“Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask him for a loaf, will he give him a stone; or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent?” Matthew 7:9-10 ASV
Life lessons…We have them every single day. We learn these lessons in many ways: From our own experiences, from others’ experiences, from others’ advice, from reading, listening, and watching. Life lessons can help us become a better version of ourselves and they can help us help others. But do those life lessons come from God?
Many people say that God sends these tough lessons that burn us, hurt us, make us better, and make us bitter. Is this what He does? Is this how He teaches us? Does He make us sick, give us stress, give us pain? Does He give us a stone when we ask for bread or a snake when we ask for fish? Does God heap upon our lives pain and destruction in hope of perfecting us?
Well…the Bible is His letter to us and in it, Jesus–God’s Word in the flesh (John 1:14)–answers these questions. Let’s see what He says.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” Matthew 7:11 ASV
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV
God gives good things to His children. He does not change. He does not vary. His gifts are always good. We change. We fluctuate. We fight the fleshly remnants of the old sin nature we used to have before we became born again. But God has never had a sin nature. He NEVER changes. His gifts are ALWAYS good. Period.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV
The scripture is inspired by God and it is to be used by us to determine our doctrine, to point out our faults, our need for a savior, for correcting us when we stray and for teaching us about righteousness and how to live a holy life.
God gave us the scripture to teach us.
Are these trials and troubles God’s judgment for our sins? No.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Jesus came to free us from the worry of the trials that we experience. Yes, this world gives us trouble, but our peace is from within. It is from Jesus Christ–God Almighty–that lives in us. Christ overcame the world and all that is in it. We, too, can overcome through Him, if we choose to walk in Him. Every. Single. Day.
If we are drowning in mire of the trouble this world and its ruler offers, then we are not focusing on the right things. Peter WALKED ON WATER when Christ was his focus, but he began to drown when he looked at the storm around him and set his mind on fear instead of his faith in Jesus Christ.
It is a fight. We have to consciously choose every day to keep our focus on Him. We have to choose to think on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,” “excellent, and worthy of praise.” We have to choose to keep our focus on Him and all of His wonderful and beautiful gifts. Our enemy wants to destroy us (John 10:10) and he will IF we let him. He will do his best to steal our joy and keep us down and distracted. But the Christ within us gives us the power to beat our enemy.
Pray for the Holy Spirit–for He is the source of power of God. We cannot win this fight on our own, but God Himself came to earth and will fill our hearts, minds, and lives with His amazing power and He will overcome all problems, pain and frustration in our life and give us a peace that when we stand in the midst of every bit of Satan’s destruction and the storm is roaring around us and it looks as if there is no escape, we will know better; we will be at peace. Like Stephen as having the face of an angel, when he was dying from being stoned, he had peace and forgiveness for his murderers (Acts 6:15, 7:60).
My friends, this is our goal—so much of Him and so little of us that we are not stirred by the trials and troubles around us.
He is our Rock. He is our foundation. He is our Father and He loves us.
We should love Him enough in return to credit Him with our blessings rather than blame Him for our pain.
Biblical illiteracy is killing God’s people. Study the Bible enough to know that when you hear anything that contradicts it, you can reject the false teaching. When you have that unsettling feeling that you get when you hear some religious teachings, look it up. Study it. Pray with a genuine desire for God’s wisdom. He will teach you what is right. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 ESV
The Holy Spirit teaches us, Jesus teaches us, the scriptures teach us.
To Him Be All The Glory!