Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13

“Could [Job] have seen that this was to be the outcome, he would not have uttered a single complaint, but would have given triumphant thanks for the trials which were to bring him such glorious blessing.  And could we but see, in our heaviest trials, the end from the beginning, I am sure that thanksgiving would take the place of complaining in every case.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 9/9

But what if what we’ve lost is not going to be restored many times over as it was for Job?  Would we still not complain?  I think because this is man’s nature God won’t let us see.  He promises to bring good out of our difficulties, but He can only do this if we love Him.  This requires us to live by faith and not by sight.  I can think of several instances where I am content now even though things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to.  If I’d seen that from the start, however, my unhappiness about it would have prevented me from looking to God through it.  I would have been too focused on myself.  God uses our circumstances to build our characters--to conform us to His image.  If we knew in advance what was to be we would not have the benefit of all the little incidents that require us to turn to Him.  How much better that God keeps us in the dark and only trusts us with sight when He knows we are capable of handling it according to His ways. We must look to God with thanksgiving, trusting the outcome will be right.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5

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