Some time ago, I was praying alone outside. I silently cried out of confusion and frustration. I simply could not see the reason why God lovingly commanded such a difficult requirement from me. I asked Him, “Please tell me because I don’t understand.” God answered, “It’s not for you to try to understand. Just do what you know is right.” The only thing I knew to do that was right was to listen to what my Lord had been telling me all along. Everything He’d been saying to me could be summarized simply as: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6.
As my hands wrote the paragraph, God showed me Abraham and Isaac.
Genesis 22:15-18 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
I can only imagine what Abraham must have been feeling or thinking prior to the angel’s arrival. Quite possibly, “I prayed to be blessed with a child and now the Lord requires him as a sacrifice. Is this two-fold? The miracle of my answered prayer, long awaited for in faith? And at the same time, a sacrifice I must give for the blessings the Lord bestows upon me?”
We don’t really know what was going on in Abraham’s mind, but we have a pretty good idea of what was going on within his heart. We know that he loved his son very much and I’m sure he felt his son was his greatest life blessing. We also know that his faith, love and reverence for the Lord was limitless. His obedience can only come from accepting the Lord’s will, and dying to his own flesh. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts (higher) than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.
God has emotions, just as we do, as we’re made in His image. He loves, angers, grieves and rejoices. As I write, God shows me His Son. Jesus Christ is the greatest sacrifice the world will ever know. If you haven’t yet considered, as His one and only begotten Son, our Father felt something in seeing Jesus suffering in pain – but He also knew this sacrifice would provide the greatest blessing of all. Even Jesus Himself asked our Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46(b).
But Jesus also said, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” Matthew 26:39(b). May God’s will be done, not mine.
At times it can be difficult to accept our trials. We pray to understand but we must realize (and accept) that many things will be beyond our carnal understanding. But know that the hardest trials bring the greatest blessings – be grateful that the Lord knows better than we do, that our best interest is always His main concern. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10.
Although our sacrifices aren’t nearly as magnificent as the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, they’re still very significant to our Father. While we may not always understand the purpose, He does – and our obedience to the Lord will dictate the outcome. What we endure will help us to grow and that growth will be helpful for others as well. As the Lord has charged me over the situation, I must accept the cup I’ve been given and do everything with joy, in knowing that my Lord has a beautiful plan. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3:17.
While my flesh wants to run and hide, God’s Holy Spirit keeps me moving. His Spirit gives me the strength to see past this carnal life, rebuke the discouragement the enemy causes, and lean confidently on our Lord’s words and promises. God has made me victorious in every trial and as I trust and obey Him, I see the evidence of His blessings. So while my heart is broken, my Spirit rejoices in knowing that there’s a multitude of blessings within the tribulation. 1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank you for always being here with me, never leaving me nor forsaking me. I thank You for leading, teaching, and guiding me in every area of my life. I know that no matter the confusion or chaos, I can always trust and depend on You. Help me, my Lord, to always accept and submit to Your will. Never allow me to forget that what you may bring to my life will be made for my good, even when I don’t understand. Remove the scales from my eyes so that I may see all things through the Spirit and not through the flesh. If trials threaten to stop me in my tracks, may Your perfect love cast out all fear. Keep me encouraged to walk through the doors You’ve opened, confidently relying on Your perfect coordination for my spiritual needs. Help me to recognize the blessings in trials. May I always surrender to Your will and not my own, and receive an overflow of Your grace to endure, knowing the victory is already won. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen*
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28
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