Yesterday, we talked about the fact that God delights in us… and offers us Himself to be the Source of what delights us.
This can certainly lead us to a false premise… that God exists only for our pleasure – and that He is obligated to give us only good things. So anything “bad” that comes our way amounts to God, failing us.
We ought to know better. Scripture is pretty clear that trials and afflictions are a part of this life.
When afflictions come, it is not that God is failing us… He is simply providing us an opportunity to discover His faithfulness – to personally experience the fact that He is with us in the midst of our struggles.
We all like quoting Romans 8:28… “that God causes everything to work together for good” and seem to forget that the “everything” implies that “bad” things will find their way into our lives.
It is somewhat popular to see our relationship with God as a means of safety, comfort, and as nothing but smooth sailing. But God never promised us that we would live a life free of obstacles and troubles – quite the opposite.
The same guy who found God to be the Source of “joy and pleasures” (Psalm 16:11) also said “many are the afflictions of the righteous…” (Psalm 34:19) But that bit of depressing news was followed by the triumphant: “…but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” We cannot know God as the Source of all things until we face struggles and trials… and experience His deliverance, personally! And knowing His deliverance in the midst of our dark times is wonderfully exhilarating. It is profoundly pleasurable (and brings abounding joy) to discover that God is in the midst of our dark times, working to flood the darkness with His light. And when that deliverance comes, we are filled with a new appreciation for God, and His goodness towards us!
There is a secret in all this. It is to get into God’s Presence… and stay there.
It is fascinating that when tough times come, human nature seems to want to cast God aside and fight the battle ourselves. We tend to get angry at God for “failing to keep us out of this mess” – and run from Him, rather than to Him. Even Christians do this… because it is all too easy to forget that our deliverance requires an affliction.
If we are going to learn to delight in God, we have to understand that our “many afflictions” are God’s way of showing us just how much He is concerned and active in our lives. We cannot escape times of affliction. They are going to come. But we never face them alone. The God Who is Almighty is right there with us – and if we will abide in His Presence, He will show us just how mighty He really is.
Prayer Focus: God, draw my heart to trust in You in the midst of difficult circumstances… and to discover the depth of Your love for me as I delight in You.