I always know when He is speaking to me because no matter where I go or what I do, I can’t run from the tugging at my heart. Several times a day since I had this revelation, I have felt this tug and I know from previous experience, it is nearly impossible to ignore. Not that I want to ignore God, but we all live busy lives and we all at times, put off what we know we should do. I am not putting it off any longer.
As I stated in part 1 of this blog, through the pain of losing my wife Kari tragically, God changed who I was. My wife dyeing was like God moving the rudder on a large ship; my life went in a totally different direction. But that is not all that took place when I hit rock bottom in the coming days and weeks after the accident. God was watching me. He wanted to see what choices I would make. He wanted to see if my faith would pass the test.
When God created us, He did not create robots. We all have choices that we make every day. We can choose God or we can choose this world. When someone is in the deepest depths of pain and suffering, we basically have two choices. We can choose to live with God and for God and live with hope, or we can choose to reject Him and live in the pain and misery, artificially trying to make ourselves feel better with worldly things.
One of my favorite verses about God testing our faith is James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.…”
I am not sure there is a better example of God allowing someone’s faith to be tested than the Book of Job. In the historical account of Job’s life, we see that Satan tried to use tragedy and calamity to try to pull Job away from God. But before the first storm came, God already knew what the final outcome would be. Job chose God. Because Job chose God, God blessed Him. Job 42:12 “The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning;”
Like Jesus, if we continue to do what is right and continue to follow Him despite our sufferings, we will be rewarded. Because this world is controlled by satan, there will be pain and suffering. We are to live in this world as foreigners just passing through. We aren’t always supposed to feel comfortable here because this is not our home. Fortunate for believers, our lives here and our suffering is only temporary. 1 Peter 5:10 “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
If life was full of rainbows and sunshine, would we ever cry out to God? Would we realize how much we really need Him? Affliction and pain has a dramatic, eye opening effect on just how weak and fragile we are. Once we realize we can’t handle life on our own, we honor and worship God like we should. Knowing that pain and suffering brings us closer to God and He to us helps us to endure the testing and trials that we will face. No matter if we are on the mountain top or in the valley, in every situation we can still confidently say, “God you must really love me.”