Journal Entry ~ 04/26/19

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? - James 4:1

Our passions are at war within us - the things that we desire so greatly become the source of our quarrels, our conflicts, our trials. If we drill down on why were so upset, we’ll find those desires - many of which are God honoring - have become our passions. We want a Godly spouse, we want to be respected, we want a secure future. We want those things so desperately, they begin to define who we are and our desires turn to expectations and demands, then suddenly we find ourselves in a difficult trial over them.

Why would a loving God allow us to walk through trials? Why does He let us suffer if He loves us so much? I think it’s important to take a moment to clarify why God may be allowing the trials you are enduring in your life right now.

Reason #1: We esteem comfortable living more than we esteem redemption.

Few things depict the gospel more clearly than moments of suffering. Suffering reminds us where life is to be found - it’s not in the house we live in, our health, the dream, it’s not in our children or our husband. Life is a person and His name is Jesus.  Why is the loss of these things so painful?  Because we define life as these things. Because they are our passions.

We don't want to face these trials. We essentially say to God, “if you love me, you will make it easy for me.” But that thinking is sin. Sin makes it all about me, my comfort, my ease. Me. As long as sin lives inside of me, there is this desire to make things easy for me. Ultimately, our greatest desire is for our lives to be comfortable, for things to go as we planned.

We live in a broken world, and that brokenness will enter our door because our Savior has decided we need this brokenness for redemption. But it's okay to hate it, because it's all indicative that this isn't the way it's supposed to be.  Don't put a superficial smile on your face through suffering...it's okay to cry out, why or when Lord will you take this?  Lord, how long? He wants us to cry out for redemption. That's God's purpose - to see the need for Him. God has chosen to put us in a place where we experience brokenness so that we come to a place where we understand we need him more than anything.

Reason # 2: So that my faith would be tested and grown

When you first come to Christ, you are like a metal ore that needs to be boiled down, and changed to be made into gold. God will take you to places you never intended to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own. If you are God's child and you are suffering, then you need to trust that you are getting exactly what you prayed for - your salvation. You cannot have a biblical view of suffering and think that it is an absence of God.

Reason #3: So that I would cry out for comfort, and share that comfort with others

Oh, that the world would be filled with great comforters.  THAT'S the plan.  How does he tenderize our hearts? By putting us in the very suffering that others in our lives experience, so that we understand what kind of comfort others need.

Suffering is spiritual warfare. You listen to the lies of the enemy in suffering and question the goodness of the Lord, and you let go of the good habits. You let go of all the the redemptive love God has brought into our lives in suffering.

God allow us to walk in a fallen world, so that: we esteem redemption higher than our comfort, so that he would grow us more, and so that we would have a first hand experience of His comfort, so that we can share His comfort with others.

What a beautiful plan.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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