Friday, August 28, 2015

Finding Delight in Our Savior

As recently posted in the Emma Joy Weekly Newsletter

I've found that when life takes an unexpected turn, when the heartbreaking and saddening occur, when danger lurks or the overwhelming is closing in on us, many of us will say, "But God...if You cared, if You loved me, this wouldn't have taken place!" We mistakenly cling to the idea that if God is good, it means He'll never allow anything unpleasant, burdensome, or downright disappointing in our lives. We suppose that God's love equates the absence of difficulty at best or the allowance for a mediocre yet enjoyable life at least.

Recently my family and I were in a car accident. I was driving and our car got damaged to the degree that it's going to cost over 10,000 dollars to fix (thankfully the insurance is paying all but a few hundred of the price!), but we weren't physically hurt at all. This obviously put a damper in our plans and normal routine of going on drives often, making late night trips to the store for ice cream (my grandma's favorite dessert!) or extra fruit and vegetables (depending on what snack or meal we wanted before going to bed), among necessities and responsibilities we all have to attend to. It forced my mom to take the bus to work and because it was unexpected, put her under so much stress since that week and the one which followed she had responsibilities to take care of about 30 minutes from where we live and had no way of getting there. Because of other situations going on, it was extremely stressful and had the potential of causing us to question God's character or at least doubt that in the midst of numerous trials, God is still good, faithful, and worthy of our trust & praise.

We thank God we'll be getting our car back the first week of September and since the accident about two weeks ago have learned lessons and grown to have a greater appreciation for having the health and limbs to walk to the store, the bus to make it to school or work, and been humbly grateful for the ability to get a rental car or my sister allowing us to use her car for the time being.

I am unsure the various circumstances you find yourself in (either through unwise decisions or God's sovereignty). I don't know where your heart is in regards to God and whether or not you are doubting His very existence because you just can't understand why He has allowed you to go through such hard times either currently or in the past. What I do know is that God's word can be trusted regardless of our circumstances. I know that God is good and perfect, He always and only has our best interest in mind, and He will allow us to experience trials of various sorts for the building of our character and trust in Him and also simply because we live in a fallen world and have the free will to both be sinned against and commit wicked atrocities ourselves.

I've been pondering off and on lately everything God has delivered me from, made the way out of, allowed, withheld, and the times He has delayed in answering my prayers...and I've realized that I am so thankful my life is in His hands. I am thankful He allowed consequences to stop me from further going down a destructive path. I am glad He removed friendships and let me switch schools as a youth because He knew where the following months would have led me. I'm happy He exposed my sin and has made us in such a way that we need others and cannot overcome sin without the help of genuine accountability, Biblical Counsel, and godly friendships & mentors. And I'm thankful He allowed me to experience depression, mental illness, and isolation as a youth and young adult because it stopped me from being able to live a partying lifestyle like so many others my age sadly engage in.

In the midst of all of these experiences, I felt as though God had rejected me, didn't care, and basically had evil intent toward me. But looking back in hindsight, I know my heavenly Father was in control and used some of the most hopeless and terrible situations in my life for my protection and ultimate good. If you'd like to study resources on the topic of God allowing evil and suffering (among others), I highly recommend lectures, sermons, books, and other helps by people like Timothy Keller and Ravi Zacharias. Ministry tools by them have had an incalculable influence in my life in regards to correcting wrong views and misconceptions I had about God's character and allowing me to see God's sovereignty that encompasses our lives from beginning to end.

Trust in God. Commit your life to Him. Ask Him to become your highest priority. Pray diligently that He would give you a love for His word and a joyful obedience to it. Plead with Him to do whatever it takes to conform you more into the image of His Son and to break you of any pride or stubborn rebellion toward the thought of giving God full-control.

I would love to sit down with each of you and discuss God's word, His character, share lessons the Lord has taught me and the many ways He has been working in my life despite disrespect toward Him, blatant sin at times, and anger...and to hear about your life and the situations you've been through. Since this isn't possible, why not send a note or letter to me introducing yourself and letting me know about yourself? I have a heart for people and would enjoy dialogue about spiritual matters and growth. You can write to me at

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8: 28


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