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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ever Get The Feeling...?

As I think and look back over the past several months that I've been in Rocklin, and looking over many of my posts here which have in some way related to the testing of my faith and trust...I'm finding myself staring down yet another considerable test.

During the past week, I have really immersed myself in thanking God for all my blessings. Even though things are anything but simple, or the way I had envisioned, I know I am blessed. In my office all week at work, I have been listening to the music we're doing in church tomorrow, and just singing myself hoarse in praise. It really served to focus my heart on God, and not the crashing waves around me.

Then came yesterday afternoon. I got laid off from my job of two months. So here I am, out on the water doing my very best to keep my focus.

I subscribe to a "verse of the day" service which emails me a bible verse each day. A couple I received and held on to, without knowing what was ahead of me, were the following verses:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
~Philippians 4:12-13

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
~I Thessalonians 5:18

Ever get the feeling God was trying to tell you something? Yeah, me too. I also think of the encouraging words I've received just within the past week from friends. Some of which I have shared with you in this week's posts. All these things combine to show me that God knows my situation. You can take away my job. You can take away my possessions. You can't take away God's love for me.

As a single man, I often wonder if I'm still single due to my flaws. Maybe, maybe not. What I know for certain is that despite my imperfections, God loves me and is willing to let me go through hardships in order to perfect me and draw me into closer relationship with Him. I look around me at "successful" people who hate God and all I hold dear. I sometimes wonder why they can go on without a care in the world, while I struggle doing what I know is right. I can understand if I make some mistake which causes consequences, but when I'm minding my own business, then out of nowhere, BAM, I'm unemployed. Happy Thanksgiving!

But I'm not letting it defeat me. Well, I'm wrestling with negativity, but I'm putting my trust where it belongs. I'm going back and reading about Job. I won't elevate myself or my sufferings by comparing them to Job's, but despite everything he endured, he trusted God. I'm reminded that God is willing to let those who don't love Him or His statutes to go about their own ways. Their consequences await them unless they give God lordship over their lives. It's those of us who have died to ourselves and merged our identities with His who He goes out of His way to perfect.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
~James 1:2-4

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