Tough circumstances

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By Dave Henning / August 11, 2016

“With very few exceptions, tough circumstances simply reveal the holes in our hearts, not the holes in our lives.”- Dr. Wayne Stiles

In Chapter 4 (“Going Backward, Moving Forward”) of Waiting on God, Wayne Stiles asserts that many people use physical or material substitutes as sedatives to a disappointing life not firmly founded on God.  As a result, Dr. Stiles states, “the lure of temptation itches like poison ivy.  It screams for scratching, as if satisfaction can come no other way.”

However, scratching only worsens the itching.  True satisfaction, Wayne notes, comes through allowing God’s process of healing and health to run its course.  Consequently, temporary gratification only intensifies pain.  Therefore, God must be at the center.

During extensive times of waiting, longstanding bouts with temptation offer the greatest temptations to fantasize, as Dr. Stiles describes:

“When expectations about what life ‘ought to be’ go unmet for extended periods of time, our hearts will want to drift . . . to fantasize about how great it would be to live in other ‘ideal’ circumstances.”

Furthermore, Dr. Stiles sees two problems with fantast.  Fantasy:

  1. dwells on lies
  2. is a longing to be out of the will of God

Tough circumstances or situations reveal areas of needed growth.  Our refusal to trust God’s sovereignty creates a much bigger problem than our meager circumstances create.  Wayne cautions against assuming a victim mentality:

“We are not the victims of live we think we are.  we are sinners God has chosen by grace to mold into his image.  Hasn’t the Lord promised to take care of our needs?  And if he chooses to wait to do so, and to cause us to wait to receive them, might he have a reason?”

Obedience provides the antidote for a discontented heart.

Today’s question: Think about your tough circumstances.  How have these circumstances revealed the holes in your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Failure to wait on God”

 

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Dave Henning

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