It Is a Test
The trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:3)
Could this be happening to you? To your husband? To your marriage?
In fact, you hope this happens in your lives, because the Scripture also tells us, “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:6) The Lord’s favor, thus expressed, can come in almost any form. Everyone may not always react rightly.
Solution #7: Rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. This is the will of the Lord in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) This is truth.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe God originally intended anything for His children except lots of pleasant fruit eating and gardening. Things changed, though. We do not live precisely where He originally intended, and the choice was ours. We get a foretaste of Heaven when we fellowship with the Lord, but everyone knows a foretaste is like a little kiss when compared to full knowledge. It is very good, but not all there is. This is where we are.
The facts are, tough stuff happens to everyone who is still on this earth. We find ourselves in the midst of people who react incorrectly.
This one forgets to love, that one has lost joy, another will not give you any peace. Perhaps you become impatient. Gentleness flies out the window. Someone has a wicked opinion, doubts, pride, or just decides to “let ‘er rip”. Any one of these acts could be your specialty. Any could be mine.
Any could be your husband’s.
So how could your husband’s poor record, if it is related to testing, be working for good? Is he learning about himself or about the Lord’s grace, however painfully? Are you learning new depths of patience? If you overreact, is he forgiving? Are you? Are your children learning about the mysterious union between Christ and the Church by watching the two of you wade through troubles?
Think about it: You trust God. You believe He loves you. You have committed your ways unto Him. How could this be anything except His will, His desire for you to learn, to grow, or to improve?
It is worth it. Knowing Jesus more fully is worth any price. Paul said he wanted to know Him and the fellowship of His suffering. (Philippians 3:10a) Do you? If you do, it will be all right with you if Jesus teaches you. Then, if you become like your Teacher, it is enough. (Matthew 10:24-25)
Sometimes, God wants to show you how His heart is breaking over sin. So He will show you sin. If you run away from a lesson and hole up at home, He will continue the lesson at home. Yes, you should be a home-keeper, but if forced, He can bring any lesson very close.
Sometimes God wants you to learn how to pray. Then you may need something to pray about, for none of us inherently desires to spend time at His feet. Some wives have to see generational sin before they will get busy. If you realize new layers of maturity you need, what is holding you back?
Sometimes the Lord wants to carry you in His arms like a little lamb. (Isaiah 40:11) If you are more like a big goat, you may need a short time of “weakening”. King David said before he was afflicted, he did not understand the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 119: 67-75) Are you like him? Do you need trouble, now and then, to remember to drink of the sweet, clear water of salvation? We all need Jesus all the time, so a reminder, now and then, is good.
Is it dreary to think of it? Yes, Scripture says all discipline is unpleasant. (Hebrews 12:11) But later…oh, later! Who could pay you to give up the peaceful fruit of righteousness? What would be your price? If you could trade a life of ease for a righteous life, would you?
He will not let you.
The Potter is softening the clay. The Vine-Husbandman is pruning the fruitful vine. The Father is disciplining the precious child. You want to escape that?
No. You want to flow with the ride like a skillful horseman, leaning into the jumps in the race. If you fall off, you want to get back on. You are riding a Champion, Who will take you to the finish line. You will win. YOU WILL WIN!
Once there was a storm. Eleven people cowered in a boat, but one stepped out—into the arms of Jesus. (Matthew 14:29)
Be that one.
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