Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. – James 4:8
I've been a Christian for a long time, and I know that Jesus loves me and died to save me, but I still find myself wondering why hard stuff has to be so painful. Is God really being good through all of it? I think C.S. Lewis says it best: "We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." And it's at this point that Romans 8:28 queues up in my mind and heart: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." That verse helps shed some light on the reality that even if something doesn't feel good, God can still work good from it. And verses 5 and 6 from Romans chapter 8 give us another layer of assurance: "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace."
What doesn't feel good in my flesh won't make sense in my flesh. But if I have the Holy Spirit in me, my spirit is different because God is there--His indwelling presence with me. He speaks reassurances in the spirit. He speaks comfort in the spirit. He reminds me that He is right there with me in the spirit. People and circumstances might disappoint me, but God never will. It's all about maintaining my prayer life and relationship with our living, loving Lord. Therefore, I have to keep my mind focused on what the Holy Spirit whispers, not what my flesh screams. And in my spirit I know God is good to me.
Dear Lord, thank you for your goodness to me. When I am in pain, please help me to remember all the times You've been faithful and praise you in spite of my circumstances. In the strong and faithful name of Your Son I pray, amen.
About Julie Bailey
Blessed wife of 29 years to Perry, mom of Madeleine, Jack and Susannah, American Heritage Girl leader, devoted West Virginia Mountaineer fan.