Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 6, 2014

Choosing To Believe

Choosing To Believe

 

 

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving – and thanks giving. But through the years, after becoming a Christian, I’ve discovered new depths to what it means to be thankful. Surely, my heart overflows with the wonder of my Father’s love who cared enough for me to allow His Son to die so that I could have eternal life. To be honest, I can’t even begin to comprehend that kind of love. But I am learning that while I may not fully understand or comprehend His love, it’s always there – even in those times when life just doesn’t make sense.

Paul told the Thessalonians: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). For a long time I stumbled on this verse. Even if I’m not necessarily thanking God for the bad things that happen, how do I thank Him in the midst of pain, loss, sorrow, difficulty, and trouble? While I am not a theologian and while there are surely many commentaries out there from reputable scholars who can explain this quite clearly, I’d like to simply share what this verse has come to mean to me.

Bad things happen to all of us. Sometimes, we deserve it. We make bad choices and must bear the consequences of decisions we made. At other times, the bad things that happen to us may be the result of someone else’s wrong choices. At still other times, no one can understand or explain why something bad happens. For whatever reason, however, sorrow or trouble comes. The ball is now in our court. What do we do?

I’m reminded of the question Jesus asked His disciples when many of His followers turned away from Him.  “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:66-67). Jesus had just fed over 5,000 people from two fish and five small loaves of bread. He had walked on a stormy sea. He taught them that He was the bread of life sent from Heaven.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:35-40).

But they didn’t believe. They turned away from Him. And this is ultimately the question we all have to answer – and especially when life doesn’t make sense. Do we really believe God?

Peter answered Jesus’ question. But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).

Two years ago this month my son and daughter-in-law lost their first-born son, Silas, who was stillborn.  I quickly discovered that there are plenty of questions, but there are no answers. As I have struggled, however, I often found Peter’s question echoing in my mind and heart. “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life.”

In my own life, dealing with the hard things in life has always – yes always – demanded that I settle one issue first. To whom do I go? In other words, in whom do I believe and in whom will I trust? There is only one who has the words of eternal life – “the Christ, the Son of the living God!

Jesus taught us that we would have difficulty in this world. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In other words, in this world…..

  • You will have trouble……..                           but I have overcome the world
  • You will have trials……….                             but I have overcome the world
  • You will have loss…………                             but I have overcome the world
  • You will have sorrow……..                            but I have overcome the world
  • You will have difficulty…..                            but I have overcome the world
  • You will have ________…….                    but I have overcome the world

And, therefore, because of Christ, I can thank God in my time of tribulation….

  • For His peace (John 16:33)
  • For His comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • For His presence (Matthew 28:20)
  • For His hope (John 14:1-3)
  • For His promise (John 3:16)
  • For His _______

Just as we don’t know what kind of adversities we may have to face in this life, likewise there is no limit to the number of ways that God can cover us with His mercy and grace and bring us through those times.

When I’m facing those hard times, I try to remember that our world is a broken world. This is not the world that God created it to be. It has been broken and marred by sin. One day we will know the world the way God created it. Then we won’t know the sorrow of saying goodbye to a child we never had the opportunity to know. But, because of Jesus, I can know that this dear child lives and one day, I will see and know him, too. Thank You, Jesus!

 

 

 

 

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