Divine Purposes

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 (NKJV) -  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ….who comforts us in all our tribulation, so that we  will be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  
     
A dear family member recently shared with me how some co-workers were giving her some grief.  She is their supervisor, possessing the required professional credentials and experience in her field; she is also considerably younger than her workplace critics.  She approached me because she knew that I would offer a bit of empathy, sympathy, and continued prayer support.  I felt privileged for her confiding in me.  That I could offer heart-felt encouragement reminds me of the comfort found in today’s title Scripture.  Our Lord at times allows us to face unpleasant people and circumstances because there is maturity and spiritual muscle that He is cultivating in us who are His. The beneficial by-products of our trials are never solely just for us.
     
We do not readily embrace these ordeals with difficult people in our lives, and we can strongly identify with the words of Psalm 139:19— “Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God.”  His immediate slaying of the wicked, however, would thwart the necessary and often wearying process that our Savior uses to mold us into His godly image.  There is so much more at stake in our response to trials than our own sphere of operations.  Our responses have far-reaching influence; the very trials themselves are tailor-made!  His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, as Isaiah 55:8, 9 reminds us!
     
What would we learn?  How could we truly be fashioned into His divine image if our loving heavenly Father immediately SMOTE all of our foes the moment they gave us any “shade?” (Shade= opposition)  Besides, we ourselves might have been incinerated long ago!  That said, the next time we are faced with some unmerited opposition or unkind,  behavior from what I’ve termed  “roadside revilers” on the highway of life, just pause in the midst of the encounter, offer up a quick silent PRAISE to your Lord, RESET your mind from ‘WHY, LORD?’ TO ‘WHAT, LORD, are You trying to teach me in this encounter or trial?’  Be expectant, be patient, and persist in TRUSTING His heart for you, His spiritual curriculum for you!  His understanding IS infinite!  He will provide the needed insight and necessary grace.  He promises to do so!  (Prov. 3:5, 6; 2 Cor. 12:9)

PRAYER:  Precious Abba, if You be FOR us, who can be against us?  Remind us when we encounter difficult situations or people that we can trust Your heart to be faithful to us when understanding the “why” eludes us!  Thank You, in Jesus’ name!  Amen.

(by Denise Diggs)

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