Yes, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I am almost a senior citizen! “Almost”, I emphasize! In all of those years of life I am starting to figure some things out. Things like, if I wait long enough and don’t get up off my chair, the chances of someone bringing me a drink diminishes by the second! I don’t get impatient, I don’t get upset, I just accept it as a fact of life. I am also learning, on a more serious note, that God often teaches us the lessons of life slowly. He is not in a hurry, like I often am.
He shapes and molds our character on a day by day basis over the long-haul of life. He has a goal in mind for every person who claims that they are his by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We sometimes wonder what God is up to. Be honest with me, now, has that question ever popped into your mind? What is he trying to teach us?
I have been studying recently in the Old Testament book of Daniel. What an amazing young man was Daniel, along with his three friends! They were uprooted from their homeland, conscripted into the King’s service, prosoltyzed to be made like the rest of the servants and challenged to give up their faith in the Lord God of Israel.
We know that the southern kingdom of Judah was being disciplined by the Lord for their disobediece to him. As a result the finest young men of the nation were conscripted by Babylon to be examples to the rest of the world of the superiority of that nation and its king. But, God had a plan, as he always does. That plan involved the three young men that we meet in Daniel 1.
We often grow suspicious in our faith because things don’t turn out like we thought they should. Oftentimes it because God has something greater in mind. What we often forget is that God sees the whole picture, we only see a small sliver of the whole thing. He is doing a million things at once, while we are fretting about this one thing. Yes, it is important to us but also we need to remember that God always has our best interests at heart. He is after something far greater than our circumstances in one particular moment. He wants us to trust him.
At 60 years of age, I can look back and see that God has been very faithful to me. He was working in situations and circumstances that I was not even away of until years later. I think back to our missionary adventure when some things did not go as planned but God used those events to make me the people he wanted me to be. I learned to trust him even when I didn’t know what would happen next.
More importantly, he was making me a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He was making sure that our priorities were in the right spot. Hebrews 11, the writer describes what faith is when he writes,
“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Hebrews 11:1CSB
By faith, we trust God that he knows better than we do. We know him through the pages of Scripture that he does have our best interests at heart. As we live each day to glorify him, he will enable us to walk by faith and not by sight as we obey his Word.
Yes, at times we will be hurt, and we will cry. But God will use those tears to make us more like his Son if our hearts are right before him. Keep drenching your heart with his Word, continue to trust him every day, allow him to shape your character to reflect his and love him deeply as Christ loves you!
Hang in there, my friend! God is not done with you yet, he has so much more for you to know and to accomplish as you strive to live for Him.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch,
I praise God for how He has worked in your life since I met you as a teenager and how He continues to shape your life for His glorious purposes.
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Thank you, Marv, for your patience and pastoral care over the years!