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"Our Good His Glory"

"And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place."

Psalms 107:7

Hold onto this thought as you read on, "Everything God does in our lives is for our good and His glory." Maybe you find yourself questioning that statement? If so keep reading! The Lord reminded me ever so gently again this week that "Why" questions are most often a substitute for trust. When our life takes us on a road we had not planned for or one we had not desired its easy for us to become anxious and to ask ourselves and most often God, "why is this happening to me?" as if the answer would somehow make us feel better about the unpleasant situation we find ourselves in. Knowledge doesn't provide true inner peace, but God does!

We tend to learn rather quickly in our journey of faith that our confidence is many times in our circumstances and not actually rooted in God Himself. When we feel like we are in control of our situation we feel at peace, but are we? True peace, the peace of God has nothing to do with our situation or circumstance, real peace comes from an abiding presence, that I am with God and He is with me. Psalm 139:11-12 reminds us, "If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You." I cant see in the dark nor in the midst of the darkness of my own despair and thats Ok because God can the psalmist assures us! God has night vision!

Proverbs 16:9 makes plain, "A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." God is directing our paths and often times His leading is in a direction we have no desire within us to follow but none the less, God is leading us on a journey of trust. I find when my life is as I imagine it to be my stress level is at a minimum and my anxiety is almost non existent. When I am standing on the mountain top and as it were can see for miles on end and I feel as if my faith cannot be moved, but place me down in a valley low where darkness is all about me and I cant see a foot in front of me I tremble inside. The Lord has shown me that my confidence is all too often in situation and circumstance rather in God Himself. I forget the promise of God, "Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth" (Isaiah 40:4).

If you are like me at all you find yourself asking, "how did I get here and where is God?" when life is difficult and the way hard. The good news today is, God is wherever you are if you are a child of God and as Psalm 107 reminds us, "And He led them forth by the right way." "Right way" can be translated, "straight way" too which is interesting when we find ourselves on a road less traveled. Could God actually be leading me and you down a road of hurt and heartache, one filled with pain and sorrow? The answer is yes as the road you are on, understand it or not is the "straight path" and God is using that road to bring us to Him.

This life does not provide an easy path for the child of God, only a straight path. The easy road won't prepare us for glory, the life of pleasure and leisure never makes us fit for heaven. This life is a test to teach us how to trust, how to walk by faith when sight would tell us otherwise, and the call of God is to hold on when everything in our flesh cries out to let go.

The apostle Paul writing in Acts 20:24 knew that in his future were "chains and tribulations" and still he could write with confidence, "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

How is it that the apostle Paul didn't have to ask "why questions" regarding his own life? What is it that he knew that you and I often forget? Philippians 4:11-13 reminds us, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Paul learned that in a world filled with change there is one thing that never changes and that is God.

God is always with us even when we can't see Him or feel Him. God is always working on our behalf even when the situation and circumstance of our lives would dictate otherwise. What the apostle Paul knew and what we need to constantly be reminded of is, God is in control. Its scientific fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line but when choosing our paths in life we often choose the path of least resistance. God however does not. Our lives are on a straight path leading us right into the very presence of God, loved one, and every perceived obstacle is nothing more than an opportunity for God to display His awesome power in your life and mine, for Him to demonstrate His ability to bring us through anything. Anything?

Romans 8 says it all when the apostle penned the Words of God, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:31-35). Like every child of God we must learn that even when the waves of this life crash down on us they are used of God to wash us further upon the Rock, to bring us closer to the shore of our salvation.

Why is it then that we need not ask "why" questions of God today, loved one? In Romans 8:38-39 the apostle Paul gives us the reason when he writes, "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's it, when we understand that God is with us we don't need to know the answer because we know that whatever God is allowing in our life He is doing for only two reasons and two reasons only. Its for my ultimate good and for His ultimate glory!

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing"

James 1:2-4


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