Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
June 2021 (3)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (5)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (4)
October 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (21)
June 2020 (29)
May 2020 (28)
April 2020 (31)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (4)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

WHAT’S GOING ON?
by Philip Owen

            Have you ever asked, “Why is this happening?” or, “What’s going on?” or, “What am I going to do?”  Have you ever thought, “This situation is hopeless” or, “This circumstance is beyond help”?  Then you might be able to appreciate the circumstances of Joseph when he was sold into slavery, and Israel when they were penned in between the Red Sea and a ferocious Egyptian army, and Daniel when he was thrown into a den of lions, or Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. In those cases, we understand that the Lord might have intervened earlier to prevent from happening each of the predicaments recorded.  In fact, in the last instance, inspiration pointedly suggests that Jesus might have prevented the death of His friend had he wished to do so:  “When he [Jesus] had heard therefore that he [Lazarus] was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was” (John 11:6).  These and many other events recorded in Scripture demonstrate the fact that oftentimes God not only passively permits untoward circumstances to disrupt our lives but actively orders them.  But why might He do so?

            1)  To remind us that circumstances provide no deliverance.  Try as we might, we often find ourselves trusting in the arm of the flesh.  Our kneejerk reaction to many calamities is to count our resources or tote up our possible avenues for escape.  Financial problems cause us to assess our bank accounts; physical problems drive us to a doctor.  That is not to say that we should disdain the use of natural resources to remedy natural problems, but it is to suggest that God may be at work reminding us that such resources provide no remedy apart from His grace.  Difficult circumstances are intended to elicit this testimony from us:  “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains” (Jer. 3:23a).  “Vain is the help of man” (Psa. 60:11; 108:12).

            2)  To remind us to rest in Him.  Try as we might, we often find ourselves growing complacent, careless, and presumptuous.  When things run smoothly for any length of time, we soon find ourselves resting in those things.  Lack of conscious need often leads to lack of conscious trust.  We are certainly not blessed and the Lord is decidedly not glorified when there is never a ripple, much less a surging wave, of difficulty as we float down the river of life.  But let a trial come, and we quickly remember that “God is our refuge and strength” (Psa. 46:1) and that “truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel” (Jer. 3:23b).  He alone is worthy of our trust, and He alone can provide true rest.

            3)  To remind us that trials bless us and glorify Him. Not every trial results in temporal deliverance.  In many cases, it pleases the Lord to allow His children to remain under great burdens and to continue to suffer afflictions.  And until the time of the rapture, every believer will pass through the trying fires of death.  God has calibrated trials in order to bless His own.  It is in such times that we learn what is really important and precious.  It is at such times that we come to know who the Lord is and to fellowship with Him in ways far deeper and more wonderful than times of ease could teach.  And at such times, the Lord is glorified as He reveals that His grace is not only sufficient to sustain us but to enable us to rejoice in Him and the circumstances He has ordained for us (see II Cor. 12:9, 10).

            4)  To remind us that He is strong in deliverance.  Sometimes the Lord is pleased to deliver us in a mighty way.  When we are backed into a corner from which there is no escape and all options have been exhausted, the Lord provides a mighty deliverance that demonstrates His power, love, and grace so that we can say with David, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer” (II Sam. 22:2).  He is a God who delights to save us and to demonstrate that nothing is too hard for Him.  What a privilege it is to be an instrument used of God to manifest that work.

            All trials in the life of a believer are governed by the gracious hand of our Lord who loved us and gave Himself for us.  And regardless of their severity, length, and termination, they are intended to cause us to know the Lord better, trust Him more completely, love Him more fully, and serve Him more faithfully.  May we prove them so.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page