In the last few weeks, I have had several conversations with men who have been going through various challenges – health issues, divorce and job loss. Because of a study that I had been doing, and a principle that God had been revealing to me, I asked each man, “Where do you think God is in the midst of this?”
When we are facing one of those major challenges of life, the kind where we seem to have no control, we tend to want to assess God’s role in the whole thing. Usually we assess God’s role based upon the circumstances we are in. I have come to believe that that approach is absolutely backwards and leads us down paths that can result in anger towards God, bitterness, discouragement and confusion. In Chapter 6 of Judges, Gideon looks around at the desperate circumstances of his people and declares to the angel of the Lord that God “has abandoned us”. Later in the chapter, however, we learn that God hadn’t abandoned them; they had abandoned God and turned to pagan gods.
What if we, in Gideon’s shoes, first reviewed what we know about the Character and Promises of God before we assess our circumstances? What if we recalled that God loves us and promises that He will “never leave [us] nor forsake [us].” If we started there, how would that change our response to our circumstances? Would we be better able to tell that God hadn’t gone anywhere, we had?
Next time you find yourself with a tough challenge, stop and review what you know about the Character and Promises of God. With that in mind first, assess your current circumstances and how you should respond – i.e. reconcile your circumstances with the Character and Promises of God before you respond and you will be much more likely to pursue a faith building, God-honoring response.
Coach Clay Dewees
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