God's Word for Today

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My struggles are about Him.

Silly me I thought my struggles were about me (NOT!). Who knew!

We are reading “It’s Not About Me” by Max Lucado in our Sunday School class. I was making my way through chapter 12 entitled “My struggles are about him” and came across this question.

“Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God?” Page 125 “It’s Not About Me” by Max Lucado.

If I didn’t have such respect for the written word, I probably would have ripped that page right out of the book.

But wait it gets better ..........or maybe worse!

Max goes on to write:

“Have you been “granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” Phil1:29.

Now I am really tempted to rip the page right out of the binding.

Oh but it get worse ............or maybe better.

He continues “Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren’t matching up? Don’t think God is not listening, indeed he is. He may have higher plans.”

This made me stop and think.

Have I been selected to struggle for God?

If in fact I have been selected, can I respectfully decline the opportunity?

That is my immediate response. I have to say a big no thank you. However when you really think about the question posed and exactly what it means to suffer for his sake it really does put it into perspective.

The reality is that I would never willingly choose to suffer. No one would. However if I have to suffer then I want to suffer for His glory. I want to meet that suffering in such a manner that I am a true representation of exactly what James writes about:

JAS 1:2 ~ 4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

On my mature grown up days I am completely down with considering it pure joy to face my trials. I even understand in some small way the concept about perseverance having to finish its work so I may be complete and lacking nothing. I want to be complete and lacking nothing.

Being complete and lacking nothing in my book means sitting back and enjoying the fruits of my labor. It means a balanced check book, full pantry, sound roof, good friends and a peaceful night’s sleep.

But I have to be honest and share that there are days when I feel overly complete and totally lacking in nothing. There are days when I feel that there just isn’t room for anymore suffering. There are days when I think that there is simply not room for one more emotional crisis or painful heartbreak. There are days when I am simply done suffering.

Like I have a choice in the matter. I can want to be done with the suffering, however in this particular situation my painful heartache and suffering are directly related to the action of someone else. I can’t control the rebellious action of my son. I can want the angst to be over, but that desire for peace does not necessarily mean that I will get it. I can pray for my son to come to his senses but …………………..

So I have to look at the question that was posed earlier.

“Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God?”


Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? Well I can answer that with a great big affirmative.

What you request and what you receive aren’t matching up? Again another giant YES

Maybe there is a higher plan at work.

For now I am pondering these questions. I am unsure of the answers. I am unsure that I want the responsibility of suffering for a higher purpose.

I am resigned to discover as much from this suffering as possible. I am striving to not waist a single second to that I may glean all that can be learned from every single moment.

Maybe in the discovery process there is a higher purpose. Maybe there are words of engorgement that I can give to another from my experience.

But still it warrents pondering.

What do people see when they look at the way I handle my trails?

What do others see in you as you bear up under the load that has been placed on your shoulders?

So let’s think about the original question:

“Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God?”

1PE 2: 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

PHP 1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,


skoots1mom said...

1 Kings 18:25-29
Submit your understanding to His divine Word...to have atonement, "at-one-ment", there must be fire/sacrifice. When you're in the fire, you're closest to the potter!

skoots1mom said...

Found this and wanted to share--

The Mother of the Prodigal Son
(This poem is dedicated
to all the mothers who have lost and wayward children. Don't loose your faith in God who can bring them back to the fold.)

"Where is the mother of the prodigal son
On that day so long ago?
What were her thoughts
And what were her fears
As she watched him turn to go?
How many times in the dark of night
Did the tears slide down her face?
Did she get out of bed
And fall on her knees,
Just to pray that her boy was safe?

How were the days when she did not know
Was he alive? Was he warm? Was he well?
Who were his friends?
And where did he sleep?
Was there anyone there she could tell?

But, oh, on that day when she looked down the road
As she had looked since her son went away,
Did love unspeakable flood her soul?
Did she cry?
What did she say?

I think when the father had welcomed their son
And the boy had greeted his brother,
That the servants made a path
For him to enter the door
And the waiting arms of his mother."

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray,and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.Ps 55:17

I pray this brought comfort to those who have children away from God.
Do you know someone that could use this encouragement?
Please pass this along to them. God Bless you,Love, Chris [AKA Momof9]

Cyndy said...

I'm also going thru a trial right now...(sort of ongoing, feel like it's never gonna end)...this was in Streams In The Desert for May 6th:

Not until each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned.

He that is mastered by Christ is the master of every circumstance. Does the circumstance press hard against you? Do not push it away. It is the Potter's hand. Your mastery will come, not by arresting its progress, but by enduring its discipline, for it is not only shaping you into a vessel of beauty and honor, but it is making your resources available.

Then of course there is Romans 5:1-5....trial, perseverence, character, hope...

It's all in His sure and masterful hand.

skoots1mom said...

If you're reading this MeMe (from Evan's Garden) then tag, You're it!

Here are the rules for this one:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

My closest book: STREAMS IN THE DESERT, L. B. Cowman
Page 123, 5th-8th sentences:

Let us remember that no earthly circumstances can hinder the
fulfillment of God's Word.
We must look steadfastly at His immutable Word and not at the uncertainty of this ever-changing world.
God desires for us to believe His Word without other evidence, and then He is ready to do for us according to our faith."

SweetPea said...

Wow…so much to comment on…I think my head is swimming right now. It’s like every single world just hit me. I feel kind of speechless and dumbfounded. First, that study by Lucado sounds wonderful, at least Ch 12 does…very thought provoking and many opportunities to analyze one’s self.

It really IS a blessing to have an opportunity to suffer for HIS sake. No, it is not pleasant and in the midst of the pain (or fire as I described on my blog) but if we keep focused on the prize and on the PURPOSE of the suffering, when we come out we will SEE His glory shine through us.

Unanswered prayers…oh my yes. However, I really try to focus on the fact that they aren’t necessarily unanswered but rather God does things in HIS timing and not ours. (Another post on my blog about they ways God answers us and many times it is “not yet”.) How beautiful the statement that God indeed is listening but He may have higher plans. One correction is that I believe it’s not a matter that He “may” have higher plans but rather most of the time He DOES have higher plans…plans that we cannot even fathom in our minds.

You included one of my very favorite verses, James 1:2-4. Only in the last few months have I really and truly begun to understand what that means. Because in my current trial of suffering, I have seen blessings and I have felt the joy of the Lord, so there is joy in sufferings. I’m glad to be able to become more like Christ because of this suffering I’m in right now.

“I can want to be done with the suffering, however in this particular situation my painful heartache and suffering are directly related to the action of someone else.”
I love that statement of yours…boy did that really hit HOME with me. Wow…my EXACT feelings of my suffering. Are “someone else” is different but the feelings the same.

I love you humor in saying you can “answer with a great big affirmative” to unanswered prayers.

1 Peter 2:21 “because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” That is some WONDERFUL food to chew on…He’s asking us to follow Him. Wow.

I give this a rating of “loved it”.
In His Grip,

It seems many people are reading/using the Streams in the Desert book.

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