Preparation through pain

By Dave Henning / August 25, 2016

“Following God is not an escape from pain but a preparation through pain for a future made greater by it.”- Dr. Wayne Stiles

Dr. Wayne Stiles concludes Chapter 7 of Waiting on God by emphasizing that God’s will for our lives rarely follows a smooth path.  That’s because “when we refuse to trust and obey God, he waits for us to do so by allowing circumstances to compel us.”

Therefore, from the perspective of Jacob and his sons, the famine caused their problem.  From God’s perspective, however, the famine and its resultant circumstances revealed two much bigger problems.  Those problems – Jacob’s reluctance to trust God and his sons’ jealous and treacherous attitudes.

Most noteworthy, Dr. Stiles observes, God hasn’t changed His methodology:

“This type of wrenching experience does more than hurt us.  It frees us from the past where our fears have fenced us off from our potential.  These arduous events compel us to follow the Lord out of the gate and into the broad, open field of his unknown will.”

We must make this connection, just as Joseph did.  However, the problem comes when we define our doctrine as theists, but apply it to our lives as functional deists.  In other words, doctrinally we affirm God’s sovereignty and involvement in our lives.  But in the real world, our witness indicates we believe that God’s not involved enough.

When we try to escape the current struggle God has us in, we only run headlong into another struggle.  Running creates one effect- God replaces His agent of change.  But while you cannot transfer out of you, neither are you stuck.  As Dr. Stiles reminds us, “God really does offer change.”

Today’s question: How is preparation through pain providing for a greater future?  Please share.

Tomorrows’ blog: “Warning lights”

About the author

Dave Henning

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