Friday, July 9, 2021

God Never Promised Us A Rose Garden

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." — Luke 22:41-44

Jesus is our example for living our new life – no I am not saying that being like Jesus in all ways is doable in this life, but He is our example. We know that the Father is conforming us into the image of the Son – so we will be like Him – but perfection will be just out of reach so long as we walk this earth. That is not a reason to be satisfied with our imperfection. We should continue to press on the upward way. Hmmm songs just seem to pop up in my mind!

I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

Lord, lift me up, and let me stand By faith on Canaan’s tableland; A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.”  I’m Pressing On The Upward Way, Public Domain

Read John 17 to get a full account of Jesus prayer in the Garden – but the interesting point in Luke 22 is that we get a glimpse of Jesus the man (I think).  He had a dual nature – but then, if you are born again – so do you.  In order to walk in the will of God we are totally dependent upon the power of God. Jesus did not avoid the Cross – the cup from which He must drink – but the Father sustained Him through it. Even though it resulted in His physical death. We all face grievous troubles in our lives – it is not God’s will that we should face those troubles – He doesn’t cause them – but He can sustain us through them – in times of great sorrow and even if the result is physical death.  

 A friend shared that his daughter’s friend just passed away unexpectedly from an epileptic seizure – she was 3 months pregnant. How tragic. What a great loss. The question on everyone’s lips I am certain is “Why?”  I am certain that everyone reading this could share one or more experiences in this life that we would like to have seen God intervene and prevent them. But He did not. We live in a world that God did not intend, but He allowed. He did press the restart button with the Flood, but even then Noah’s family had its DNA roots in Adam and Eve – a sin nature. There will come a day when God “reboots” His creation – but that is not today – I don’t think. Another song – “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine there’s gonna be a little rain sometime.” That is not in the Bible, but it could be – at least the principle.

 “…. count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” – James 1:2-8

Doubt is our nemesis. Lack of faith when facing or in the midst of a trial.  Keeping our focus – not trusting in ourselves to fix it and not blaming God when things don’t go our way. It takes spiritual perspective and understanding to live our new life – which is lived to its fulness in the midst of every circumstance that we must face – good and bad.  

Think about it – Pray about it - Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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