PART 18 – GOD’S DREAMS RECEIVE GOD’S CHALLENGING GIFTS (19/5/20)
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‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’ (James 1:2-4)
Our Heavenly Father is good, loving and reigning on the good and the bad days. He, I believe, achieves more in us and through us in difficult times than when life is easy.
I can’t really think of any development that happens without discomfort. All abilities, relationships, character… are tested and refined in the fire.
I’m told that a tree’s roots are forced to go deeper through the storms; a child learns to walk through falling and frustration; a gift is developed through failure; a friendship is formed through conflict; the bible is understood through hard study, and we often will not study unless we are hard pressed…
Like Joseph, and all the characters throughout His Word, the Father gifts us with challenge of all kinds in order to fulfil the dreams He’s given to us. Whether it’s the dream that we all have of becoming more like Jesus (more holy) or the more personal dreams of specific work and ministry, these dreams are fulfilled through frustration.
If you are going to learn to juggle, you must embrace the frustrating fact that balls fall to the ground! Juggling is simply learning to embrace make use of this fact. To get better at anything involves ‘falling’ (difficulty) and we must embrace and make use of this fact. Here are some of the challenges that the
The Father gifted Joseph with challenging gifts in order to fulfil His dreams for him:
The hatred of his brothers and rebuke of his father (Genesis 37:4,5,10)
He’s Stripped of his robe in dishonour (Genesis 37:23)
He was thrown into a cistern (Genesis (37:24)
Taken to Egypt and sold into slavery (37:36)
Falsely accused and put into prison (39:20)
He’s forgotten (40:23)
This Covid 19 situation is a difficulty that can be used for our growth. We can allow it to drive us to prayer, study, to encourage others etc.
God has purpose in every challenge that He allows. Don’t miss what God is wanting to do in us.
The writer to the Hebrews says,
‘They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’ (Hebrews 12:10-11).
God’s parenting of us includes both the good and bad ‘gifts’ as we’ve been looking at over the last two days. Our parenting needs to include praise and ‘painful’ discipline.
However, the warning/promise of this verse is that there is a ‘harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’ Are we listen and learning at this time? Are we more prayerful, worshipful, dependent, devoted to God’s word, devoted to God’s people…?