On Sunday morning I stood with a sister in Jesus as we took the Lords Supper together and she simply said to me ‘one of the things that has never left me (she has been a Christian a very long time) is that God never changes’.
I have to be honest I heard it, smiled, understood and forgot about it – until today.
I was praying, worshiping and God reminded me that He never changes! I then began to recall many of times in my life and in my ministry I spent with God pleading, begging to take away something that was causing me pain. A relationship, a friend, a situation, a confrontation. He never did. I used to get so mad at Him. I prayed and have the prayer diaries to prove it. I prayed take it away, make it better, vindicate me, remove this pain, this hurt, this disappointment just do something so I don’t have to face it, do something that makes me avoid this challenge, this pressure, this bit in my life where I have to take up my cross and carry it. I didn’t want to be refined, or burnt or even God forbid not liked!
It was never ever easy.
Today I have an Ebenezer. I look back at those times and I now can see what God has done in me. He is good and as a good Father, teacher, friend, lover and saviour He said ‘my child I need you to grow, I need you to mature and become more like me because when those fiery trials (and they will and they do!) I need you to praise my name even more’
I realised today it is dangerous to sing hymns and worship songs like they belong in the charts. Whenever you stand with your arms wide open and heart exposed and utter words like ‘you are my all’ or ‘refine me’ or dare I say for me ‘Riches I heed not or mans empty praise….thou mine inheritance, now and always’ then you are letting yourself in for a lesson from the King of Kings and it will be a good lesson but it will be painful!
I can testify to this pain, I have the wounds and the scars to show it (and I have only been a Christian 13yrs) but I can also testify to His goodness, His never ending, never giving up, always and forever love.
If you are going through that and you are mad, please take heart read James 1 :2 -4. God never changes and if you are serious about Him as He is about you then He will refine you, He might not remove that thorn (person/situation/hurt) what he will do is make you more like Him so you can stand the next time and the next time and the time. You are Gods ambassador of His outpouring grace, His never ending love and His forgiveness – that’s the good news. Bad news is that we don’t get to say when, who, what – we just have to keep going… lift up our cross, fix our eyes on Him and say God may your will be done and may your kingdom come.