As you may know, I am reading through I Will Follow You, O God by Jerry Bridges. It’s supposed to be a 31 day devotional, but I’m just reading through it at a slow pace. I’m almost finished as I’m on day 25 right now. Anyway, I wanted to post parts of day 15’s reading. It really got me thinking and really had me just readjust my thinking-again.
Accepting Every Circumstance
If we truly acknowledge our dependence on God, we will also accept His providential workings in our lives, even those circumstances that are difficult for us and that we don’t understand.
Pslam 139 verses 13 and 16. David was essentially saying,”You created my personality.” David ascribed to God not only the creation of his physical body but also the make up of his personality or temperament…David was telling us how thoroughly God superintends the genetic code and the biological process. God is fully and directly involved in fashioning each of us into the person that He wants us to be-both in physical traits and temperament.
We are who we are (apart from sin, of course) because God made us that way.
Not only did God create us the way we are, He also ordained life’s path for us. All the experiences of David’s life we written down in God’s book before he was even born. This refers not simply to God’s prior knowledge of our lives but to His unique plan for each of us. It includes the family into which we were born, the opportunities we have throughout life, and all out successes as well as our failures and disappointments. It includes the circumstances we welcome and those we would just as soon avoid.
God is causing all these events–both what we call “good” and what we call “bad– to work together for our good, that is, to make us more and more like Christ. That’s why we’re told to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18) Note that this instruction comes immediately following Paul’s exhortation to “pray continually” (verse 17).We should then cultivate the practice of praying continually and always giving thanks, and doing both in all circumstances because we know that even those difficult trials we shrink from are designed for our ultimate good.
This expression of conscious dependence on God is both a characteristic of profound reverence for God and a means of growing in that reverence. As we follow God, we will come to recognize more each day that not only is He the Creator of our world and all that is in it, but He is also its faithful sustainer and the sovereign ruler of all events. And in that knowledge we will bow in awe before Him.
That’s all I wanted to share. I asked myself some questions as I was going along reading day 15.
What personality traits don’t I like about myself or others?
Do I realize they’re from God–all of them?
When I judge or get angry at myself or others for personality issues, do I realize I’m judging/getting angry with God?
What circumstances do I welcome?
What circumstances do I shrink from?
Do I recognize God as my faithful sustainer? Why or why not?
If I’m not bowing in awe of Him, what knowledge am I lacking about Himself?
Does my knowledge of Him create a reverence and an awe of Him?
Do I pray and give thanks in all circumstances, because they’re for my good?
I encourage you to ask yourself some of these questions. Don’t simply say yes or no though, think about it, be specific.