Destruction, calamity, brokenness, failure, mourning… these ‘bad things’ actually have great qualities for our lives. No, I am not declaring that we should seek them out, strive to obtain them, ensure we experience at least one of these each week. But, when you do review the last 3+ months of your life, you’ll find these scattered throughout more than you may initially think, or like!
Today’s devotional is about ‘going it alone’ through these times, which is so very hard… and not how the Lord intended for us to experience life. He is your faithful and dear friend, and has actually died in His own life so that you/we could walk hand-in-hand with Him. Sure, not physically anymore, but His fellowship and love with us makes our hardships, our sorrows, and even just our disappointments ‘not wasted’. The beauty from ashes is that He is shaping us, strengthening us, growing us to a deeper trust & love in Him. No real ‘friend’ would do that for us, but John 15:13-15 does say; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Sorrows, burdens, tumult, and even utter chaos in your life ‘can’ be used to benefit your spirit, your faith, your hope. Isaiah 61:3 points out; “…To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
But especially remember, along with a closer walk with the lord and a deeper trusting relationship (things that benefit us), there are others around us that are less faithful, less believing, less trusting of the Lord and they watch ‘keenly’ how we live our lives out-loud, not hiding our faith or keeping it private and personal. In fact, 2 Corinthians Chapter 6 is about struggles they were/are going through… and how their lives were a testimony of the very Spirit of Jesus dwelling in them, surely… but also guiding them practically, too. 2 Corinthians 6:11 reads, “O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.“, which is to say that others are encouraged by the commitment to your ‘eternal reality’ of fellowship with the Lord. We know that our ‘separation’ from ungodliness (unclean things, unbelievers, discord, etc) is our preparation for a life with Him, with the Father, with our Savior.