He Loves Us Too Much To Leave Us As We Are
"For you, O God, have tested us; you have refined us as silver is refined." Psalm 66:10 As a loving Father, God tests his children in order to bring them to maturity. He loves us ...but he loves us too much to leave us as we are. "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him; for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;" Hebrews 12:6-7 He deals with us as sons and daughters for whom he has a glorious plan. "You brought us into the net; you laid affliction on our backs; you have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water. But you brought us out to rich fulfillment." Psalm 66:12 And that's the point. He means to bring us out to RICH FULFILLMENT. A child who is left to himself and given all to enjoy without limit - that child will not mature. He will grow up in selfishness and narcissism. He will bring shame to his parents. And so it is with our heavenly Father, he loves us way too much to allow us those things which would make us spoiled brats. He looks to our maturity and to what is needed in each one to get him there. Rather than complain, bring praise and thanksgiving for all the elements in your life which change you. As unpleasant as many of them are, they are indispensable. The mature Christian will look back over his life and would not choose any of it to be left out - because of what it produced in him. vs 16: "Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what he has done for my soul." The mature believer has a solid testimony. He has many stories to tell, stories that made up his journey, stories the Lord used to mature him. This life is all about growing and training. The peace and joy we all long for will make up our eternity. In heaven there won't be the trials and tribulations we experience here. There won't be pain or sickness, there won't be unlovable people to stretch our patience, there won't be loss and disappointment. The life we live now is the only time we will experience difficulties to raise us up to maturity - the things that make up our growth can only happen here. So how important it is that we surrender to all the Lord brings or allows in our lives! What if he didn't? Would you want to be the person you once were? Would you want to turn out to be a spoiled brat? Of course not. Therefore, do not complain to your Father about the very circumstances that he chooses to use to work out your maturity. vs 18: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." It is the nature of our fallen human state to want to be in control, to cringe at the very thought of submission. But do not persist in rebellion - it will only bring you pain and shame. Let your heavenly Father have his way in your life. He knows every single thing about you, your thoughts, your motives, all of your ways. His plan for you is to bring about something wonderful, that rich fulfillment that he so desires for you. ASK for grace to cooperate, to let go of all that opposes him. You'll never regret it. You will praise him for all eternity.