Posted by: SandreS | March 10, 2009

Adam’s Descendants’ Middle Name

Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7).

“Trouble” is Adam’s descendants’ middle name. It seems that’s all we have. It is a part of the daily battle we face.

God has called us to do His will in what appears to be the most disadvantaged circumstances. Our hearts sink regularly. Then we remember that something has not gone “wrong.” Instead, this is His plan: to use weak, foolish, despised, unqualified nothingness as His vessels, so as to bring about DIVINE GLORY!

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (I Corinthians 1:26-31).

“Seeing” this divine perspective is all an issue of pure faith. Everything else (all our senses and worldly reasoning) begs and pleads for a change in the circumstances.

When reading through Israel’s history in the Old Testament we can get so discouraged for them, and God. Every time it looked like they were on the right track, they turned away from God’s purpose and plan. Or, so we would think, until we realize that no matter what happened, God had a plan, and that nothing that Israel (or Satan) did was going to thwart His Plan and Purpose for them. So it is today: we lose sight of this tremendous truth in our own lives, expecting that God is working differently than He ever has; and so we play the fool to our emotions by letting the old man dictate our feelings and actions.

Why does it take us so long to learn these truths?  We are amazed when we read Paul saying that he had to learn some things – amazed because he had personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ – but even this did not provide him an instantaneous arrival of conviction and faith for him. So it is with us. We are learning to rest and trust Him in the midst of our “troubles.”

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body (II Corinthians 4:8-10).

Joseph, during his troubled times after being sold into slavery, may have had occasion to complain and grieve about his circumstances – Scripture says little, if anything about this – but one thing we do know: knowing His God, Joseph maintained his faith and divine perspective, and in the midst of and in spite of those “troubles” he became a “vessel of mercy” (Romans 9:23) and a testimony to the wonderful grace of Almighty God. In so doing we learn that while the “trouble” of this world may appear as “evil against us,” God means it as good unto us (Genesis 50:20).

The story of Joseph, and many others we have of which to read from the Scriptures, are meant to be examples for us (I Corinthians 10:11).

Instead of reacting in despair, whether looking back at Israel’s “troubles” or living in the midst of our own, we should read “the rest of the story” and look ahead to see the “riches of His glory” which God has prepared for us (Romans 9:23). Let us remember that suffering ­– trouble, if you will – is a gift from God (Philippians 1:29), and is intended for our benefit and good, in order that His Divine Glory and Life may be manifest in us to the rest of the world around us.

Almighty God is performing a wonderful work in us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13). Let us praise God that we have been chosen by Him to be channels of His blessing to those whose lives we have occasion to touch, lives filled with as much trouble as ours are. Let us learn to say, as Paul said, that we are “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

André Sneidar
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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