Note: Despite the different title, this is part 2 of the post from Monday, “Where Do You Find Your Security?”
In Part 1, we asked the question: “Could you overcome in the Lord if everything turned against you?” David found strength in the Lord (1 Sam. 30:6) even after his family had been kidnapped and his men wanted to kill him. I ended Part 1 by saying that I don’t think that most of us could stand as David—why?
Because we really don’t believe that God loves us.
When difficulties come our way, we often blame God. “If you love me, you would not have let this happen.” But friends, trials are part of life and you can’t see the end of the story at the beginning of a trial!
Recently Danielle traveled to Costa Rica for a week of service. She was excited to spend a week with other young people, ministering to children in a very poor area. When she got there, she found out everyone was much older than her.
She panicked. This wasn’t the plan. “How could God have done this?” She had put so much effort into planning this trip. She was very confused how God could have allowed this. But she persevered, and by the end of the week, she see more clearly, why God had put her on that trip.
Like her, in the midst of the trial we get confused. How could a loving father allow such things in m life?
What is a Father?
Today my father is one of my best friends. I love to be with him. We have a great relationship. But it wasn’t always that way. My early memories of him were of a cold and quiet man. As a teen, he tried to connect with me, but I was already gone—living a life of ‘fun’ and rebellion. We drifted farther apart.
When I came to faith our fragile relationship got worse. I was already a disappointment—now I was running around proclaiming I found the Messiah—and I wasn’t shy about it. I became an embarrassment to my parents. Truthfully, in my zeal, I wasn’t very sensitive to their feelings.
After a while I began to see God, very much like my father—cold, quiet and disappointed in me. I knew what the Scriptures taught about God, but I was stuck.
In order to get His approval, I would witness constantly and spend hours in prayer. I felt, if I prayed more and witnessed more, He would be pleased. However this is the nature of religion—duty, work, etc.
Religion—pick any one—stresses the work you must do: Pray, Give, Help, Suffer… I see this all the time in Israel within Orthodox Judaism. But it doesn’t lead to life. It makes one feel better about him or herself, but it doesn’t build a relationship with God.
My problem had nothing to do with praying or witnessing—I didn’t have a religious problem; I had a relational problem. I didn’t know the Father. One of the reasons we struggle with the idea that God loves us is because of the lack of a father figure in our lives. I think that the father relationship is the most important. Of course mothers are vital as well, especially in our formative years, but fathers are supposed to be our first example of what God is like…loving, kind, encouraging, forgiving…but most of the time they are not.
Let me cut to the chase and tell you how I got free. I met a man, a guest teacher at my Bible College named John Sheasby. We spent four hours together where he explained to me the love of God. That God loved me period—end of subject. God expressed His love for me when He allowed Yeshua to suffer and take my sin.
If I work for the Lord, it is not to get His love, approval or attention… I already have that!!! If I pray, it is because I love Him. If I witness, it should come from the fact that He loves me… not guilt and obligation.
You must have this revelation friends—God loves you! You see, life is hard. Trials will come. Testing will take place. We have an enemy who seeks to keep us from our destiny. We are in a spiritual battle. But if you know God is for you, then you won’t get tripped up every time you experience a challenging trial.
David had this revelation! That is how he was able to find God in the midst of a deep life crisis.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Let me finish by making some proclamations. Speak these over yourself:
- God is for me.
- I am His child.
- He loves me.
- I will not doubt His affection for me, even when trials come.
- The enemy is a liar—I choose to believe God’s word
photo by Benedict Francis