A couple of Sundays ago pastor did a sermon on how God works in your life. It really stuck with me and as the weeks have progressed, and I feel compelled to share what God has put on my heart. God is a just and wonderful God who can work all things for the good of those he loves and calls according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in the darkest of days and the worst of nights, his loving hand is behind the scenes tirelessly working to bring good in your life. You may not see it, you certainly won’t feel it, but God is always with you, through every storm and fire.
God fulfills his promises…every single one…be it the good and the bad. God brings encouragement, love, guidance, wisdom, and peace, but he also brings judgment, conviction, and vengeance. When you are walking in the light of his love, you tend to feel his presence so greatly, feeling blessed, joyous even. However, when sin is done to you or you are walking in sin, you often feel like God has abandoned you, left you to your own devices. There is a bit of truth to that, but his word still stands true. Let me explain. If you are living in sin, God cannot be in that sin with you as he can take no part in sin. There is a rift between God and human when we sin; a curtain between you and the perfect, holy God of the universe. With that said, there is still hope, as even in your sin, God is faithful to continue to draw you near to him, to seek you out, and bang on the door of your heart with conviction and judgment. Scripture states that he will never leave you nor forsake you, and that though we are all sinners, he still sent his son that we might have atonement and restoration.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
~ Romans 5:8-9
Know that no matter your life circumstance, no matter the path you are walking at this very moment, no mater where your journey has taken you, God is always watching, knowing all that is going on and working to fulfill his promises to you. Remember, when you are rebellious and living in sin, God will provide consequences to draw you back to his throne of grace and mercy and when you are obedient to his call you will find peace, joy, and hope.
Life has a way of beating up even the strongest person, and this is a constant reminder that we live in a sin filled world where pain, hurt, and destruction come at each and every person daily. Again, you may create some of this pain and destruction yourself or it may be done to you. Either way, God is taking the opportunity for Satan to sift your life like wheat. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone in the sifting!!
One of the most infamous people in scripture that were sifted by Satan was Job. Job’s servants were murdered, his herds of animals destroyed, his children killed, his house collapsed, his health taken from him. Job was stripped of everything that made him who he was. He lost all comforts. He lost all his provision. He lost his health. Yet still he chose to praise the Lord, saying “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” ~ Job 1:21. His wife left him, his friends accused him of sinning in some way to bring such great destruction on himself. Yet, even then, Job did not blame God, but rather stated: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” ~ Job 2:10b
Through his darkest of times, through the hardest struggles of his life, in the time of loneliness, God was still with Job, orchestrating blessings for his child. Though all was taken from Job with the Lord’s permission, he was blessed twice over what he had originally. He was prosperous again, he had silver and gold, more livestock than he had in the beginning, and numerous sons and daughters. His cup was filled to overflowing. Out of misery, pain, heartache, hardships, destruction, and fear, God brought good back to Job, making his life better than it was previously.
Peter also was sifted by Satan, and forewarned that it was coming by Christ himself. Christ told him that he would deny Christ three times and Peter indeed did just that (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62). Despite his failure, Peter moved on to become one of the foundation stones in the creation of the early church. God used his failure, this sifting of Satan, to reveal to Peter that he was not as strong as he thought, which enabled him to surrender and find freedom through the power of Christ to build the church.
So though God is sifting you, know that he is shaking up your security to help you examine your life and realign with God’s purpose for you. Sifting also reveals to you what you are made of. When your life hits bumps in the road and chaos or destruction ensues, your weaknesses and strengths come to the surface. Your fears and anxieties that hold you back are brought to light. Your insecurities and the darkness that lies in the heart are shown. God does his best work in your life when you are free from the frailties of the flesh! When you are holding onto the very things that draw you away from God, you will never find restoration and freedom in your life. Therefore, God allows you to be sifted, for you to fall, for others to bring sin into your life. For it is in those times that he brings meaning to who you are, depth of understanding to your heart, freedom to live unhindered, and deep cleansing from all that holds you back from the good things he has planned for you.
Know my friends that God loves you as you are but he won’t let you stay that way, for he is always refining, renewing, and making you more like Christ in all things. He will repair what is broken, but you must remember that sometimes to heal you must hurt. Just as without stitches, an open wound will cause you to bleed to death, but the stitches hurt, so too when God heals the wounds of the heart, soul, and mind, he must stitch them, which brings pain for a moment, but health for a lifetime.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord
Plans to bring you good and not harm
Plans to bring you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11
Have confidence through life’s trials, knowing God is working all things for your good. He will bring healing, restoration, and peace beyond understanding. Trust in him and have faith that He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. He is faithful and will enable all the pain, trials, and devastation of life to make you stronger, healthier, and wiser than you were in the past.
May the peace of God shine upon you and his love remind you that he is with you always. God bless and keep you and may you endure the hardships of life, knowing there are good and better things to come!
In Christ’s love ❤