Thrive. Not Just Survive. #7
Free from ills. Free from fear. Free from pain. But life isn’t like that.
Our prayers are, though, aren’t they. They reflect our worst fears–“God keep me and my family from all harm.”
We pray for no sicknesses, no accidents, no pain. But when pain comes, deep inside we often wonder, “Why, God, did You allow this when I humbly prayed that You would protect us?”
So we spend our time avoiding all things that could be painful, and we end up with miserable and dull lives. They turn out to be miserable and dull for 2 reasons:
- We can never fully avoid pain. It’s a part of life, and it has a purpose.
- The talents and gifting God gave us would barely be used due to this heightened fear of pain.
Yet life is an adventure!
It’s to be lived to the fullest! Pain and all.
Here’s the deal: I think God is more concerned about us trusting Him fully than He is relieving our pain.
All throughout Scripture, we read how God uses the pain in people’s lives for specific purposes.
- to demonstrate His power in them,
- to eliminate weakness
- to improve strengths
- to change perspective
And much more. But all these things point to one central issue: trust.
When we trust in God fully then we won’t fear pain. And when we don’t fear pain, we begin to thrive. We thrive because we know that if pain comes our way, God’s got this. He’s got a specific purpose for this painful event. If we miss it due to our selfishness, we miss out on something extraordinary. The pain may end, but we are left with nothing but misery and dullness.
But if we grasp it, and as the pain ends, we are so much more than before. Our trust in God must outweigh our fear of pain.
Give me this mountain!
In Joshua 14:6-15, Caleb was 85-years-old. He had waited 45 years for God to fulfill His promise of giving him land. Now all he had to do was defeat the enemy and take it. At that old age, he turned to Joshua, his leader, and said those words, “Give me this mountain!”
Could pain come? Certainly. But seeing God’s mighty hand in action was worth it. And standing on God’s promises was enough to move forward.
American humorist and author Erma Bombeck once said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.'”
Perhaps our prayers should be, “God, I trust You with this day as I serve you with everything You’ve given me. So give me this mountain.”
He’s God. He’s that good.
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