Here are the slides from this morning > Clear eyes 7 – we will all be tested
“Give all of us here the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable and we will all, at some point in our lives, fall. We will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us and that when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. We will all be tested.” Friday Night Lights
We will all be tested. In facing death and in the challenges of living in this broken world. There is no doubt, we will all face major tests.
We began this fall with this statement –
The opportunities before us are enormous. There is vast territory to be claimed for the Kingdom. Everywhere you go today, every person you come into contact with, there is a chance to minister to them and to expose them to Jesus.
But many of us come into this room broken and battered by life. We’ve chased after our own little gods and we’re now paying the price. The good news is – there is redemption. The good news is – there is restoration. That man you once dreamed to be he is still there. He can be recovered. The real you, the true you, the one the Father dreamed into existence – he’s still in there … he’s just waiting to be awakened.
We also said a few weeks ago –
Sometimes a single phone call can change the entire trajectory of your life. Oftentimes, that call is a crisis. The storms are going to come. One day, a phone call is coming for you. One day, news is going to rock your world.
This is quite disruptive. But … it is also holy. If I deny these things and keep blowing my balloon up, I am trying to preserve my life, my ideal, my story. And … I will end up being very disappointed. But if I can embrace the reality of death and realize, this isn’t my life anyway – it is a gift, it is a purpose beyond self, it is a step along the way into the Kingdom – then I can truly live. Maximus said it well – “what we do in life, echoes in eternity”
When we are tested, it will very helpful to remember these promises from the LORD…
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold onto you with my righteous hand. Isaiah 41:1-2
Now this is what the LORD says – the One who created you, Jacob, you, Israel – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.” Isaiah 43:1-2
Notice – the emphasis is on “when” … not “if”.
So, OK, why am I tested? Lysa TerKeurst shared this explanation that I believe is spot on…
“God doesn’t want you or me to suffer. But He will allow it in doses to increase our trust. Our pain and suffering isn’t to hurt us. It’s to save us. To save us from a life where we are self-reliant, self-satisfied, self-absorbed and set up for the greatest pain of all … separation from God.
Think about why we will yank a child back from running across a street. The initial jerk might cause the child some pain and confusion. But that tiny bit of suffering is for the greater good of saving the child from the worse suffering of getting hit by a car. The situation with my colon caused me lots of pain and confusion. But it was for the greater good of saving me from a colon rupture and a possible death.
To trust God is to trust His timing. To trust God is to trust His way. God loves me too much to answer my prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way other than the right way.
Most of all, He knows if I saw the full road ahead, I would stop about halfway through and never choose to continue with His plan. I would think the cost is too high, the path too scary, the way too daunting, and the enemy too frightening. No human is strong enough to withstand seeing too much of God’s plan in advance. It must be revealed daily. And we must be led to it and through it slowly.
The enemy would love for me to get caught up in the temptations of this world. He would love for me to give in to the devastating pull of my constant cravings for physical pleasure. The insatiable longing for all that I see. The pride that comes with achieving and owning more and more.”
Do you have “clear eyes” about this? We will all be tested.