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Drink the cup that the Father has given you

One day, when I went to work there was a problem waiting for me to solve. It was not a small problem. However, by the grace of God I was able to solve it rather quickly.

However, when I had to give an update on the problem I exaggerated and made it sound as if I spent a lot of time trying to solve the problem.

I didn’t get struck by lightning that day, and I went about doing my work as usual, feeling a bit smug that I received credit for more than what I had done.

But the next day, when I went to work, things were rather different.

The next day, I found myself having to deal with several problems, and one of them was unusually big, and came out of nowhere. To solve it, I had to engage help from a guy who troubled me a lot. He had me run around all day doing unnecessary stuff, and then when I finally gave up, he solved the problem in less than half an hour. It looked like he knew the solution all along but just took delight in making me sweat and waste my time.

I could have become angry at him, and complain to my boss about him. In fact, I was tempted to do so. But I didn’t do that. Instead, I asked God why He allowed such a thing to happen to me.

I finally realized that this was God’s way of telling me not to exaggerate, and rectifying my lying so that I could have a clear conscience and be blameless.

God is in full control of what happens on earth, and in the heavens. Nothing happens without His consent. He tries to communicate to us through the things happening around us. Therefore, we must pay careful attention to what happens around us. We must have ears to hear.

When the prophet Samuel was a young boy God called him. But Samuel couldn’t recognize God’s voice. Many of us are like that – God speaks to us but we don’t realize it.

The prophet Nahum realized that God speaks to people through external circumstances, and he describes his experiences in the Old Testament book that bears his name.

When trouble hits us, instead of blaming people for their bad behavior, we should go to God and ask Him why He allowed such a thing to happen. Further, we must examine our own behavior in the recent past, so see if we slipped up anywhere.

Consider Jas 2:2-5.

Jas 1:2-5 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

In Jas 1:1-5, James tells us that when we have trials, we should ask God for wisdom. Wisdom concerning what? Wisdom concerning why God allowed the trial to befall us.

Consider Mt 11:27-31.

Mt 11:27-31 27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

In Mt 11:28-31, Jesus tells us that when we are weary and heavy-laden we should go to Him and He will give us rest. When does one get weary and heavy-laden? When they have trials.

In the same passage, Jesus tells us to learn from Him. That is, He is trying to teach us something through that trial. Once we learn what He is trying to teach us, the trial will end and we will get rest.

Jesus is gentle – He will not make the trial more difficult than necessary. He makes the trial as easy as He can; He makes the burden as light as He can. If we are humble, and learn what He is trying to teach us then the rest comes very quickly. But if we are proud and refuse to learn then the trial goes on until we become humble or until He gives up and departs from us.

Now notice what He says in verse 27. Why does He say that just before what He says in verses 28-31?

His point is two-fold – first, He knows what the Father wants to say to us, and wants to reveal that to us; second, He is in full control of our circumstances. He arranges them and allows them to happen.

So what does He do? He arranges the circumstances around us to reveal to us what the Father wants to say to us. That is why, when we are facing trouble, we should go to Him to understand why, and then, once we get it and take the necessary action, the trial will quickly disappear!

Paul understood this, and he tried to teach it to the Philippians too. Here is what he told them:

Php 2:12-15 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

His point? God is at work in you. That is, He arranges the circumstances around you. Therefore, don’t grumble or complain about your circumstances; instead, understand what God wants you to fix, and fix it. Why? It is so that, just like in the times of Noah, among all the others who are crooked and perverse, you will be blameless, and will shine like a light.

So then, don’t get angry with people when you see them ride you and trouble you. Instead, ask God why He allowed them to do that. It is very possible that God is trying to tell you something through that.

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