Roll with the punches.
Life is an unsteady stream of events. We have to adapt to the situations we face or change our approach to meet challenges. We may have to learn new strategies or accept what we can’t change. We will need to be calm, humble, open-minded, practical and receptive, when faced with unfamiliar situations. Being adaptable will keep us from being overwhelmed.
4 Show me Your Ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are The God of my Salvation. On You I wait all day (Psalm 25).
As we face the vagaries of each day, we can incline our ears to God’s Wisdom. His Ways are higher than ours, and they are always for our good. Be willing to learn and adapt to God’s Perspective. Seek God in prayer and meditate on His Word. Wait to hear what He reveals to you. Pray in every daunting circumstance, and trust God to give you direction. He will not mislead you; He will reveal the truth about you and your situation. We have to be malleable to reproof, and be willing to change the traits that will only serve to make things worse. Learn from The God Who delivers from troubles. Let Him take the lead, as you put your confidence in His Ways.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My Thoughts more than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. 11 So shall My Word be that goes forth from My Mouth; It shall not return to Me void; but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55)
God doesn’t do anything helter-skelter. When He speaks, He does so with significance and purpose. None of His Words are futile to those who receive and act on them. His Ways are for those who are willing to apply them. His Thoughts and Ways are higher than all the wisdom we can attain from other sources. So effective are His Words, that when He speaks them, they do what pleases Him. His Words enhance life and they never fail to accomplish His desire. They are like snow or rain that falls on the ground, watering all it comes in contact with, and making it fruitful. His Words supply our needs and the needs of those who are impacted by our obedience to Him. Those who are receptive and teachable receive God’s Instructions. God speaks what will prosper according to His Will. In uncertainty, God’s Words have order, significance and benefit.
18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and The Lord has taken away; Blessed be The Name of The Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong (Job 1).
How does one accept the loss of a loved one? There are so many unanswered questions surrounding death. Life is not a bed of roses nor is it always sweetness and light. As there are babies being born, there are people breathing their last. Loss, death, life, joy, sorrow, health and sickness are all part of life. How can we adapt to the painful stages of life? God Who gives generously also takes away. Nothing created is ours to hold on to because we don’t have the power to preserve it. We truly have no control over our lives, let alone our organs which works without our help. So in all things good and bad, God is in complete control. He doesn’t owe us our loved ones, the air we breathe, or the sun in the sky. He gave us those we love, the things we enjoy, because He loves us. He expresses His Love through all that we cherish. We have to learn to thank Him for giving in the first place. Let every trouble compel you to remember God’s Goodness.
Job lost all his children in one day. He didn’t curse God upon receiving the news of their death. He grieved vehemently, fell on his knees and worshiped. Job acknowledged in his grief that he didn’t come to this world with anything to his name. He accepted that he was destitute from his birth; but for God’s Love and Goodness he owned nothing. He blessed His God as One Who gives and has a right to take back what belongs to Him. Job also understood that his life was fleeting just as his own children’s. He knew that He would return just as He came, without anything. In all this, Job accepted his lot, and still blessed God. What purpose would it serve Him to be bitter with God? Job knew nothing he did would bring his children back. Take a page from Job. It is very hard to deal with the loss of a loved one, especially a child. We are stewards of our children; they belong to their Creator before they are ours. As we had no hand in forming them in the womb, God has His Purpose well-established for them. In grief and sorrow, we can see God’s desire to give us our loved ones for a time. Since nothing on this side of life is eternal, we, who believe in The Risen Lord Jesus Christ, have hope that we will be reunited for eternity, and never to be separated in the Kingdom of God.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2).
As a believer and committed follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, live as one who is redeemed. Your Salvation cost The Lord His Life; and you must now live through Him. Make it your purpose to live diligently and cautiously, so as not to lose your reward. Work out your Salvation with fear and trembling—wholeheartedly, in reverent obedience to God. It is God in us, by the Spirit of The Lord Jesus Christ, who works in us to be willingly obedient to do what pleases Him. We adapt to the new life in Christ by submission. Just as He came to do the Will of The Father, it should be our purpose to do the same.
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I Am, I have come to do Your Will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that Will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of The Body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10).
Christ’s death on the Cross, for the sins of the world, was the Will of The Father. By His death, we were made holy once and for all. Those who have exchanged their lives for His, nailed their sinful body to that Cross, by becoming one with Him in death. They are now one in His Risen Body; they have new life in Him. They are now acceptable to The Father. Doing God’s Will has eternal consequences for us and others. If God’s Will is death, it will not be in vain. Like we saw earlier, whatever God sends will not return void. Christ didn’t return empty, but gave life to many. When we are reconciled to God in Christ, by dying to ourselves, we will prosper in what God desires for us.
You are here each day to do His Will, whether it cost you your life, or you lose what is most valuable to you. The offering of our lives, and everything we cherish, to do God’s Will is more pleasing to Him than any burnt offerings. Every event in the life of God’s children is His Will for them. No child of God goes through trials that are worthless. Every pain or sacrifice has eternal value.
20 Now may The God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrew 13).
God is working in the lives of those who are obedient and are one with Christ. God sways us to do what is good; and by doing, we are being made complete and pleasing before Him. His Will is that He works in us, in all circumstances, what is well pleasing before Him. So that no matter what we are going through we are kept in good works, and are always complete, wanting for nothing. We can ask God to work in us what is pleasing before Him, by giving us goals that have an enduring impact. Be complete in every good work that is according to God’s Will. While you are doing His Will, let Him make you pleasing in Christ Jesus.
31 “For has anyone said to God, I have borne chastening; I will offend no more. 32 Teach me what I do not see; If I have done iniquity, I will do no more?” (Job 34)
God disciplines His children because He loves them and wants to protect them from willful sin. Every parent lays down the law with consequences for disobedience. When we fess up to error, we accept correction and discipline. Bear under The Almighty’s discipline and learn righteousness. Let God teach us about the sins we are not aware of, so that we don’t repeat them. If we sin against God unknowingly, we have an opportunity to learn more about what is abominable to Him. When we are disciplined for being rebellious, we should accept His chastening and commit to steer clear of repeating the offence. Accept discipline by taking responsibility for missing the mark. Make a commitment to walk upright before God and understand His Ways.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in The Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of The Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to The Lord (Ephesians 5).
Now that we have been brought from darkness to light, by the knowledge we have received and the sanctification of The Lord, we must live as children of light. We put off the old and begin to walk in the newness of Christ. Our desires, values, and character should align with His. By His Spirit in us, we nurture goodness, righteousness, and uphold truth. We are no longer deceived by our own passions, but have acknowledged that as sinners we are in need of Grace. As children who are enlightened by His Wisdom, Word and Counsel, we must apply what we know is acceptable to Him, in every area of our lives.
God is in control of every stage of our lives. He is well-acquainted with our grief and sorrow. We learn of His Goodness even in tragic circumstances. He keeps us in good works that nurture in us what is well pleasing before Him. In Christ, we have everything we need to live as children of light. By accepting discipline, we commit to stay the course as those redeemed for His Glory. We have God’s Provision to live according to His Purpose for us. In every situation, He will guide and lead us by His Word, and it will accomplish what He sends it to do for us. We are adaptable to all that this life throws at us, as long as we continue on the path laid out for us.
31 For Who is God, except The Lord? And Who is a Rock, except our God? 32 It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places. 34 He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have also given me the shield of Your Salvation. Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. 36 You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip (Psalm 18).