Wednesday, June 4

But WHY????!!!!!

"The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again." 1 Peter 1:7 GWT

Sometimes I wonder, in the darkness of the night, why the trials I face are presented to me on a platter of unappetizing food when I am starving for nourishment. I never get the answer of "Oh, this is what you must learn" or "This is who is watching you to be bless by your triumph."

Usually, there's just silence.

As if God is tired of giving me the same answer, "In time, all will be revealed." I can look back upon my life and the changes wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit and pinpoint what I gained from the trials and tribulations of my life, what I learned, what I was helped to overcome, and how it brought me closer to the man that God intended me to be. You would figure I would learn, but I don't seem to have that foresight until it becomes hindsight.

People tell me that I am far stronger of a man than I myself believe. One 'giant' that I spent a 'story weekend' with so long ago, it seems, told me that I'm going to be one of those who are at the fore of battle, swinging the sword of God's might and righteousness against the enemy's legions laughing, "Is this all you've got?" He told me that he'd willingly follow me into such battles whenever I called.

My mentor told me that he looks forward to the day when he can come to church and hear the words that God's given me to speak upon that day. He knows that God will bless those who listen and bless me for fulfilling my purpose to which He's called me. I replied that it wouldn't be in a church that exists today, because their judgment isn't God's and they don't like me once they hear my past. I'd have to start my own church and I'm not that eager to do so.

I walk the line between my sinful old nature and the purified nature of God's redemptive birth in righteousness. I fight the daily battle between the two, failing more often that victorious. But always given another day to try again. Always given a clean slate in which to write the story that God's given me to tell.

And it is not the struggles that seem to glare in the morning sun of the daily life I travel in this journey home. Rather, it is my response to it that brings a highlight to the story I've got to tell; of God's redemptive plan, His healing hands, and His ultimate love that endures no matter my failings.

We struggle as a people to tell the 'gospel' story, to fulfill the Great Commission. We struggle, because I think we fail to remember what the Commission passed down through the generations actually is. It is to tell the story; Jesus Christ came to die for our sins, was crucified and buried, and rose again three days later....all according to the Scriptures. If we keep it simple, we are invariably asked how we know......

That is where our story comes into play. Personal, intense, and highly glorifying to the Most High God. As the apostles of old, we can tell of God's redeeming love, glorious Holiness, and powerful Plan.

That is where our faith, our belief, and our affirmation of God becomes those times where less hopeful people have failed to move, failed to love, and failed to survive. In those storm-tossed seas of our human life when the odds aren't visibly in our favor; our story tells of the peace and comfort, the hope that dwells eternal within all of God's children ......redemption and salvation.

And that is our purpose; to testify to the glory of God.

I wonder when I will ever achieve the level of peace and comfort, that comes often but seems to leave quickly, where it is no longer an awaited state but something I know is a constant awareness of my Father's love. I fight so often against my flesh of the visible, with the voices of the dissenters echoing in my ears. I know this battle will always exist, on this journey, as I draw closer to God and the enemy grows in fear of his lack of purchase upon my soul that he once had. When will this battle end? Of course, I know the answer...when I arrive back home.

For our God keeps His promises, and He's promised to return for us.

To bring us HOME!

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