Sunday, May 2, 2010

In Affliction: We Wait, We Rise, We Conquer

“The Lord is good to them that wait on him in the day of affliction; and he knows them that reverence him.”

~Nahum 1:7 (LXX).

We must tire of hearing it, surely, but the Christian life is the most resilient way of life known to humankind. It is a constant call to hold out in faith when all of life screams at us to let go in our anger, envy, confusion, fear and doubt.

Although we’re tempted to become tired of all this faith-talk, we should know ourselves well enough to distinguish, at least in part, the devil’s seed in us—extraneously placed at the depth of our psyches. It is a great blessing to take account of the devil’s work; in this, we strive to live beyond it.

To know that life is actually a “turnaround” existence where ironical philosophies of life actually occur truthfully all the time; this is a great thing to be consciously aware of. We’re no longer condemned in our confused spiritual stupor.

When we do know this and it becomes more-or-less a constant conscious reality, tests and tumults and temptations are just simply bumps, twists and turns on the obstacle course of life. This obstacle course was designed by God in love to make life appropriately challenging and interesting. But now Satan has added his owned twists and complications in an effort to beat us down.

Knowing this is important. Distinguishing between the motives of God’s love (to mature us) and Satan’s fear (to condemn us) is crucial toward living the life we were all destined to live.

We’re not to be beaten down by life. We’re to see it for what it truly is. Life is a compendium of four-score-and-ten years of living with other people under God in an existence where a loving God is the chief architect.

This existence is an expanse so great the mind cannot comprehend it—it’s a beautiful thing.

And yet, God doesn’t promise us a trouble-free or hassle-free life—he uses these events to mature us; and he shows us the way to get through via the very virtues exemplified in Jesus. In this is simply the acceptance that we are not kings or queens of this castle—God alone is Sovereign. It will always remain so.

It’s not so much important to know this (for our own good) when the seas are calm, when the sun shines. But when the seas begin to lash and rise, lapping into boats, spraying into our faces a water-blast, and the torrential rain scoops us off our feet—as life is inclined to do from time to time—we need to habitually cling fast to the Spirit of God. We can only do this if we’re continually living like this also during the easier times.

In our faith we’re necessarily prepared for the disastrous weather, for we know it will come. When we can contend with the worst that life has for us then we’re able to rise at the appointed time—in this we’re conquering.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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