The Explanation For Our Difficulties
February 10, 2009
. . . that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us . . . —John 17:21
If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17 . It will explain exactly why you are where you are— because Jesus has prayed that you "may be one" with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.
God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— ". . . that they may be one just as We are one . . ." (John 17:22 ). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?
God is not concerned about our plans; He does not ask, "Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?" No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy.
If we will pray, regarding our own lives, "Your will be done" ( Matthew 26:42 ), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed,
". . . that they all may be one . . . ."
Let us pray…
Lord, when things happen that are troublesome and disturbing to me, help me to see the bright side of all of it. Help me to look above my circumstances to Your goodness, mercy, and love. Help me to focus on the power of Your mighty hand and the way You can touch, change, and transform my problems. Whenever grief over something that has happened tries to come back and torture me, I ask that You would take it away and give me peace. Extend Your hand to me and hear my prayers, I ask that You would unlock all the pain that is captured in my memory and set me free from it. Help me to see that life goes on because You go on and Your compassions never fail. I ask this in the name of Jesus.
Psalm . “You, O God, do see trouble and grief; You consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; You are the helper of the fatherless.”