Monday, November 25, 2013

Trials Show Love Is Genuine

I shared the bulk of this with a friend who came to me needing prayer and a listening ear. I expanded upon it and shared it here. 

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold; though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  – 1 Peter 1:7

Trials also show LOVE is genuine: your love for the Lord, love for each spouse, love for your children, and love for others. When you keep going to the Lord even when you are hurt and confused and when you keep pulling together for the good of each other even when things are hard, it shows your love.

That's why we kept praying for healing and trying when there were openings for 20+ years our external family. It's why we still are praying and trying. It's not real love if we give up because the Bible says real love never stops. (I Cor 13)

People see the closeness of our immediate family and comment on it frequently. It is the result of God's work in our lives and our efforts to be humble before Him. We don't get it perfect, but our trying to obey Him is what He rewards. In this amazing spiritual journey we are on, Clint and I have been through a lot of trials in many different ways. God has used them to bring us closer to Him which trickled down to us being closer to each other as a couple and as a family. He's also used them to give us a broader ministry. At the same time, He has used them to instruct and refine us individually for His purpose. 

When I was very young, I sincerely cried out to the Lord, "Let me be as close to You as I can be on this earth. Let me know You as much as I can know You. Let me experience all I can experience of You while I am here." I've been told I prayed myself into a life of hardship. I believe I prayed myself to a close relationship with my Father.

Humbleness in the Family

We are very honest with our children, "I have failed you in this way. I will probably fail again. I have hurt you. I'm sorry for my actions, words, and attitude. I will try hard not to do it again, but I am human and weak. I am trying to rely on the Lord to help me be better each day." We also tell them: 

"Anytime you think you are better in any way than someone else... 
Anytime you believe you have a right to hold anger in your heart... 
Anytime you feel you are more entitled to something than others... it's pride. Because we aren't to look at other people and the standard they set. We are to look to the Lord and live as He has said. The proud think they are there. The humble are still working towards it." 

Real Power

God resists the proud, but favors the humble. There is so much power in admitting our weaknesses and helplessness before the Lord and crying out for His help. "Be weak and My power will help you." It contrary to how we think, but it's God's way. There are so many areas of life to which this applies. 

It is such a simple weak and rely on the Lord's might. Yet, we strive so hard against it because of our pride...we WANT to be bigger than we really are. Self-righteous pride puffs us up. "No man can put on the robes of Christ’s righteousness till he has taken off his own." Charles Spurgeon


We tell our children, "One of the hardest things to deal with in this life is that
you will be hurt by the people you love, and one of the saddest to accept is that you will hurt the people who love you too. It's a part of being a sinful human being in a sinful world. And we tell them:

How quickly you ask forgiveness,
how quickly you are willing to work things out, and 
how quickly you forgive 
is a measure of the love in your heart." 

Rewards or Battle Scars

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” ― Elbert Hubbard*

Medals and degrees puff us up with pride if we think it makes us better or more knowledgeable than others. Scars are what Jesus left this earth with, and it is what we will leave with if we are truly following Him. What God calls us to is nitty gritty work, and we get pretty banged up doing it.

*I do not agree with Elbert's other writings where he compared modern day writers with prophets, but I do believe this statement is accurate.