23 March 2018
I truly believe that we are all in the school of "practical experience". In this school, we are daily being transformed into His image and likeness.
In this school we have different subjects, and we write exams in them all. These subjects are the trials, tribulations, anguishes, pains, sorrows and disappointments – as well as the joys, goodness, kindness, blessings, happiness, achievements and so many more. These subjects have a way of altering our perceptions of ourselves and the world, as well as our perceptions of God.
I received an email today of a mom that said, "I read your book about your testimony. It was inspiring, but it did not change my view and the anger I feel towards God. How could He allow so much pain in my life? And why don't I receive healing?”
Something happens with our perspective of God in trials and sorrows. You come closer to God – or you become angry with God. These choices have a huge impact on our lives and change our behavior.
The very first question we all ask is – Why?
Jesus Christ is our teacher and we need to look towards Him for all answers. He gave us His Word and Holy Spirit to find the answers. Just as there are tests in school and we need to study to pass the tests. If we fail we have to do a rewrite until we get it right.
Matt 7:7 Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
Ps 25:1- 7 To You O Lord, I lift my soul. O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed, do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed, those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
Make me know Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation, for You I wait all the day.
Remember O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindness, for they have been from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions, according to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord.
Adversity forces us into self-examination. The storms we face in our lives are always accompanied by strong winds, and these winds blow away the surface issues so that we are forced to deal with the deeper level problems.
Tribulations have the ability to remove the cloak of denial and expose who we really are – as well as what we believe about who God is. These tribulations can drive us closer to God as we experience His love and faithfulness in the midst of darkness and pain. Or, they can blind us, focusing our attention and emotions on the increasing darkness around us – filling our hearts with bitterness and anger.
In order to walk the walk of faith we have to stand firm in our trust in Jesus Christ. When we take our eyes off of Him, the winds of tribulation will blow sand in our eyes and we will complain about our discomfort, instead of realizing what is being revealed in our lives through these strong winds.
In 1 Cor 11:28 Paul encouraged the Corinthians, "But a man must examine himself".
Today, I want to ask you something which Jesus has asked me many years ago. It was very early one morning just after Aldo had an epileptic seizure. I cried as I was on my way to leave for work and had to fly to another city. My mommy-heart was broken that I had to leave Aldo in this state. "Why Lord, why?" I cried and felt very sorry for myself as well as for Aldo. I heard His soft gentle voice "Retah, why are you here today? Do you only want my hand or do you want My heart? What do you want from Me?"
God is in the healing industry – that is who He is – the Healer! But, what is your reason for seeking Him? Is it only to be healed or because He is God and you love Him unconditionally?
Loving God needs to be the only motivating factor in our lives.
God wants us to be a holy vessel unto Him. We need to start cleansing ourselves. He gave His Son so that we will have no excuse for staying the way we are. All the dirt and rubbish of our past mistakes and the imprint of the world needs to be washed off of our lives.
Jesus died and gave His Blood so that we can be free of any inner bondage, whether emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually. We cannot sit back and accept the hurts, the pain and the darkness of who we are. That is the wrong game plan. Christ died so that we can live!
Christ gives us hope in hopeless times. Let’s experience His resurrection power in our lives. Choose life in the midst of your difficulties.
The lesson that Jesus teaches us all through adversity is always to change our behavior, to change our beliefs. He wants you to know that God is good – no matter what you face – God is always good. He is a good, good Father – who loves His children.
Allow Holy Spirit to teach you. Watch, read His word, look out for His directions and obey His commands. Trust that He is with you and will never leave you nor forsake you. Love God – not for what He can do for you – just start loving God for who He is!
Unless we change our response and behavior, we will never benefit from our trials and tribulations and the opportunity for spiritual growth they offer.
Allow Jesus Christ to carry your burdens to the cross and deal with them.
No one better than Christ to know that pain paves the way to spiritual healing, restoration and maturity. But, you still have a choice – to surrender, to give all your inner pain to God, to allow Him to change you, the way you see Him and also to help you to learn the deeper things in the spirit. If not – you will never understand and will keep on failing the tests of practical experience. You will continue to write the same test over and over again. But, when you pass – your life will be forever changed by the wisdom, restoration and love you have gained in the process.
As we pass the tests, we develop the potential and ability to reflect the love of God to all around us. Even if everything is not perfect in your life – His love is perfect!
My dear friend – God loves you. It doesn't matter what you face today – God still loves you. His love never changes. I pray that we will pass the next test – as we learn from today’s trials.
Love - Retah and family.