I referenced the other day the use of the popular Bible verse, Romans 8:28 ("And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."), to console ourselves that our difficult circumstances will work together for our good. I pointed out that our circumstances are, in reality, not just for us, but for the purposes of God and, thereby, ALL who love Him, and we may not even be allowed the privilege of bearing witness to His precise purpose.
What I only just discovered yesterday, though, is how this Truth should not be applied only in the hard times, but also in the good - "in ALL things."
We, as Christians, tend to be quick to tell ourselves, or those we know who suffer, that our difficulties are for His purpose - but are we just as quick to say the same about the good? Not simply saying, "Thank you, Lord, for these wonderful gifts," but reminding ourselves that His blessings are also for His purpose? Thus, saying, "Thank you, Lord, for these wonderful gifts; how may I use them to more glorify you?"
We tend to say our hard times are simply a part of His plan but our good times are gifts for us to selfishly enjoy. Are not the gifts also a part of His plan?
I don't mean to say God only gives with strings attached. Most definitely He wants us to enjoy the blessings we have been given. But when we get that raise at work, are we quick to see where we can give more readily to His purposes, or are we too busy planning our next vacation? When the promotion goes through, are we glancing at that bigger paycheck, or asking how our new position can be used to further His Kingdom? When we get the new house, are we too busy mentally filling the rooms and decorating the walls to see how He might use this home to shelter others or to make welcome the guest?
Let us, then, turn to God and seek His will not only through the storm, but also through the warmth of His shining grace.
685. Just the right song at just the right time
686. Fresh raindrops on the skin
687. Booming thunder overhead
688. Lawn chairs in the fading light of summer evening
689. Round baby bellies
690. Hugs, a long time coming
691. Sharing our hearts
692. A well-timed text to remember His love
693. Her hair, all sweat-soaked curls
694. Counting ten thousand reasons for my heart to sing
Photos of Recently:
When we arrived home from our Sunday School Class shindig on Saturday, some neighbors were creating their own fireworks show, so rather than head inside we pulled out the chairs and settled in. Well, Emmett gave up only after a minute or two, asking to go to bed instead, but you can see the grin on Micaiah's face, even in profile. This girl digs it!
Humidity/sweat turns this girl's hair into a head of curls.
Enjoying the show.
Joseph in his sea of penguins (his baby quilt from Gram).