Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22 Solomon says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Eccles. 3:11). God's timing is not our timing. We go through so much in this life, and often what we go through is not pleasant. We wonder at those times what good will come from such trying experiences. Over my fifty years as a Christian I have experienced many trials and tribulations. I can honestly say now, however, that all these difficult times have worked for the good in my life.
The good those trying times have worked in my life is the change of character I have experienced. My greatest desire is to grow more like Jesus every day I live. Even the most horrific trials have woven something of the character of Christ in me. Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. Is there any other way we can learn obedience? If there is, I have not found it yet.
I recall hearing a lady speak on suffering, and at that time I did not receive her message. I was young in spiritual things and felt that God would certainly see to it that I lived a blessed life without much suffering. Then I realized if I wanted to be like Jesus, I too must drink of His cup of suffering. Tough times always draw me nearer to Jesus. When things are going well in my life, sometimes I do not spend the time with the Lord I should, and soon I begin to sail through life without depending upon His daily guidance and presence. Each difficulty I experience sends me to the Word of God and to His throne room of grace. When I cry out to God in my distress, He hears me and lifts my soul to a higher place than before.
When I cling to Jesus and cry out to Him, I discover the secret of overcoming whatever crisis I face. I learn that obedience is an act of my will and has little to do with how I feel at the moment. In His presence when I approach His throne in time of need, I abandon my will to Him, and He sets the sail of my will to ride through whatever storm I am experiencing.
The reading in Psalms today says it all. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though its mountains shake with its swelling. Selah" (vv. 1-2).
Whatever you are going through today, God intends to make it beautiful in His time. He is the Creator, and He is creating you into His image through every trial you experience—and Jesus is beautiful.
Lord, help me to surrender daily to Your beautiful, creative will.
READ: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 22:15
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