Are you hoping for a God Encounter?
Have you ever had a God encounter?
Let me rephrase that question. Have you ever had a week in which it seemed like nothing went right?
I used to wonder why that happened. Now I know better.
Now I realize that a cruddy week is often my glimpse of a God encounter. Because it’s a week in which I get to know Jesus just a little bit better.
Unfortunately, at least in my life, a God encounter is not a bright light, a loud voice from heaven or the sudden realization of a dream.
Nope. When God shows me more about Himself, it’s usually in those times that I truly need Him. Those times when I’m downright desperate for Him. Those times when nothing seems to go right.
For me it was a week that started off with disappointing news from a friend, a car repair that I couldn’t afford, and then a bad case of food-poisoning that had me wiped out, physically, for two days. It all occurred on a week that I really needed to get a lot of things done. And instead, I found myself on my knees (and flat on my back) talking to God.
It was then that I remembered a treasured truth from God’s Word.
In Romans 8:28, we are assured that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Verse 29 tells us how He works all things for good in our lives: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son….” (NASB).
There it is. All those “bad things” (like disappointments, unexpected expenses and sicknesses) God promises to work for good in our lives by making us more like Christ through them. He can make me more understanding and gracious toward others through my disappointments, more dependent on His provision through my unexpected expenses, and more thankful for my health and His other blessings to me through the times when I seem to lose mine.
With that in mind, our tough times really pave the way for our Jesus makeover. It is our God encounter. It’s how we get to know Jesus a little better.
What is your trial that is teaching you more about Jesus? Are you experiencing troubles in your marriage so you will see God as your “spiritual husband” (Isaiah 54:5)? Are you going through financial hardships so you will see God as your Great Provider? Are you enduring times of loss so you will see Him as your Greatest Possession?
When we filter every circumstance of our lives through the grid of His unfailing love, we will see every test and trial, every desert and disappointment, as a loving gesture on His part to draw us closer to Himself and make us more like His Son. From that perspective, there is no room for bitterness, worry, or fear.
The Bible says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” (First John 4:18, NIV). I believe that means if we love God perfectly we will trust Him implicitly. And where there is absolute trust, there is no fear.
If you’re going through a situation you don’t like right now, don’t fear. Trust that The One who is allowing it is giving you a priceless opportunity to get to know Jesus a little better.
Loving God, there is no place I would rather be than at Your side. So if You have allowed times of uncertainty, loss, or desperation to come into my life so I will cling to You, then I take hope in the fact that You are in control. And I relish the chance to know Jesus just a little better.