Romans8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Colossians 3:12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
These two verses were in my devotions for the last two days. Romans was this morning and Colossians was yesterday's verse. Throw in the sermons from church and the books I have been reading lately, and given the events in my life in the last ten days, I am seeing God's grace, mercy, and love for me, personally, in all these things.
I have been challenged in my thinking, my motives have been attacked, my actions were misinterpreted, and my words have been twisted. I have been lied to, and I have been confronted with my own sinfulness and selfishness. And yet, in all these things God loves me so much he has given me his words. He has upheld me even when I am feeling so very much flattened and discouraged.
His words: "...as the elect of God, holy and beloved...". I am chosen. I am wanted. I am special, simply because I belong to Him. And, not just any "Him", but the "Him" who created the universe!
His words: "even as Christ forgave you...". I am forgiven. I have so royally messed up in the last few days. My words. My thoughts. My actions. Even when I outwardly did the right thing, my inward thoughts and motives were so far from pure! Every day I am given a clean slate, with which I am given more opportunities to practice getting it right. I am forgiven by God! What more do I need?
His words: "...so also do ye...". So convicting! How I cling to the fact that I am forgiven, and yet I withold from others around me that very same gift! I need to "just do it". Seven times seventy.
His words: "...all things work together for good to them that love God...". (emphasis is mine) As much I squirm under conviction and challenge, detest being lied to and misjudged, and hate confrontations with others, I can rest in the knowledge that God has a plan. I may not understand it or enjoy it, but all these things have a purpose. Somehow, God puts it all together.
There was a time a few years ago, when I couldn't believe the trial I was slogging through. I couldn't even begin to imagine how God could make something good out of it. And yet, now several years later, I can look back and say, "Wow! Look what God did!" I know, that if where I am in my life right now is because of those experiences, then as tough as it was, I would go through it again. In a heartbeat.
I can lean on that knowledge, even now, as I trust that God is working in all these things.
Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.