Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Good and the Bad...

Job 2:10 "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

Most of us know the story of Job and how he was tested in his faith. In the beginning after he loses everything but his life and his wife, his wife tells him to give up and curse the name of God, to which he replies, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

How easy life would be if God gave us everything that we wanted and we could sit back in our nice expensive recliners in an air-conditioned home and praise his name with little effort. But we all know that if we had everything we wanted we would only want more. How like us to complain when things do not go our way:

-my mom has health issues
-my dog broke her femur
-Mamaw Hale lost her eye in an accident
-my step-brother's girlfriend is pregnant while we have been trying hard
-we can only afford one car
-our income is less than what it once was

It is easy to forget that God gives us these things in life for a reason. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Job kept those fruits no matter what challenges were presented to him. If I stop and think of my woes in a positive manner, I have much to be grateful for:

-my mom has been diagnosed by doctors as to why she is in pain and they can now work towards a common goal to manage her pain
-my dog is still alive and kicking because she is a fighter
-Mamaw Hale's surgery was successful and will hopefully receive a prosthetic eye in a few weeks
-my step-brother's girlfriend is holding a new life in her
-God will grant us children we He sees fit
-we own a car and can pay for the insurance
-we have a stipend and can focus on funding our ministry full time

We have much to be grateful for in life as long as we remember to thank God for every blessing. Just because you see something as a woe in your life does not mean that it cannot be a blessing. It is easy to accept the good but can we accept the not so good in our lives? The best advice I can give is something I learned from my favorite movie "Evan Almighty":

"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does He give him the opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, do you thinkg God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does He give them opportunities to love each other?"

Romans 5:3-5 says "we rejoice in our present sufferings, because we know that suffering brings perseverance; and perseverance brings character; and character brings hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

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