By Kendra Clarke
Life’s journey can really discombobulate us, make us question our faith and keep us off-balance. It sometimes feels as though we are in a heavyweight boxing match getting knocked down or counted out even before the bell rings. The many ups and downs of life come to shake us up, challenge, stretch and ultimately pull us through, often kicking and screaming, out of our comfort zone and into our destiny. We know instinctively and unequivocally that these challenges will undoubtedly occur, because we have witnessed others around us go through them. However, when we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of one, we often act like no one ever told us or like it is the end of the world. 1 Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Furthermore, 1 Thessalonians 3:3 tells us, “That no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”
We Need a Navigator!
God doesn’t promise that our life’s journey will be straight pathways and direct routes. In fact it is going to be riddled with twists and turns, some de-tours and hard stops. However, through it all, if we trust in the Lord and allow Him to be our navigator, we are assured of not only arriving on time, but in the right time. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 we told that, “With God, we will not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are renewed day by day. For our light momentary troubles, are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”. I often joke with my friends, that I am “directionally challenged” and that I go nowhere without my GPS, because to do so would be insanity. I would expend so much un-necessary time and energy going in circles and making endless U-turns, that the mileage on my car would surely add up. By the time I reached my destination, I would be so exhausted and late, that the event would probably be over and I would still have to find my way back home.
Seeking God for Guidance
To navigate this life, without seeking God’s guidance or input on our journey, would be insanity. It would be an inefficient utilization of the short time we have on this earth, and an ineffective use of the resources that God has provided to us. Consider this, who best to be our guide along our journey than Him. We mortals don’t even know what will happen an hour from right now, yet alone a lifetime, so to depend on God to maneuver through the unforeseeable pitfalls would be a smart move on our part. Without God, I imagine it would be the equivalent of driving blindfolded in the dark.
Uncertainty Will Remain, But..
Though uncertainty will still remain, with us holding onto God’s hand, we will come to realize that our “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). We will grow stronger in our faith walk as we continue to trust that God is exactly who He says He is and that He will do just what He says He will do. We will not move ahead of Him, for doing so will only expose us to needless heartache and disappointment. Psalm 27:5-6 states, “For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock”. As we develop our spiritual eyes, we recognize that life is the journey. It consists of tests, which build on the knowledge obtained, to get us ready for the next big test. According to 1 Peter 1:7-8, “These trials have come to show the genuineness of your faith. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. When your faith remains strong through your many trials, it will bring much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. You love Him, even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
The reward for obedience is great as James 1:12 tells us, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
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