In yesterdays blog we were looking at the wonderful truth that although the Lord is not perfectionist with us, He is working to ‘perfect’ or ‘fulfill’ His purpose for our lives, because He loves us, Psalm 138:8. In addition to blessing us with good things in so many ways, the Lord also uses difficulties and problems to ‘work’ this perfecting process in our lives.
While we can often see ‘good’ things happening to us as blessing and problems as a sign that we have made a mistake, or that God has left us for a season, God sees those same problems as opportunities to pour out more blessing on us, but in different ways than when life is all good and plain sailing. So today we have some alliteration for you (courtesy of Graham Cooke) that will remind you of Gods’ intention towards you whenever have a problem, especially one that’s hard to handle.
So, following all the ‘Ps’, remember that for every problem there will always be an appropriate promise for us that will help us find the provision of God for that situation. I would like to add to those ‘Ps’ two more in the light of what we shared yesterday. They are that the promise and provision will lead to our progress, and move us closer to being ‘perfected’ in our faith by the Lord.
I guess this is another way of looking at James 1: 2-6 and a reason why we can be thankful for our problems!!!! It is certainly an easy way to help me to remember that the Lord is with me and looking to bless me as I face in all kinds of challenging situations. It means that when I have a problem, I can genuinely start my conversation with the Lord with thanksgiving, as I look for His promises.
We could instead start our conversation with the Lord with another ‘P’, and plead with Him to help us, and of course He will. We can plead with Him saying ‘Please help me Lord, please Help me’ but we may still feel unsure about whether or not the help will come and, if we are honest, a bit unsure about whether or not God has heard us.
Let me illustrate what I mean by a little anecdote from a family holiday in France. We were travelling to our holiday home. This was before the days that Macdonalds and fast food entered the French scene. We have some hungry children in the back of the car, and no eating places in sight. One daughter begins to ask for a food stop, clearly she is feeling grumpy and discouraged and a little cross that we haven’t planned this and found anywhere to stop and eat.
Please can we stop she says, persistently and with the implication that we are being mean not to. Another daughter chirps up in an excited voice, bouncing up and down, ‘we’re going to stop, we’re going to stop, we’re going to get some chips’. Our response to the one was, ‘please stop complaining , we are looking out for a stop’, and to the other it was ‘yes of course, as soon as we find somewhere’.
Well, we love them both and of course both daughters were fed, but one, I’m guessing, enjoyed the next half hour of the ride far more than the other. She had faith in us, in what we promised, and was able to wait with eager anticipation. The other probably found that half hour hard, and was possibly wondering if we were taking her ‘needs’ seriously enough.
Our God is a good good Father. He makes us promises that He will keep. So next time there is a problem, ask the Holy Spirit if He will remind you of the promise you need and then let your faith and excitement grow as you thank Him in advance for the provision you are needing and He is sending. He will provide for you, and in the course of helping you He will also be ‘perfecting’ your faith. Remember Pauls’ words ‘being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.
So let us thank Him in our times of need, and look to see what He will do. It will probably suprise you.