Facing the tests of life


“Unemployment. Divorce. Infertility. An unknown future. The death of a dear one. The illness of a child… The cruelty of an acquaintance… (You name it…)

There comes a time when our faith is tested deliberately by God, not so we will be overcome, but that we might grasp the validity of our faith and know it to be real. From God’s hand comes the cumulative exam designed to reinforce our learning about him and his work in our lives.

Someone likened this process to the kite flyer who takes the string of a kite and runs until the kite ascends into the sky. The kite will not rise without the wind. Wind is necessary to flying a kite, and kites rise not with wind, but against it! So it is with us. We will not rise to patience and maturity unless we ascend against trials.

We must meet our test not with the bleary eyes of a worried novice but with the confidence of a student who is well-acquainted with the words of the professor.

Layer upon layer, God is educating us about how he has worked in our lives and in the lives of those we love!”

Mom’s Devotional Bible

Reflection


The positive side of being sick (immobilized at home or in a clinic) is that you have time to converse with God, to remember, to think about situations and circumstances of your life. In fact, for me, this was positive because it prevented me from focusing on my “mountain” (disease) laying  in my way.

During these moments of reflection, something  struck me about my heart and desires . John Eldredge describes it well in his book “the treasures of the heart”: “Taking our heart in the journey of life is the most important mission of our existence, but also the most difficult.” It all depends on what we do with our desire. Life offers countless reasons and occasions to give up on one’s desire.

I suddenly realize that this is what happened to me for some times due to unjust, unpleasant, harsh, incomprehensible and illogical situations … Despite all my efforts, I am stuck in negative thoughts that slowly suffocate me  and I even ended up losing my heart, losing sight of my desires, my passion …
So I try to be strong, I continue my life without asking too many questions, but the worst is that now, I want to “keep my heart more than anything …” (Proverbs 4: 23). After taking a few arrows, would I dare to desire? Then, without realizing it, I closed my heart to build relationships, to dare, to dream … because I do not want to open my heart, only to experience more grief .

Finally, to borrow Eldredge words: I decided to put as much distance as possible between me and my desires. It is both a logical and tragic act.  The tragedy is multiplied when the suicide of the soul is committed,  believing that this is precisely what Christianity recommends .

But when God decides to take action, to insist and reverse this terrible wrong way of thinking, your heart is completely exposed and often ugly to look at. You see, friends, God’s purpose for me as his child is to always take care of my character, my heart, to revive my desire and passion for him to look beyond the mountain (hurt , frustration, failure, …) that stands between me and where He wants to lead me. Unlike me, God does not focus on the circumstances of my life (though He is with me all the way), but He uses them to train me for a perfect goal: to provide a better future that will glorify Him and for my own good.

I finally understood that whatever I went through: right or wrong, pleasant or unpleasant, God will always brings out something wonderful, extraordinary so that my heart, my character looks more and more like Christ’. The sad part will be not realizing that and keep on weeping and feeling sorry for myself, all the while seeking the reason for what paralyses me.

I like Job. He wanted to know the reason for all his misfortunes, but instead of giving him answers, God bombarded Job with issues beyond his understanding and finally blessed him beyond his expectations (Job chap. 38 to chap. 41) Result: Job meets and knows God personally. (Job 42)

 My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy.  You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering.  If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.” James 1:2-4 ERV