Peace and Joy through trials

Well I still haven’t gotten to the point I want to be at for the blogs. I’m really aiming for consistency, at least every other day. I have so much I want to write about, so much that God is showing me that I want to share, so much I’m seeing and feeling out in the communities. And still my back won’t let me sit in front of the computer long enough to write. Tonight I’m sitting upright on my bed where it doesn’t hurt my back.

I’m on a 4-day much-needed break for Easter holidays and have been being what I call lazy, lying in bed reading and sleeping in hopes my back will ease back into wherever it was before all this started. So far it hasn’t helped much but I have 2 days left. I’ve started to call it my thorn in the side like the apostle Paul was said to have. I’ve been asking God if He could please heal my back but so far it is still very painful.

I’ve been reading a new book that I’m really being blessed by and it is pointing right at me as I read. In it the writer is talking about how we aren’t promised an easy carefree life and he uses Paul as a good example. He tells how he faced countless trials and tribulations, was mocked and hated, imprisoned for years, and finally martyred. What did he look too for proof that God loved him throughout all his trials… The Cross! “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Christ’s sacrifice was the source of Paul’s joy and thus his strength. “God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14) Those who look to the Cross as a token of God’s love will never doubt His steadfast devotion to them. When we witness to others we must be blatantly honest about the persecution promised for all who “live godly in Christ Jesus”  (2 Timothy 3:12)

For quite a few years, there has been a lot of teaching in churches about God’s wonderful plan for us. In this teaching they indicate that everyone will be happy, carefree, have plenty of money, no trials, problems will be solved as they dance happily down life’s highway to heaven. That isn’t scriptural and it is giving people a completely wrong message especially with what is coming.

I guess how it all ties in with my back pain and my circumstances is I’m re-learning and finding new truths about trials and tribulations. I’ve become a whiner over the years, especially since I came here to Australia and I’m not proud of it.

We did pretty well at first and my husband was selling investment property. We soon had our own investment house that we rented out and then our own house to live in. I loved the house but looking back at it I know if was far bigger than we needed, thus far more expensive. When the market started falling we lost both houses and I was so upset about it, so angry.

Then my husband turned up with diabetes and started losing his vision. At that time I realized that there would be no retirement for me, no sitting and writing all those books I have in my head. I knew I’d be working for as long as I was able, want to or not. I felt anger and bitterness about my fate. I felt concern about how we would survive. All the while I was feeling those emotions I was also feeling guilt because I knew I should be trusting God and not worrying, not fretting. I was working when everything started falling apart and suddenly the job seemed much harder than it had.

I went through three jobs until I arrived at the one I have now. All three of them brought trials and tribulation. I had more trouble and problems in those three jobs then I had in my entire working career. I was even accused of being a racist. Each one of those jobs had something to teach me both in skills I needed to get to the next job and more important in getting rid of self and turning to God.

The more trials I ran into the worse my attitude became and I hated it but I couldn’t change it. I found my first book that started what I call my road to recovery (which I’m still traveling on). It was a straight forward book about attitudes and what God thinks about them and how sinful they are. That book was actually the first of three which brought me to my knees more than once. I went from that to books on Grace and Grace and Faith and then Grace and Truth. Now I’m reading The Way of the Master, which is talking about the Ten Commandments and what God sees as Sin and how He reacts and therefore why He sent His Son to take our sin, to die in our place. It is reminding me of the teaching I heard as a young girl when pastors still talked about sin and hell.

As I’m reading it I see where I may have cleaned up my attitudes toward other people and certain things in life but my attitude toward God is still very wrong. Every time I say I don’t see why my back has to hurt, why I can’t have a better house to live in, or how I miss America and find this place so inferior, I am sinning and it isn’t pretty to God when He hears my stupid words.

In reality I have so much. Each job I struggled through taught me things I needed for the job I have now, which I love. This job puts me right out in the communities with the people I have waited all these years to be with. I drive a great vehicle, have a nice unit to stay in during the week and a small granny flat to come home to. I have found favor with my bosses because of God. Best of all I don’t dread working and look forward to doing my job as long as I am able, in fact I wish I had a lot more years ahead of me to work.

As the writer says in The Way of the Master, “those who come to faith through the door of seeking happiness in Christ will think that their happiness is evidence of God’s love. They may even think that God has forsaken them when trials come and their happiness leaves.” That is one thing I never thought in all my years, no matter what my trials. I have never blamed God or felt that He had forsaken me. In contrast His love was all that kept me going many times. I always felt He would get me through the hard times and He did. Lately I have had such joy that I find myself crying and laughing during my 3 hour drive to and from the community. I also have found that I’m happy through small trials that would have made me frustrated so I think I’m moving in the right direction.

When Jesus confronted sinners as we see from Scripture, He made the issue one of righteousness rather than happiness (Matthew 5:20). He used the Ten Commandments to show sinners the righteous standard of God. (Matthew 5:17-37) His standards are way above whiners and as I study His Word through this book I know I have to repent of all my whining and stop it. We were never promised a carefree, trial free, tribulation free life. What we were promised was that Jesus would always be with us and that He would give us rest. We are given the Holy Spirit to minister to us, to pray when we can’t and to guide us. We are sent angels to protect us. God our Father loved us enough before we were even born to send His only Son to die for us and this weekend we celebrate that wonderful fact. Have a blessed holiday time.

2 thoughts on “Peace and Joy through trials

  1. Pingback: The Ten Commandments of Perfectionism « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  2. Pingback: Trials and Tribulations | Kevin Nunez

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