Saturday, January 23, 2010
Going in the Right Direction
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance”
(II Thessalonians 3:5).
One of the most difficult aspects of chronic pain and illness is that it is unending. For every problem that is resolved, a new one seems to take its place. Each time I experience this, I am tempted to go in my usual directions of frustration, anger, and discouragement. This verse challenges me to do otherwise.
If I am directed into God’s love, I accept the truth that God loves me beyond my comprehension. He proved this love by sacrificing His only Son for me, and by giving me the indwelling comfort of His Holy Spirit. Enabling me to go through each new trial is one way God shows His love and faithfulness to me. He has not failed me yet, and I can release my doubts and discouragements, having total trust in His decisions for my life, including my physical struggles.
What of directing my heart into Christ’s perseverance? Jesus left His heavenly home, enduring the pain and discomforts of this earthly life. He did not give up in frustration or anger when the very ones He came to save rejected or misunderstood Him. Even knowing what lay ahead at Calvary, He continued on to His death – “Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). That is the kind of perseverance God is working in me – “after you have suffered a little while (He) will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” (I Peter 5:10). Every trial is another opportunity to draw me closer to Jesus, and His power will enable me to bear it.
In my own strength, I cannot possibly understand the depth of God’s love, nor can I remain as steadfast as Christ. But if my heart’s desire is to reach these goals, God’s power is strong enough to accomplish it. Then when the intense times of discouragement, pain, or hopelessness come, I will go in the right direction of meditating on these truths. There I will find my victory.
Prayer: My Savior and my God, use my trials to move me in the direction of drawing closer to You, rather than farther from You. Amen.