I Think I Might Be Getting the Message

24 Mar

Sometimes I can be hard headed. I know this may come as a surprise, but it’s true. I too often want my way, and wrestle with submission to God’s will and wanting to hold on to my own. And God faithfully comes back to this issue to get His message through my thick skull. As my Heavenly Father, He knows that His will is best for me and will bring Him glory as it works out in my life circumstances. So He repeats His message again and again to help me get it.


About three years ago my sister and I were in the midst of caregiving for our mother, and the myriad of details to handle seemed never ending. I also fell and broke my arm, and there were a couple of ongoing circumstances that I did not like being in. Pity parties abounded in my heart and mind. At the same time, I was in a Bible study on the book of James written by Beth Moore with a group of women from my church. Talk about timely!


God began to challenge me to obey His command to “count it [trials, difficulties] all joy.” As we studied this passage from James 1, we learned that “count” is not only an accounting term, but it also means “to lead the mind” to think this way, and to do so as a continuous, repeated action. And “joy” has its roots in the Greek word for grace – God’s favor, His kindness, something that is unearned and undeserved – as one Bible dictionary puts it, His influence on our heart and how that is reflected in our lives. If we/I would count circumstances all joy, the result would be the privilege of seeing God work in and through those circumstances and the opportunity to know Him more deeply.


Flash forward to this fall, after many ups and downs in counting it all joy versus numerous pity parties. Once again, I was in a women’s study on the life of Gideon written by Priscilla Shirer. One of the challenges from this study was that God is calling us to faithfulness in whatever situation we are in – whether we’re in something enjoyable or difficult. Once again, knowing Him and being a part of the purpose He has for my life and what He wants to do in the lives of others would be the result of faithful obedience. Again, this was a timely message to repent of attitudes of going through the motions of duty while constantly looking for a way to escape the difficulty.


Now I’m getting ready to be in a study on the life of Jonah where the thrust of the study is seeing changes in our plans as God’s divine invitation to join in His work, to look at Him with a more exalted view. Then this morning the message at church was how to live purposely in whatever season of life we’re in – be it young or old, married or single, etc. – for God’s glory and our best.


Message given. Message heard. Message received. Lesson learned? To be continued.


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