As a follow up to my previous post, my biggest concern was to not be misled in the future. I thought I was led by God to pursue a certain woman, but it turned out to not be God’s will. In the broad sense, I am meditating on how Christians are led in all sorts of direction. There may be times when a person was going to do something but changed directions into doing something else. An example would be Jude. In verse 4, he “found it necessary” to change his course and write to them something totally different from what he “was very diligent to write” to them before. God sovereignly open and close doors all over history, present-day time, and He will continue to do so in the future as He pleases. Another great example is when the Apostle Paul, one of the earliest missionary, felt led to preach the gospel in Asia and Bithynia, but God prohibited him from going in that direction. There was no record in scripture of God’s rationale, but Paul was walking by faith and believed that God knew what is best. Paul’s life was filled with trials and suffering, but it was God’s promises and faithfulness that could lead him to describe his lifestyle “as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Jesus Christ even allowed Himself to be led into the wilderness for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11). Interestingly, it was the Spirit that led him to that temptation, though God Himself did not do the actual tempting (James 1:13). It was clearly the devil (Satan) that was tempting Jesus. But, God is sovereign where He can purposely lead His beloved into a trial or test so that righteousness can bear fruit. Christ demonstrated His righteousness as a man through the power of the Spirit. He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4). He endured the temptations by deflecting the fiery darts of lies with the shield of truths (Proverbs 30:5).
I am learning that I was not truly misled by God for He does not operate in that way. God is not in the business of deceiving His people. Rather, I am exhorted to count it all joy when I meet various trials for I know that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2). Furthermore, I am thankful for a High Priest who is able to sympathize with my weakness rather than telling me to “just get over it”. Jesus has been tempted in every respect as I was, yet He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
This trial has brought me closer to God through the Word and prayer. This trial has taught me greater humility. This trial has brought clarity to my relationships with the Christians in my church. This trial has tested me on how I would react to such a situation. This trial is teaching me patience. This trial is stretching my faith in God to provide for me a wife one day. This trial led me to begin a list of God’s promises. This trial has made me an example for other believers. This trial is reminding me of the sovereignty of God. Ultimately, this trial is bringing more glory to God.
May God help me to endure this trial in obedience to His Word and Spirit, while counting it all joy.