Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On Trials and Challenges - part 2

The last post was so dang long that I didn't want to make it longer.

Continuing the idea, though, when the car began to act up, it was difficult to continue believing (not that I was that good at it in the first place - I had simply agreed to do what God had suggested.)

 I was facing my troubles and trials, as I said at the beginning of the last post. It was so painful to come face to face with so many things I could not control and/or feared. This morning, I was lead to read a few pages in The Second Comforter.

Pages 74-75:
How we perceive our challenges determines how we meet them. If we see God as the overriding influence in life's challenges, then we can trust God to help us through them. ... the dilemma is never merely physical. It is always a battle between faith and skepticism. Do you see it as a fight between your own willingness to trust God to deliver you ...?  Does God care about your life's dilemmas? Will He help deliver you from your 'Goliaths?' Do you trust Him? Do you believe in Him? Do you believe He is interested and involved in your life? Will you accept the proof of His involvement as His word to you? Do you feel His proofs are not sufficient or substantial enough to have faith in them?

Faith in a distant and unconcerned God may satisfy some .... But that is not the God Nephi (or David) believed in. In Nephi's example we find a personal God involved in everyday life. We find a God who will give a challenge to us, and then walk beside us to see we succeed. Nephi is trying to teach us this is the way God operates in all of our lives. He is not distant. He is a part of each of our daily lives. We can ignore Him, or acknowledge Him. But whether we accept or reject His involvement, Nephi's view is that He is present and concerned.

If you want to have an audience with God, you must first be willing to see God as someone who does have personal, direct and onging involvement with each of our lives. You must accept Him as someone who cares enough about you that He will help you accomplish His commandments. You must be willing to accept the forms of communication He uses to facilitate this.

This example of Nephi's is not limited to retrieving a book from a hostile cousin. It should apply to any of life's challenges. ... That is how you need to see the challenges you have. No Goliath in your life will destroy you. Rather, God will destroy the Goliaths for you.

In the end, Goliaths are merely opportunities for you to demonstrate your faith. They will be swept away when they no longer serve any purpose. They are there only temporarily to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate faith.

As I thought on this, pondered on it, it seemed to me that what I was seeing were a) my obstacles (see the questions in the first quoted paragraph) and b) that all of these troubles would evaporate once I had learned to have faith in God. They are only there to teach me to trust God. Once I learn that, they will cease to exist.

That trust, that unconditional trust is what I crave. It is what I am attempting to grasp and incorporate into my being. I hope God is truly long-suffering and patient because it looks, to me, like an exceedingly long road before I can answer any of the questions in the affirmative, let alone have enough trust and faith in him to allow my present tribulations and challenges to evaporate.

1 comment:

  1. I neglected a sentence. It was a vital sentence, and one I pondered on and still think and wonder about. It was in the paragraph below the last one I quoted above.

    "Take an inventory of your life. Look again at your challenges. Those Goliaths you face are opportunities to see if you will proceed in faith to confront them. They are opportunities and blessings, not difficulties. They are mere illusions; here to test your faith."

    "They are mere illusions; here to test your faith."

    Mere illusions.

    Once you have the faith to overcome them, they evaporate because they were illusions.

    It reminds me of the stories I've read where the hero thinks he's fighting something real, but it turns out to be an illusion. But it sure seemed real to him - until he decided it was not. That was when he began to make headway and win.

    "They are mere illusions; here to test your faith."

    Mere illusions. To test your faith.

    Gotta ponder on that some more.

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