Monday, January 4, 2010

This Is a Test, Not a Final

A few weeks ago we were traveling on 75 through Detroit, Michigan. The chaos in the car was beginning to simmer down after we crossed the Canada/America border. My family and I were beginning to settle down for our three hour car ride to Ohio. I was trying to take stock of coloring books, etch-a-sketches, and snacks for the kids, when suddenly I looked up and read a billboard. It said, “Recession 101, This is a test, Not a final.” I’ve been mulling on those words ever since.

If you read the blog for 2010, you’ll know that I do feel that God is doing such new things in this year. I’m excited for them. I’ve gotten prophetic dreams to confirm all of this, and so has various ones around me. But the thing is, in the meantime I’m still physically right where I was at the end of 2009. If I allow myself to get bothered, this can get very frustrating. We all go through times like this. Where we know that God is doing something great in our lives and we have to trust that He is doing it despite of what we can see. It’s easy to get caught up into whining or complaining. But, Philippians 2:14 says “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” That’s when I have to stop and ask myself. Would I be grumbling and complaining if I really knew that situations were about to change? No I wouldn’t. If I really understood that the situations I see right now are temporary, I’d be excited and praising God for what I know is on the other side of this. I’d be in faith. Because faith according to Hebrews 11:1-2 is “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” We have got to realize that God sees the bigger picture, and we have to trust Him. If you’re struggling with unbelief then ask him to help you. Mark 9:24 says, “Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

I’m a big fan of Corrie ten Boom and the ministry that she had on the earth. If you’re not familiar with her story, she and her sister were older spinsters living with their aging father during WWII in Holland. Their choice to help hundreds of Jews escape during Nazi occupation brought their little watch shop into a main hub of the underground efforts. They were found out. As a result Corrie and her sister were sent to a concentration camp. Corrie survived the ordeal only to have most of her family including her sister and father die in prison. God used her story of forgiveness and survival to minister to thousands after the war years. Her ministry has always impressed me. A few years back I ordered a recent copy of “The Hiding Place” where her story was done in movie form but it also has some extra scenes where they interviewed her. One thing she says in the extra scenes is that our lives are like an intricately woven tapestry. When we look up we see the underneath of that tapestry and it may not make sense. But God is looking at the completed work, and he sees the beauty in it.

We have to try to remove ourselves from the circumstances we see now, and look at the bigger picture. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has good plans for you! He is able to turn any situation around for His glory.

This may be a test in your life. This may be a time where you are fighting to hold on to what you know God has spoken to you. Make the decision to pass it today. For what you see now is temporary. Keep your mind focused on the eternal. He will do what He has said He would do in your life. Keep your eyes on Him! Restore your vision. 

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