Recently I was talking with a friend about adversity in life. She mentioned that growing up she was always told something along the lines of “if it seems like doors are closing, it’s just not God’s will.”
Then yesterday a co-worker said something along these lines “if you are walking in God’s will, then everything will work out…if it’s not fitting, then it must not be in His will” during a conversation about employees moving on and the search for new ones to fill their spots.
Then I read this blog and it addressed exactly what I had been thinking.
My point is this: I do not believe that just because you run into some obstacles and things seem a bit difficult you are supposed to give up because this is obviously not what God “wills”. (BTW, the whole God’s will thing is a whole other issue) I believe God is in the business of teaching perseverance, too. Where does that notion come from anyway? The idea that the path we walk will be lit with flashing arrows and direction signs. If that’s true, I have certainly been missing out because my life has had very few neon signs telling me what to do and where to go.
Also, James writes of trials we shall face and the perseverance that will mature us. How would sanctification and growing work with a life filled with wide open doors for us to waltz through?
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
As the blog I linked above discusses, I grew up with the phrase “God-thing” being thrown about concerning events that were easy and happened in the person’s favor. I got news for you, people, everything is a God-thing. That’s what God does. Things. Now, as the passage from James clearly illustrates, the sin we delight in and the temptations we face are our own doing, a work of the depravity of our own hearts, but you are kidding yourself if you think that all is not ordained and orchestrated by a sovereign God who seeks to please Himself above all else.
UPDATE: Eric has also posted on the subject of santification previously. Click here for more great insight.