Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
Clear shot at an eight-point buck, missed.
Perfect moment for a first kiss, interrupted.
Business plan, rejected.
Cleaned the house, not good enough.
Sincere proposal, denied.
Studied hard, failed.
Doctor’s report, bad news.
Ran your best race, lost.
Life is filled with disappointments.
Life is filled with happiness-crushing hassles.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Despite our circumstances and doubts Happiness IS possible … for all of us.
Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mysteries like, “great pain can become great possibilities and you can “pray your pain out.”
Tears down your cheek.
Punches in your pillow.
Venom in your texts.
Legs like Jello.
We all face life’s test.
“Each day has a pop quiz,” wrote Max Lucado. “And some seasons are final exams. Brutal, sudden pitfalls of stress, sickness, or sadness.”1
Like Joseph, you did your best. Like Joseph, your best was rewarded with life got worse.
What is the purpose of the test?
Why didn’t God keep Joseph out of prison?
Is there a rhyme or reason?
Why did that shot miss?
What happened to my kiss?
Why did my partners bail?
Why did my efforts fail?
Why did I look like a clown?
Why did my grade go down down?
What good could come of that?
I think that’s just sh**!
Despite my bad attitude God might protest, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” 2
“From an earthly viewpoint the Egyptian jail was the tragic conclusion of Joseph’s life. Satan could chalk up a victory for the dark side…The devil had Joseph just where he wanted him.”
So did God.
(Satan) plan “is to steal and kill and destroy.” Jesus said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” 3
“What Satan intended for evil, God used for testing. In the Bible a test is an external trial that purifies and prepares the heart. Just as a fire refines precious metal from dross and impurities, a trial purges the heart of the same.” One of the psalmists wrote:”
“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.
…but you brought us to a place of abundance.” 4
“If you see your troubles as nothing more than isolated hassles and hurts, you’ll grow bitter and angry. Yet if you see your troubles as tests used by God for his glory and your maturity, then even the smallest incidents take on significance…(God) sees the needs of tomorrow and, accordingly, uses your circumstances to create the test of today.”
God used my bullying soften my heart toward victims.
God used my injuries to slow me down and listen.
God used my illnesses to remind me to care for my body.
“Pray for wisdom to see your life tests as teachable moments” is mysilentscream.
1 – From Max Lucado’s You’ll Get Through This (quoted throughout this post)
2 – James 1:3–4 NLT
3 – John 10:10, NLT and MSG
4 – Psalm 66:10–12, NIV