When God’s people do not embrace His covenant, they sin as badly as any others. Our sins separate us from God. Our guilt, from sin, is the cause of our misery because we are seeking satisfaction where satisfaction cannot be found. We need God’s discipline.
Unfortunately, we often think that our misery is the result of our circumstances.
- If only … I could work part-time.
- If only … I didn’t have this personality.
- If only … my husband would do such and such.
- If only … I had more money.
- If only … I had a more time.
- If only … I wouldn’t think about if only’s!
If only’s rob us of joy, and inevitably, lack of contentment reigns queen as the most notable stumbling block.
It is a daily battle to train my heart to desire God and passionately worship Him. It takes work to intentionally seek the Lord’s will and not my own sinful cravings and desires – yes, even the godly desires.
In my endless thoughts of if only’s, I forget that my God, our God, is a covenant keeping God. I forget in the times of trials and endless circumstances that He loves me. I forget that my problem is not my circumstances, but my sin.
Hebrews 12:5-11 explains to us that God disciplines those whom He loves! God does not want our sin separating us from Him. He longs to bless us and give us our desires, but first and above all, our desires must be for Him.
Regular meditation on the glory of Christ will give rest and satisfaction to our souls. It will bring peace to our minds which are so often filled with fears and disturbing thoughts. -Owen.
God in His holiness requires our respect and submission; therefore, it is appropriate that we are disciplined. This discipline is for our good. When we compromise this truth in the selfishness of our if onlys, we begin to believe the same lie that Eve believed in the Garden of Eden. And we then commence to build a mud puddle for ourselves instead of the castle that God has planned for us. Oh what a mud house I have built. What lessons I have learned. What grace I have received.
What I have learned through trials is that I am a sinner. Tried and true. I am in great need of a Savior, and I am in great need of His grace and His mercy. I cannot earn my righteousness. I cannot be God of my life. I do not know what is best for me.
However, I do know that for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). There is an appropriate occasion for everything — every human event — life is endlessly complex.
Rather than becoming embittered by what God has NOT granted human beings (namely the ability to comprehend all of reality), one should enjoy the gifts that God has given. ~ESV footnote for Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
Therefore, this is what I have resolved to do. Enjoy the gifts that God has given me and stop thinking about what He has not given me that I think I need or even deserve. The absolute sovereignty and complexity of God, and what He does, is meant to bring us into awe and reverence of Him. It is to humble us.
So are you being disciplined right now? Do you want to grow in humility? Do you want to love God more?
Grow in faith through the tests given to you for your good, and remember that you are not alone. God is faithful, and He does provide us with what is best for us. He is with us, and that is all that matters.