2014 was an unforgettable year!
- In March I left my place of employment of more than 27 years.
- In May my wife left her place of employment of more than 24 years.
- In June my mom passed away unexpectedly.
- In August I was stung by a yellow jacket, almost died and was in ICU for 3 days.
- I was working part-time and Lisa wasn't employed.
- And we had $10,000 in medical bills. (thank the Lord I had health insurance).
James 1:2 (ESV) Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds. Really? James, are you really serious?
At the time I remember thinking, "God I have served you faithfully! I have obeyed you and this is what I get for it?"
Four years later as I look back I learned two key things.
First, no matter how nasty, ugly or bad your trial becomes we must remember that GOD IS SOVEREIGN!
We will NEVER count it all joy in the midst of a trial if we don't believe God is sovereign.
Second, no matter how nasty, ugly or bad your trial is, don't allow it to become personal.
- The moment I allow my trial to become personal will be the moment I lose focus of the sovereignty of God. Why? Because it's all about me.
- The moment I think I'm not being treated fairly will be moment I think defeated thoughts, say defeated things and live in defeated ways.
- When I don't believe in the sovereignty of God I will begin having disdain and bitterness toward others.
The key to all this is wrapping our hearts and minds around the sovereignty of God. Thinking back through the story of Scripture, let's ask ourselves a few questions.
- When Joseph was thrown into the pit was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Joseph was accused by Potiphar's wife was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Joseph was thrown into prison was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When the Children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When the Children of Israel wondered in the wilderness was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Samson blew it and gave the secret of his strength was God still sovereign? Yes!
- When Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned was God still sovereign? Yes!
God was sovereign then and He is sovereign now, in your trial, no matter how nasty, no matter how ugly, no matter how bad it gets!
Four years later I can definitely say, "GOD IS SOVEREIGN!"