Psalm 43:2 (NIV) You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
Jesus said, John 16:33 …"In this world you will have trouble…"
I was a big fan of pro golfer Payne Stewart. I admired his boldness, not only with his golf game, but also in the way he proclaimed the Gospel. He was a relatively new Christian, influenced by his wife, children, and pastor to turn his life around and make a serious commitment to Christ. While wearing a W.W.J.D bracelet his 10-year-old son had given him, he won the 1999 US Open Father's Day weekend here in North Carolina. I will never forget what Payne said to Phil Mickelson after sinking an incredible putt to win. Mickelson's wife was past the due date to have their first baby. At the height of the thrill of victory -- at an emotional climax -- Payne grabbed Phil by the face, looked him right in the eyes and said, "You are going to be a great father. Being a father is great!" Payne knew what mattered most, not success on the golf course but success as a person, a father, and a husband. Four months later, Payne died in a tragic plane accident. Why, God?
Psalm 62:8 (NIV) Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
There are many events in my life, past and present that I do not understand. I am sure there will be many more down the road. I question God during these times. I ask Him, "Why this?" And that is alright, according to Psalms 62:8. God wants us to pour out to Him whatever is on our hearts. My attitude toward these events is changing as I grow in my faith. While I still ask why, I find myself asking more and more often the next question, "What, God?"
Psalm 39:7 (NIV) But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Looking back on defining moments that changed the direction and course of my life, I now see how God was teaching me and molding me more into His image and His plan. In the heat of the battle or in the midst of struggle, it is very difficult to step back and ask, "Okay God, you have me here in this trial. What are you wanting me to learn?" If you can step back and ask what, instead of continuing to ask why, it will help you move forward as you deal with the struggle. Like David said in the verse above, our hope is in God. God does not give us trials without a purpose. When God gives us a test, He is pulling for us. He wants us to grow and learn from the test. God is rooting for you!
What are You teaching me today, Lord?
Father, thank You for Your promises and the hope we receive from You. Thank You for loving us so much that You allow trials to come our way. Thank You for pulling for us, for cheering us on to get through the trials. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom so that we can learn. In Christ's name, Amen.