God, I just don't understand the purpose behind all of this and why they seem to be dragging on so."
At that point, He asked me,"With all of these situations you are raising to me, which one would you have me to take away if I gave you that choice?"
Well, I really thought about that...I mean I thought about it long and hard. There were many possibilities which came to mind, and I was initially excited about being able to tell the Lord which one burden I wanted Him to immediately remove. Yet, the more I considered the question, the more trepidatious I became. Which one would I choose?? I realized that attempting to do so would have me playing with fire.
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:3-4
You see, what if I chose the wrong thing? What if I chose a situation that God was using to perfect me? Was I willing to forgo being perfected in order to have some momentary comfort in the flesh? Yes, it might make my current days on this earth a little easier, but what if the resulting ease meant that I would fall short of the glory of God and not become what He has proclaimed that I should? Did I want a trouble-free life or did I want to made perfect and entire, wanting nothing? I could not have both.
So, I realized my answer and said, "Lord, I would have you immediately remove nothing. You are the only one who is all-knowing, not me. If you deem that I must go through a situation, then I know it is ultimately for my good. I apologize for trying to take the easy way out. I esteem pleasing you more important than this temporal life."
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." II Timothy 2:3
There is something wrong with always seeking the easy way out. Such is a lazy mindset which will never walk continuously with Jesus. As the Scriptures say, it illustrates a strength that is small (Proverbs 24:10). Yet our strength is only small when we attempt to be self-sufficient. If we would but just rely on Him fully, we will always find the strength to face and overcome any challenge.
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
There are no short cuts in God. Either we will follow the path He has for us unto perfection or we will choose our own way and head for destruction. There is no in-between.
As tribulations come, remember that Jesus said it would be so, but that He also provided a way for us to get through them. The burdens in our lives only become too much to bear when we are not depending on the Lord (Matthew 11:28-30). As the older generations used to say, "If He brings you to it, then He will bring you through it!" In a time of trouble, He is still a very present help (Psalm 46:1).
Be encouraged in the Lord. Trust Him and know that He hears your cries and He has already provided the answer. Even when He does not reveal to you His purposes in a trial, know that He always has one - and usually more than one. He is causing all things to work together for your good.
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4"6-7
Your Cross Is Meant to Bring You to Self-Denial
See It Through!