Jesus might wreck your life

How many of us have prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into our hearts because we wanted to avoid hell… or we wanted to have a better life… or we wanted to not be lonely anymore? I think these are valid, good reasons for wanting to follow Jesus. But they can’t be our only reasons. We can’t assume that “becoming a Christian” is going to solve all our problems. Because quite honestly, Jesus’ main concern is not that we are problem-free, healthy, rich, or even happy.

I’m really wrestling with why God allows us to suffer. Why He allows us to experience painful things. Why crappy things happen to us–whether they’re the result of our own poor choices or someone else’s. Or whether crappy things happen because that’s life and just the way things go sometimes. But I don’t find peace with those lines of thinking… and the remaining option doesn’t always sit well either: Maybe God not only allows me to go through suffering; maybe He even makes it happen.

Holy cow. Is it ok to say that?

Today my pastor taught out of John 11. The story of Lazarus and Jesus’ calling him back from the dead. One of my favorite accounts in the Bible. Jesus heard that one of His dearest friends was lying on his deathbed. “So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:6, ESV). Jesus purposely allowed Lazarus to die. He purposely put off going to be with Lazarus’s family, whom He cared about deeply. “Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him’” (John 11:14-15, ESV). 

Wait a minute. Jesus was GLAD He wasn’t there. He was rejoicing that He hadn’t been there to stop Lazarus from dying. He was happy that He hadn’t healed him from afar. Can you imagine how backwards this must have sounded to the disciples? It sounds a little harsh, right?

But of course Jesus knew the full story. He knew the way things were going to end. It would have been nothing for Him to have simply said the word and Lazarus be healed; He had done it before. But Jesus knew that by foregoing one miracle He was choosing an even greater miracle.

At Lazarus’s tomb Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40, ESV)

Jesus doesn’t always behave the way we might want Him to, does He? But do we trust Him that whatever He does, it is good and perfect, it’s for His glory, and it’s what’s best for us?

Truthfully, Jesus might wreck your life. He has completely upended mine… on more than one occasion, and quite honestly sometimes it stinks. But will I trust Him to the end? Will I trust that even in the face of death He is working a greater miracle than I can imagine?

So if His priority isn’t our comfort, what is it? He is interested in the condition of our hearts and whether we really, truly trust Him.

How much do I trust God? My heart is so fickle. In some areas of my life I trust Him without question, but in others it is painfully clear that I don’t trust Him nearly as much as I thought I did, if at all. I worship a God who is holy, just, and perfect, but who isn’t “safe” or bound by my ideas of what my life (or anyone else’s) should look like. I’ve seen Him do things in this life that make no sense. Sometimes later down the road I can see His hand and how it all works together… but many times I just can’t find the silver lining. Who is this God who allows gut-wrenching, life-altering suffering?

Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”

How true is this in my life? What do I really believe about God? Do I trust that He will never leave me? Do I trust that He will always be working things together for my good?

I guess we will see.

But He knows the way I take; 
When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job 23:10 (NASB)

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3 thoughts on “Jesus might wreck your life

  1. Thank you for your post it touched my heart , because I have been wondering the same thing lately , if God loves us so much why do we have to suffer , or go thru yucky stuff.
    I just lost my sweet mama 3 months ago and sometimes I feel God so tangible thru the hurt and the brokenness and other days I am like where are you god I can not do this alone .
    Some days it’s hard to trust Him on this journey I am on , some days I just want to not face the days , the days I feel like that I need Him to walk with me and hold me .
    Like today I thought God where are you this morning , I do nit want to experience this pain and brokenness anymore , Lord I need You to get me thru these days .
    I am praying that he is working this brokenness for his glory and that He is in control , not me and I want to trust His plans for me thru this .
    And I want to know he is right here with me .
    Thank you so much for blogging about this and your encouragement
    Carol

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    1. Oh, Carol. How often have my prayers been along the same lines… thank you for sharing a bit of your heart here. I haven’t lost a parent, but my husband has. I am praying for you right now.

      Like

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