When Life serves you up lemons…
God’s Word will show you how to make Lemonade!
Ronald Reagan had a favorite story that he used to like to tell, it was about these two little boys… one was a pessimist and the other was an optimist.
‘A psychiatrist came in to treat the youngest, who was a pessimist. In trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him into a room that was piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears.
“What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did, I’d only break them.”
Next the psychiatrist treated the young boy who was the ultimate optimist. In trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him into a room that was piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist little boy issued the yelp of delight that the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands.
“What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist.
“With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, ‘there must be a pony in here somewhere!'”
Can we not trust God this way?
The answer is yes, but it takes our having been tried in the fires of life.
How do you normally react when life serves up lemons for you?
If you are like me my first reaction, most often, is not very good 😦 , it normally is not what I know that God would expect from His covenant child. But be patient with me, God is not through with me yet… I’m still under construction… and so are you.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus suffered adversity, when things went sideways for Him, which by the way is phenomenon that is common to ALL men (women too), that He did not retaliate or react in the flesh, which is usually my first response; but rather it says that He entrusted His case, His situation, His problem, in the hands of God!
Paul put it this way, “I’ve learned in whatsoever situation I am in, to therein be content!”
Notice he said “He learned!” This is not something that comes naturally for any of us; but on the other hand the Bible teaches us that with practice, while travailing through the fires and storms of life, that we can alter our behavior to reflect that of our Saviour.
For isn’t that the goal of life, as spelled out for us in the Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) to have us each conform into the image of God’s only begotten Son, our Saviour, our Messiah Jesus?!
The Bible says of Jesus that He learned obedience through the things that He suffered (see Hebrews 5:8), and so shouldn’t we also expect to do the same?
These behaviors cannot be learned by reading a book, not even the Bible, they happen as a result of our being hammered out in the anvil of life, through the pain and disappointments of life, where we each have a choice, whether to trust and cast our faith, and our very lives, upon God and the trustworthiness of His Word, in the knowledge that what He has promised us He is well able to perform, and that’s regardless of what our circumstances and/or feelings may say to the contrary!
Look at what the Bible says of Abraham, who is the father of our faith:
18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[a] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
It’s called living by FAITH, without which the Bible clearly tell us (see Hebrews 1:6) that without this sort of faith being activated and applied in our life, in every circumstance, that it is impossible for us to even please God… “for God is a rewarded of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him!” … and that means with ALL of our heart, mind, and strength!
There will be many times in life where we will feel as though we are being wrongfully or unfairly treated, but again the Bible says that if we are suffering underneath these blows and hits of life, suffering for doing what is right, then the Bibles says that God is well pleased with us.
These sorts of situations are bound to arise, but we mustn’t allow Satan to put resentment and discouragement (and worse of all unbelief) into our heart, and thereby cause us to react in our flesh, in a way that would be not only wrong, but would also possibly give us reason to regret it later on, for having lost control and maybe having said or done something that we later wish we hadn’t.
The Bible tells us that our words in particular are vary powerful, that because we are created in the image and likeness of God that our words can be a creative force for either good or evil; and if used carelessly they can be very destructive.
Once unleashed in an angry moment our words and the vibrations they cause for good or evil, can never be called back, but will always be floating out in the ether of space.
Could this be the reason why we are instructed to guard our tongue? I think so (see this link: http://www.openbible.info/topics/power_of_words).
In times like these, when we are being sorely tested through life’s difficulties and trials, if we will but allow God’s love and His Spirit to flow through us in our situation and allow Him to take charge over our flesh, the first trade off and benefit for us will be the development of our character.
Our strength will always come through in these situations as we learn to do as David did (see 1 Samuel 30:6), where at one of the lowest points in his life it says that He encouraged himself in the Lord.
God will ALWAYS make a way, even when there doesn’t seem to be any way of escape, or any relief in sight… God has promised us to NEVER leave or forsake us, and to be with us always through the fires and storms of our life… past, present, and future!
We must learn to be still in the midst of our storms, find the eye of the hurricane and there be still long enough to listen to what God is saying… and then obey! Selah