Sunday, February 5, 2017

When God Takes You the Long Way.....


I hate grief, big emotions, and pain. I hate tears. I wish God would just shock me in order to help me grow quickly instead of having to go through the often painful growth process. Yet, in His wisdom, God made me one who feels deeply. Because of this I go through all these things that I hate most daily.
And this is good.

Yes, good, because if I don't go through the process, I lose the opportunity of experiencing Jesus at a deeper level.

Paul was convinced of this so much that he tells us that he wants to know Christ by sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).  


The text tells us that it is in order to become like Him in His death. He goes on to say that "by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3).

How can we appreciate and fully understand what Christ has done for us unless we share in it? When we get the opportunity to suffer, we get the opportunity to share in Christ's suffering. And in that, we get to experience the power of the resurrection that lives in us by His Spirit.

By this power we can move forward in suffering. He gives us grace that is sufficient in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can do all things that we need to do in Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). Not only will we experience that now, but we will also experience that final resurrection from the dead when death is fully defeated in the end.

Suffering helps us grow in these things. The school of suffering is confusing to us because we cannot see the full picture now, but we can entrust ourselves into the hands of God who knows all things and works for our good. We are being conformed into His image through these trials (Romans 8:29).

I was recently reading through Exodus and again it hit me. God did many amazing life-altering miracles to free His people from Egypt. They saw first hand His power and might. Yet, when God freed them, He made them travel the long route to their destination intentionally.  


We are told that God did this because, "Lest my people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt" (Exodus 13:17). God knew His people. He knew their weakness of heart. He knew that even though they saw these amazing miracles that freed them from Pharaoh, they would still be afraid. So they had to travel through the wilderness. This wilderness would end up being a long training exercise in God's faithfulness.

Why Is God Taking Me On The Tough Route?

God knows our frame. He knows exactly what is needed in our lives to conform us most into His image. These are the things that will grow us, shape us, and enable us to know Him more and more. They are the things that will bring Him most glory as we learn to trust His guiding hand through them. This is where we learn that He is enough. So the lesson is, enjoy the long route. Don't rush it. God has a plan with it, even if you cannot see it yet, and His plans are always good. Period.


Laura said...

Suffering really does help us grow as people. I know that my life experiences have shaped who I am and how I see the world.

Hannah Christensen said...

Suffering certainly does fine tune us but it's not easy to go through

Jenna810 said...

I'm going through some hard right now and know that the purpose in it may be beyond my current understanding, but nothing has ever been wasted in my life, so leaning in and moving forward.

Rebekah Thompson said...

The thought that suffering brings endurance, perfection, and hope, is one that helps me through the hard times, but it is still hard. It is so good to know that Jesus is with us in all our struggles, he has been there, and he knows how we feel.

Lauren C. Moye said...

"This wilderness would end up being a long training exercise in God's faithfulness."

That's an interesting perspective. I've never thought about the wilderness also having a purpose. I tend to think of it as a detour from God's plan.

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