish his will in the world.
  5. Finally I know that this life is not the end. Someday I’ll move on from this crazy depressing world and be free from pain, hate, sorrow and even death. I will see fully and know fully. It will all be perfect in the next life and everything that I dislike or even hate here will be gone. I will be free to do everything my righteous soul longs to do. I will be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

This is what God takes me through and how he works in my heart.  My prayer is that he can do a similar work in you. His word has power for us every day. Even when it’s -26 outside.

Keep the faith,
Paul