Monday, April 5, 2010

Circumstantial or steadfast?


Currently I'm going through a time of transition that is probably the most challenging and difficult time I've ever experienced in my life. And I've had some challenges!

In spite of the difficulty, the one area of my life that remains strong is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Throughout the challenges, I'm fully aware of God's constant love and care for me. Because of this, I've had several people ask me how I can be so calm in the middle of such a huge "storm" of life.

The reason?

Circumstances have changed, God hasn't.

Regardless of the difficulties seemingly constantly hurled my way, God remains constant. He is always there, always caring, always walking through every challenge with me. His faithfulness motivates steadfastness from me. And my relationship with Christ is an eternal one, not a circumstantial one.

Many of the people I've worked with as both a minister and counselor struggle with having a circumstantial relationship with God. They love and appreciate Him when things are comfortable. When things get tough, they stress out and their faith turns to doubt. When ease becomes challenge, their faith turns to fear. When abundance becomes need, they blame God for letting them get into that situation.

The key these people are missing is this vital piece of information: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

When relationships, jobs, health, finances, or any aspect of life becomes difficult, even painful, it is circumstances that have changed, not God! God remains the same. He remains faithful to us. His love remains constant. His commitment to us is the same. So doubting, blaming, becoming angry with, or even turning from God just because circumstances have changed is beyond silly, it's actually selfish. God hasn't promised a life of ease, He's promised a life of love ... that He would love and lead us through every step in this life.

Remembering that Jesus Christ never changes enables you to just smile and laugh with God when something new goes wrong or becomes hard. Why? Because you know no matter what the new difficulty is, God will be there with His perfect love, all-encompassing care, perfect knowledge and unmatchable power to see you through yet another trial.

Changing circumstances can be hard, painful, even dreadful. That, friends, is a part of life lived in a broken world. But changing circumstances don't have to have any negative affect on your relationship with Jesus Christ. If anything, they should enhance it as you demonstrate steadfastness while God demonstrates His faithfulness.

Is your relationship with Jesus Christ a circumstantial one, or a steadfast one?

Scotty

2 comments:

  1. Great post Scotty. I am praying for your transformation and that God will lead you right where he wants you. I know he has something great in mind.

    I'd only add to your post that it is important to confront doubt. I think it is easy to brush it aside at times, when in fact, by confronting it and dealing with it head on our faith grows stronger.

    I believe that is the real lesson of "Doubting Thomas". Jesus' rebuke of the other disciples makes it clear that Thomas was not the only doubter. Jesus may have chastised Thomas, but then he presented himself as evidence. I admire Thomas and his candor and I believe that Jesus was showing us that he is compassionate toward us in our shakey times.

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  2. Thanks Tony. I think this time for me is more transitional rather than transformational, but God is at work!

    I definitely agree with comment on doubt, especially regarding confronting doubt head on. This has been a sore subject with me for some time, as I watch the issue of doubt be more accepted and almost made a Christian virtue when, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Doubt hinders our relationship with God, who requires of us a relationship built on faith in Him. Doubt says, "I don't think God can/will," whenHe is able to do more than we can possibly imagine.

    Thanks for highlighting that issue, hope you're blessed my friend!

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