The Lord trieth the righteous... Ps.11:5
It seems like God has been teaching me some deep, hard lessons lately. I have come to see that God will take every child of His through dark valleys and trials of fire that will test our faith in deep and painful ways. He does this in love to try our hearts and to purify us of all dross in our lives. He wants to know without a doubt that He is first in our hearts. Through this refining process I have come to see so many areas in my in own heart that have needed deep purging and cleansing. If we are His children, we must expect this refining process in our lives.
If He is not Lord of all, than He is not Lord at all.
As young people, we all have desires, ambitions, and aspirations for what we want our future to be and to look like. We are always looking ahead to what God has for us next, a greater place of purpose and work for us to do. Our desires and ambitions tho must be in accordance to what the Lord would have for us, and we must be able to hold them out with an open hand before Him. If we are looking to find fulfillment in something other than Christ, we will never be satisfied. We must be satisfied in Him first, or we will be sorely disappointed when any earthly desire or place of service is attained. In life we find that things don't go as planned, and that God doesn't always give us what we want when we want. And if those desires or ambitions are not surrendered to Him, we become discontent, antsy, and frustrated. We feel that the circumstances around us or the people in our lives are hindering us from being the person we want to be or living the life we want to live, and when things don't go according to our time frame, we try finding our own way instead of waiting on God. What we don't recognize is that it is God's hand dealing with us. He has placed those people and even the most trying circumstances in our lives for one purpose only - to break us of our will and to get a hold of our very being. The place God has us may seem insignificant, and maybe we can't see much purpose in it at all. But He has us there because He's trying to do a work in our hearts that needs to be done before He can move us on to greater things. He allows all the hurt, and pain, and frustration and tears in our lives to bring us to that one place He wanted all along, and that is a yielded heart to say, 'Not my will, but Thine be done.' Only until He has our will can He move us on. We can try to run and escape this working, but life only gets harder and more bitter when we do, for God does not give up easily on His children. In love He will send more heartache and disappointment, and frustration until we learn to love the Hand, and kiss the Hand that deals with us. For some of us, it takes years to learn this lesson.
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. Proverbs 23:26
One of the ways God uses to try the hearts of us young people and bring us to an area of brokenness is in the area of authority, especially with our parents. The authority God placed in our lives is for our good and protection. We may not always understand our parents and their reasoning for things, but they have wisdom we sometimes know nothing about. God made no mistake when He gave us the parents He did. Throughout Proverbs we are told to hear the instruction of a father, forsake not the law of thy mother, and attend to know understanding, but he that refuseth the instruction despiseth his own soul and he that refuseth reproof erreth. Give your heart to your father! I really believe this is a major key that will give way to huge blessings in your life! It is something I have failed miserably at and it has caused for many bitter tears. Our parents may not be perfect, and they may not do everything how we think is right, but that's ok. God is using them and their imperfections in our lives. Let's remember that none of us are perfect. We all fail. I have failed my parents a thousand times over, and yet they still love me and have abundant grace for me. May we love our parents, and have grace for them, honour them, and obey them, as Scripture tells us. May we be humble and teachable, receive correction from them. Listen to their counsel and instruction, even in the smallest matters, and seek to understand their viewpoint. It is for our good, even when we can't see it. God has placed them over our lives not to hinder us in the way, but help guide and point us in the right direction. If we think we know better than them and we try at all to take our own way without their blessing, it will be a bitter end, believe me when I say I know. I really believe that as we learn these deep lessons, we'll experience the fullness of God's blessing and goodness in our lives.
One can go wrong in many ways, but right in only one. -Aristotle
We only get to live this life once, and something I have learned is that the decisions and choices I made yesterday, last month or a year ago from seemingly small and insignificant ones to some on a larger scale, affect my life today; and the choices I make today will affect my tomorrows. Not only do those choices affect ourselves, but they affect those around us, too. Because I tried escaping the Hand that was trying to break me, and didn't give my heart to my dad, I made poor decisions, and now I must live with the consequences them. I am thankful that I have a merciful and gracious Father, who has also blessed me with parents that extend the same mercy and grace in my life. But if I had things to redo, I would. These have been deep lessons God has been teaching me lately. Let's not try to get away from the Lord's dealings in our lives. It's not worth it. One thing I am learning is that God wants to move us on in life, He wants to do good things for His children. He has work He wants us to do, but He cannot until His first work of brokenness and surrender is accomplished in us. How we respond to His work of being broken determines how long the refining process will take, and when He'll move us on to other things, for God will not stop short of His perfect work. He wants to bring us to a place of humility and absolute dependence on Him, emptying us of all our pride, arrogance and self-will. He will go to all lengths to make Himself a vessel of honor and beauty, one that glorifies Him in all things!
If you, like me, find yourself surrounded in darkness and being tested, trust God, and let Him have His way with you. Wait on Him and use this time to grow in Him. His work and timing in your life is good and perfect, because God is always good.