“Jesus doesn’t just want us to get through the waves; he wants us to grow. If we stay connected with him, there’s fruit on the other side. Don’t just expect the trouble; be expectant in the trouble.”- Kyle Idleman
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.”- John 16:1 (NIV)
Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 11 of When Your Way Isn’t Working as he stresses that at times we get upset and frustrated. Because someone opposes us or treats us unjustly. As a result, we want to hold onto our right to feel offended.
In addition, Pastor Idleman observes, sometimes people disconnect from Jesus because they fault God for the waves they encounter. Also, they contend, blaming God for the waves serves as proof that He doesn’t care. And many people, Kyle posits, picture God going through His heavenly Tik-Tok app. Where He finds entertainment value in our suffering from a distance.
However, Pastor Idleman underscores:
“It’s important to note that the presence of suffering in our lives does not indicate the lack of God’s presence. Rather, the presence of suffering suggests that God is uniquely close and present. God wants the (sometimes) overwhelming waves of life to connect us more deeply with him as we discover his presence in ways we have never known before.”
In conclusion, Pastor Idleman notes that we possess the natural instinct to erase difficulties from our lives. And the lives of those around us. Because we believe that we’re acting to protect ourselves and others. But, Kyle asks, what if the pruning:
- is the protection?
- in some of the painful moments protects others in ways you fail to perceive?
- produces in you and others something that’ll be desperately needed later?
Yet, Pastor Idleman cautions, it’s not a given that waves cast people on the Rock of Ages. Instead, at times those waves drag people out to sea. Consequently, think about the waves you’re experiencing. Consider how God wants to use these waves to connect more deeply with you and grow you.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you be expectant in the trouble? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Bleeding – wedge in the vine”