May 12, 2009

LIE: If My Circumstances Were Different, I'd Be Different!

"I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130.5
Your night of weeping may go on for months or even years. But if you are a child of God, it will not go on forever. God has determined the exact duration of your suffering, and it will not last one moment longer than He knows is necessary to achieve His holy, eternal purposes in and through your life." Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Lies Women Believe pg225)

The chapter our ladies Bible study has been studying this week looks at the lies women believe about their circumstances. She starts out explaining how we often say or think things like, "If only this were different..." and we use things to justify our sinful actions. Some of the things she lists are:
If only we didn't have to move
If only we didn't live so close to my parents
If only we had a bigger house (more closets or storage)
If only we had more money
If only my husband didn't have to work so many hours
If only I were married
If only I wasn't married
If only I were married to someone different
If only I had children
If only I hadn't lost that child
If only my husband would communicate
If only my husband were a spiritual leader

I'm sure the list goes on and on. One of the things I have thought over the past two weeks here was, "If only we'd get over these awful colds!" Or another, perhaps more silly one that I've used in my life, "If only I enjoyed exercising, it would be so much easier to stay in shape!" Or one that really gets me; every time I see this certain weight control formula television commercial I laugh because of their slogan. It goes something like: Just remember, it's not you, it's your metabolism. Human beings love to shift blame, not take responsibility, use anything except their own sinful and selfish desires to reason out why they behave a certain way. It's humorous sometimes, but mostly downright devastating, to our own lives, and how it affects others' lives around us.

Anyhow, back to the subject of this chapter. All throughout Scripture God uses circumstances, and usually painful or uncomfortable ones, to bring about His eternal purposes and to bring glory to Himself. When His people have obeyed Him and responded to those circumstances humbly and with courage, turning their eyes heavenward instead of inward, God has blessed those individuals and used their lives in many powerful ways! The first biblical example Nancy uses in her Bible study is Eve; the first woman! Would you agree the circumstances in the garden were perfect? No pain, no work, beautiful weather, no hurt feelings, no sickness or disease. Despite these perfect circumstances Eve still made a sinful choice. In the end, it didn't matter that her circumstances were perfect, she was still responsible for her actions.

I'm not denying that life's circumstances are difficult. I just finished telling my little sister that life is just hard. We can't base our happiness or unhappiness on what happens to us; if we did, we'd all be walking around pretty miserable. A challenge for me: wake up and realize how God is working in each of these tough circumstances! Where there's suffering, God is usually not far off. And we could look at it this way, without suffering I'd quickly forget I needed God in my life. When everything seems to be going great and I'm not dealing with anything difficult, suddenly my prayer life slows down, my Bible gets put on the shelf...

3 comments:

Michael said...

thank you for this encouraging post.

Anonymous said...

thanks !! very helpful post!

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