Hope Abounds

Y’all familiar with the saying – “Everything happens for a reason” – a word of caution…if you say that to me…there’s a chance I might throat punch you.  Why?  Because I’d like to call bulls**t and give you another, just as familiar but slightly modified saying “Bad, Crazy, Senseless, Hard, Mystifying, Stupid Shit Happens”

Christians in particular like to throw around the idea combined with “It’s God’s Will” – again with the bullsh**t and throat punch.

This entry nor blog has the scope to cover all the theology behind my aggressive behavior but here is a very simple explanation…

We live in dark troubled times.  There are all kinds of evil all around us and our families every day.  Ever drive during rush hour?  Have your blood boil over the last election?  Have a troubled teen?  We live among and may even be considered THORNY people.  Reconciliation, humility, servant leadership, meekness are all seen as naive and passé.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. 2 Tim 3:1-5

So back to the original idea – bad things are gonna happen with so many broken people around.

Then…there are times that yes, God will allow things to happen. Don’t even get me started on that one.

Then…what the hell? You serve this mighty God and bad shit still happens and sometimes he lets it???

Unfortunately, yes.  And yes, it makes me mad.  And yes, it doesn’t really make sense and there are times that God and I have knock out, drag out, profanity strewn, Bible flying wrestling matches.

But here’s the deal.  You’ve heard many of times on this blog from Romans 8:28 that “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” If you are a Christian, and you are seeking God – KNOW that he will take all the crap the world throws at you and turn it for good.

BUT, what is good?  Will I always be happy? Nope. Will my kids get healthy and be successful? Who knows? Will I win the lottery? Probably not.  Will James and I grow old with grandkids afoot?  No idea.

THEN, what is good?
Romans 5:1-5 says…
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Good is…
Faith – there have been times in my life that faith in something I could not see or touch was ludicrous – and my life reflected self-will run riot.  Having faith and serving a mighty God is the best GOOD thing in my life today.

Peace – really what needs to be said?  I wake up in the morning to a calm quiet mind and gut.  Y’all know that horrible, anxious, fluttering stomach?  Nope, not most days.  And just to be clear – it’s a peace that surpasses all understanding. On the surface, my life has plenty for the world to be anxious about – and yes, somedays the temptation is there, but I choose to trust.

Hope – my go to verse right now is Romans 15:13The God of Hope.  Hope Abounds.  Yes, my life and spirit is filled with a hope that can only come from walking with God and knowing my place in his Kingdom.

Okay…now the harder stuff – all that good stuff above – can only be obtained by walking through the hard stuff. Ugh.

easy-past_edited-1

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Hope lies in your character – not favorable circumstances.

God makes us better people and conforms us to his image THROUGH difficult circumstances.

So the difficult times that God allows?  What needs to be sifted in your spirit? What is God using fire to purify in your life?  Where is he calling you to take a look?  He loves us – these times are times of preparation and growth.  Back to those wrestling matches.

The times that your poor choices have caused chaos?  We live in a time that everything is someone else’s fault.  I’m this way because of such and such.  Oh hell no.  You’re this way because of the daily choices you have made or continue to make.  Difficult circumstances can force us to look at how we’ve ordered our lives and encourage changes that need to be made.

This broken world.  Hardest one of all.  There is so much pain and distress.  In my circle, within the last 48 hours, one child has died of a drug overdose and another tried to take his life.  These things DID NOT happen for some grand scheme reason. They happened because souls had lost hope and I am confident that God grieves alongside the moms this morning.  But absolutely, what was meant for evil will be turned to good…in time.

Long blog this morning – I had lots to say…I’ll leave you with Proverbs 31:17 – She girds herself with strength (spiritual, mental, and physical for her God-given task) and makes her arms strong and firm.  Use your times of trial to build your strength…we need it…we are mighty warriors serving a mighty God.

xoxox – DM

Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (www.slaythechaos.com), where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.
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