"In light of your sovereign grace, we thank You for blindness, for paralysis, for loss, for death, for broken dreams, for dissolved partnerships, & for disillusionment. In faith, we praise You for times of insecurity, failure, divorce, & even those when others have treated us unfairly."
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume I
I came across this except from the above referenced prayer devotional several days ago. It struck me like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. Many people question the sense of such things happening, but then to have it suggested that they should thank & praise God for them? For blindness? For paralysis? For broken dreams? For divorce? Praise Him when others have treated us unfairly? How? How are we supposed to do this?
We do it in faith & we do it in obedience to God. Of course it's difficult, but we can't let these or any other negative things that happen to us in this life tear us away from Him.
In Philippians 4:4, Paul writes "Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again! Rejoice!" Paul wrote this while he was unjustly arrested, beaten, & thrown into the inner cell of a Roman prison. I have read various descriptions of what prison life would have been like for Paul back in the first century AD when Philippians was written. It consisted of little food, extreme filth, & darkness. Men were crowded into the inner cells. There was no privacy, no means of hygiene. Historians tell us that when prisoners died, they were piled up in the corner of the cells & the bodies were collected at a later time. Paul found himself in these conditions, but what was his response? It was to rejoice.
To wallow in despair & complain because of what we consider to be injustices in our lives builds a wall between us & God. To accept that these things are a part of our world & to seek God's help in getting through them makes us stronger & brings us closer to God. Being closer to Him should be our #1 desire.
Whatever happens to you today ... whatever happened to you in the past ... whatever happens to you in the future ... I urge you to rejoice & grow closer to God. We are not rejoicing because we have these circumstances in our lives. We are rejoicing despite them! We are rejoicing because no matter what, God is with us!
Have a great Sunday, & be blessed : )