Non Homeschool Related Testing

 

 

I don’t know if everybody who reads this boring sub-standard blog is saved, so this may not make sense to everybody, but coming across as senseless has never stopped me before, right? So here it goes…

 

Have you gone thru periods in your life where you feel like you’re sleeping?  Christians do this.  Generally it happens under a couple of different circumstances. Sometimes it’s because life is too easy; the world is comfortable – or the world is a downright lovely and precious place and we hope nothing happens to come in and mess up our plans.

 

Or… there are times when severe trials hit, maybe relationships are torn asunder and the foundation of your existence suddenly feels like you’re trying to cross an ocean of Jello.  (I would wish my Jello Ocean to be cherry, because honestly, all other flavors are pointless)  Or perhaps war has broken out or the economy has flattened you, or your children have become unrecognizable or somebody you love dearly has died.

 

There are times in a Christian’s life when existence boils down to mere survival.  And during these times you will either feel an overwhelming presence of God’s love and peace, or you will feel entirely alone. Drowning. Groping. Blind. Lost. 

 

Are you a better Christian if you feel ‘peace and love’ during the times of trial?  No.  Not at all.  How do I know this?  Just take a look at some of the Psalms that David wrote begging God to refresh and renew and to save him.  Look also to Job.  Talk about feeling empty and clueless.  God was still ever present and knew exactly what was going on.

 

And it’s during these times you may start questioning your salvation, or even questioning the existence of God.  I mean, let’s face it; there really are circumstances that happen which seem so random, so destructive, so pointlessly harmful…

 

But here’s the good news.  If you claim Christ – or more accurately stated, if Christ has called you, then He absolutely *has* you.  You are tethered directly to Him.  He’s got you in a harness and if you start skipping towards a cliff and begin playing at the edge of the precipice, He is going to yank you right back from the brink of ‘death’.  He will.  If you are saved then you belong to Him.  He is the author and perfector of our Faith.  That means he created (authored) your faith and He will perfect your faith.  He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.  Don’t believe me?  Check Philippians 1:6.

 

He has strong hands – strong enough to hold even you and your weird problems.  If you are tempted to doubt Him, I understand that. But don’t stop there.  Plead with Him to reveal himself; truly humble yourself and resign yourself to wait patiently.  Americans don’t know how to be patient.  We think a few days of suffering, or a few weeks, several months or even years ‘prove’ God’s unconcern for us.  No.  You have let your American upbringing cloud reality. 

 

I’m going to leave you with two more hard things to hear.  First of all, if you are going through trying times, do not be amazed.  No seriously.  Don’t be surprised.  In Philippians chapter one (again) God says the believer is granted two things.  We’re actually granted a lot of things, but in Philippians chapter 1 we’re specifically reminded of TWO things that he’s given us as a gift.  Know what they are?  The first gift he granted us is “belief in Him”.  We didn’t fumble around and dig that up on our own.  He gave us the very BELIEF we needed in order to receive salvation.  Yes, mind blowing, I know.  But you know what else the believer is granted?  I’ll just write it out so you can see for yourself:

 

Philippians 1:26 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only  believe in him, but also suffer for his sake

 

How’dya like them apples?

 

So, my friends, don’t be amazed if your life is hard.  Be amazed if it’s not.  Be a little nervous if it’s not.

 

Secondly, consider the possibility that you may not be saved.  You believe in Christ?  Good for you.  Even the demons believe in the existence of God and they shudder (James chapter 1), what makes your ‘belief’ different?

 

In 2nd Corinthians 13:5 it says, Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you are disqualified.

 

Yikes times two.

 

Again, the good news is that if you have been called by God, you will persevere because He will make you persevere.  Stop being afraid.  Stop getting distracted. Examine your life.  Stop rushing into sin that you know you have no business being involved with. Repent and fully give your life to Him.

 

Turn to Him even if it doesn’t “feel” like He’s there.  How do you know if you’re saved?  Look at the fruit in your life.  Do you love Him?  Are you willing to forsake the world for Him?  If you feel like you’re coming up short then cry out to Him in your weakness.  He knows you’re pathetic.  He  made you, remember?  He is strong in your weakness because that’s when you realize how much you can’t fiddle around and make things work by your own efforts.  That’s actually good news.

 

 

Lord, sometimes it’s so easy to ‘fall asleep at the wheel’.  These are hard times for so many.  God help us to see you.  Help us to understand your glory and our own insignificance.  Flatten our pride, Lord.  Forgive us for trying to find the answers on our own.  Help us to be patient in affliction.  Give us a love – a true love – for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Give us a passion to reach out and minister to others whether or not we’re suffering or prospering.  Thank you for loving us; thank you for your kindness.  Help us to live a life that’s worthy of your calling.

 

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him

 

And for those of us who are not suffering thru a trial at the moment.  Thank God for this time of rest and strengthening.  Minister to those who feel crushed and overwhelmed or who have real needs.  Do not grow weary in doing good.  Don’t waste times of strength.  Use it to serve the body of Christ.

 

24 thoughts on “Non Homeschool Related Testing

  1. I’m learning in difficult times. 🙂 It’s…fun. Sorry you have to be the one to deal with me DURING those difficult time BEFORE I learn how to deal with it.
    *grin*

  2. I can be a blessing to you for the rest of your days if you’d like. I’ll just throw a fit and frown all day and tell you “this is my worst day”.

    HiiiiHIEENHOHON?

  3. Well said Jen. Its great to remember that we will persevere not because we are holding tight onto Him, but because He has a tight grip on us!

  4. You are officially allowed to post serious posts on an extremely random basis because when you do, they are spot on.

    Since when is your blog boring? Since never, that’s when.

    ~Annemarie

  5. Well written and thought provoking! I think the Holy Spirit prompted you to write that at this particular time. Many of us need to be reminded of it right now. Life is definitely hard right now, and you helped me to step back and be reminded of the bigger “picture”… and purpose.

  6. Very good words! It always seems so amazing when God gives me something I need to hear just at the right time. I have been following your blog for a while, and enjoy your humor and insight. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Dude – I want to say something really funny right now but it’s not working. Let’s just say all the hairs on my body are standing up and I have some serious chills. Awesome post, my friend. Beautiful.

    I have to say, I’m SO WITH YA on the line about “be a little nervous if it’s not”. My life has been chaotic for so many years (off and on, of course) that I *do* get freaked out when things are chugging along smoothly. It’s like the calm before the storm. 😉

  8. Wow. That was spot on awesome. You spoke truth and spoke it such a way that was still “you”! Beautiful words for someone who’s been in a valley for a little while now. Carry on, girl!

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  10. Does working for AIG constitute as a trial (I didn’t so much as get a CHRISTMAS bonus this year, much less a million dollar one)? How about severe boredom? Anyways, great post… I am lucky that you’re my sister.

    Can you bring me some cherry jello when you come up in July? that’d be swell.

  11. Yes, actually, I do think that severe boredom counts as a trial.

    and no. no cherry jello for you. but perhaps i’ll bring some cheddar cheese for our popcorn.

  12. Thank you for that! It’s such an awesome reminder that we all need at times. God is good, it is His nature, He can’t be anything but good! That’s something we all tend to forget at times, as well.

    Mama J.

  13. Good reminder. I like your word picture of being tethered to Christ. He’s got me over a precipice at this very moment but it feels SAFE knowing He’s my anchor.

    I like the way your write. It’s conversational and that’s the way my brain reads. So, we’re a good pair.

  14. I especially appreciate your statement that if you are struggling, questioning, and upset with God it doesn’t make you a worse Christian. So many people got on my case and doubted by salvation when we went through a horrific year just because I got angry with God for awhile!!! Thankfully HE didn’t let go of me! people told me to look at Job and how he went through much worse than I was (great way to comfort someone by the way- not!) and yet he still said ‘Yeah but my Redeemer liveth.’ So I read old Job and discovered that all those horrible things happen in chapter 1 and he praises the Lord in chapter 37. In between there are 36 chapters of Job arguing with God! After that I told people that if 36 chapters of arguing was good enough for Job than I guess I too was entitled to MY 36 chapters! In the end God won the argument (doesnt’ He usually?) and I have been closer to Him ever since. Thanks for sharing this Jen!

  15. With all that’s happening around us sometimes it’s hard not to look at my life and feel like somehow it’s too stable/safe….

    ” Don’t waste times of strength. Use it to serve the body of Christ. ”

    This was totally what I needed to hear today!

    -Laura

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