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03 Mar '14

The cards we are dealt

Posted by T.J. Addington in broken dreams, discouragement, heart, suffering
Two things I know: I know that life is not fair and I know that God always is.

We see evidence of the first truth every day: illness, job loss, unfair circumstances, just the plain stuff of life that is not always pleasant or desired.

All of us are dealt a set of cards in our lives, and sometimes the hand is not what we signed up for. Those are the situations that cause discouragement, fatigue, disappointment, depression and anxiety.

If all we had were the first truth, (and that is all most people in our world have) life would be most discouraging. But, we know that God is fair, He is good, and He loves to redeem the unfairness of life for His greater purposes in our lives. In fact, speaking of God's goodness and fairness, there is nothing in us that deserves His attention to our lives in any way. The question is not why God allows some situation in our lives but why He deeply cares for us when it occurs. 

Think of the cards you have been dealt, the good ones and the hard ones. And then consider Peter's words: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:6-7).

What is interesting about Peter's words is that God has a higher purpose for our lives than our comfort. More important than our comfort is the quality, strength and development of our faith - and faith is developed when we are at the end of ourselves and must turn to Him in our need. For the Christ follower there is nothing more important than faith and trust in the Father and it is our trials that grow our faith quotient.

But even that is overshadowed by our ultimate goal which is to result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Our faith, our response to the issues of life results in praise, glory and honor as others around us watch us handle the unfairness of life with genuine trust in our loving God. Our ultimate mission in life, after all is to make the father look good and the son well known.

We do that when we allow the unfairness and discouragements of life to be forged into cutting edge faith and in doing so we overcome the cards we have been dealt with the strong, tempered alloy of faith which brings great glory, praise and honor to God.

Understood in this light, each bad hand we are dealt becomes an opportunity to grow and to bring glory, praise and honor to God. It all depends on how we view life and its ultimate purpose. The shallow view is that life is about me. The grander view is that life is about God and how He wants to use me to bring glory, honor and praise to Him. How we view life and its ultimate purpose will determine how we respond to the cards we have been dealt.

If the cards in your hand today look unfavorable to you remember this truth. In the end you have the winning hand for God always has the last word.