Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Purpose Of The Things We Go Through

We are a short-sighted people. Each of us tries to understand life and our experience with our God in the context of our single life. It is only natural that we do. But we are called to go beyond the natural order; we have been called into the supernatural, into the Kingdom of God, into a new perspective.

Instead of seeing life in the context of an individual life we are called to see it in the context of family. Each family member affects the other family members and is affected by those members. In this context we can understand that our God will take us through things that have little to do with us and everything to do with what he is trying to bring into the lives of others.

The nation of Israel is a great example of this. Yahweh grew this nation out of Israel for his purpose. Why Abraham? I don't know but his purpose was greater than wanting to bless Abraham. He states that he wanted to use Israel to reveal himself to the world, so that he would be glorified through Israel. Israel's blessings would have a greater purpose than prospering one nation.

At the root of it was Father's plan to reconcile the world to himself. To do this he needed to reveal himself to the world. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew him in a limited fashion but they didn't even know his name. It was through Moses that Yahweh gave his name and revealed his character and power. It was then through Israel that Yahweh revealed himself to the world. Read Joshua's words as he addressed the nation:

"This happened so that all the earth’s peoples might know that the Lord’s power is great and that you may always revere the Lord your God.” (Joshua 4:24)

The Church has been charged with the same purpose as the nation of Israel had before they failed Yahweh; we are his instruments to reveal his name and glory to the world. He does this with the same power as he always has, where his instruments allow him to operate through them.

Understand how Paul's words puts this in the context of your life and the things you go through. He was struggling with a tormenting spirit from Satan and he prayed to have it removed. After the third time he prayed he received this answer:

“My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Our life in context of family is to understand that our Lord reveals himself through the many things we face for the encouragement of those around us. It doesn't mean that there is not benefit for us, but the main focus may not be about us.

This does not mean that our Lord wants us weak and frail and lacking anything. That is not what he did with Israel. He is not glorified in our depraved condition. He is glorified in our success when he brings that success through the areas in which we are the weakest. He wants us to succeed so that Father receives the glory. But either we want to avoid these weaknesses or we refuse success in the weaknesses thinking we are glorifying God in our suffering. He is only glorified when we allow him to overcome this suffering.

Stand up under the weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations because Jesus is using those things to profit others. We lay down our lives for the benefit of others. We allow Jesus to be glorified through us. We allow Jesus to make us prosperous and successful in our weakest points, for his glory, for the benefit of others. That is what it is to serve him in our lives in the context of family.

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