“When it rains, it pours,” as the old saying goes. Last’s week’s post began with this statement; it seems to resonate with many of us. I asked two questions connected to how we willfully react to life difficulties; this week dives deeply into the heart of who we are . . . in our souls.
As a recap, I wonder if you could relate to any of these most challenging circumstances.
- God allows pain to persist . . . and get worse
- God appears unjust, allowing evil to continue
- God takes your child, then another, while your friends’ homes are filled with children and grandchildren
- God allows deception and manipulation to wreak havoc in your life, even though you remain dedicated and devout in trusting Him
- God is a refuge to others but doesn’t appear to listen or care about your needs
- God heals others in spite of your faithful prayers for healing
- God provides in abundance for others, yet you lose your job which provided for your disabled loved one’s medical care
Where is God when the storms go from bad to worse? Those in Scripture—Samuel, Job, Elijah, all the prophets, the disciples—as well as righteous people through the ages have endured the pounding of pouring pain, and we know how their stories ended. But your story and mine are often a mystery; we can’t know the end, yet we are called to trust. That trust is an act of the will and of the soul. You see, storms have a way of revealing the essence of our character, our soul’s truest condition. The greatest challenge isn’t surviving the storm . . . it’s surrendering to what is revealed and then choosing our direction in the midst of it. As you continue to reflect on the willful responses to what God allows, I offer these two questions in regard to our soul.
Two Critical Questions: Your Soul
Question 1: Do you believe there is a greater purpose in the storm?
First Peter, 2 Corinthians 1, Romans 5, and Isaiah remind us that fiery ordeals transform our character, humble us, cultivate our character, and enable us to comfort others . . . even though we may not understand the ways God is at work. Are you clinging to those truths?
Question 2: Are you willing to change your perspective and look through the lens of your soul?
Have you asked the Lord to help you see where He is working, letting go of what you want and embracing what He brings? Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians includes, “I pray that your hearts will be FLOODED with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given . . . that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him” (Ephesians 1:18–19, emphasis added). We must look beyond the storm which often requires a change of perspective. Have you established an unwavering commitment to soul change?
Let Me Hear from You
No one ever said storm survival or soul change was easy, but Scripture tells us it is right. In the mysterious work of our great God, He uses circumstances for reasons we may never understand, but these circumstances are for a purpose. Most often, we find the purpose is for the transformation of our character. Such work begins and ends in the eternal part of our lives, our souls. Will you take some time this week to connect right where you are? None of us has it all figured out; why not talk with a fellow traveler and find encouragement and hope for the days ahead? I look forward to hearing from you.
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