Blessings in Disguise
MONDAYS WITH KERRI
Last week we realized that freedom is found in realizing our complete dependency on our Heavenly Father as our only hope. This week we will discover that when we operate in our true identity, we are released from our fear and we are able to see that He truly is a God of justice. God will make everything right in His time and in His way.
We must begin to trust Him beyond what our eyes can see and learn to walk by faith. Suffering leads us to freedom because it requires us to surrender our control, especially in our relationships. We grasp that His version of “right” doesn’t necessarily gel with our own, but instead trust He is at work in every circumstance and relationship that touches our lives.
He is just, and suffering teaches us to claim His justice in our lives, even when we don’t understand it. When we learn to claim God’s justice in our suffering, we see the need for Him in others’ lives as well. It serves as a powerful catalyst in teaching us to see beyond ourselves. Our suffering also puts a choice before us. Either it will consume us and blind us to the needs around us or it will rip a veil off of our eyes and catapult us into action for the Kingdom of God. I Peter 4:12-13 states,
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.
Suffering allows us the privilege of partnering with Christ today. It is one of the primary ways in which the Father uses us as His signet ring to the world. We reveal His son and ultimately His glory to the world when we endure the trials and heartaches of this life. We are often consumed with life here on earth, what we eat, where we work, who we know and how to dress. We forget that this is not our home. So, it is incredibly powerful and peaceful for us as children of God to pause long enough to remember that this earth is only a temporary stop on the way to our destination. The prophets were well trained to keep this knowledge at the front of their minds. By doing so they were equipped to walk through extreme adversity and trials unscathed. As His Beloved we are called to do the same. Temporary heartaches, rejections, suffering and persecution will always fade away when we face the reality that we are going home…this is just a practice run. Our goal in this life should be to enjoy His presence so we are ready to bask in His love for all of eternity.
Something powerful happens in the spirit realm when we are hit with a monsoon of sorrow. We need Him so desperately that everything we can see here on this earth seems to fade into the background. As this tangible, physical life loses its importance, The Kingdom of God becomes our primary concern. When we are stripped of everything (and everyone), we begin to learn that He is all we need. In that place, and only that place, the Kingdom of God truly becomes ours.
The Beatitudes also show us that when we understand what it means to be blessed we are free to show mercy to those that have harmed us. Our ability to be merciful in the midst of our own pain is often the biggest challenge of our lifetime. But, it is also the best indicator for what we are allowing Jesus to do with our pain. Mercy is choosing not to retaliate, not giving the person that hurt us the payback we feel they deserve. Jesus showed us that mercy is reaching out to help the one who is hurting, even the one who has hurt us. His mercy has rescued us and demands we do the same for others. When we walk in our identity as His Beloved we are free to offer the same grace and mercy we have received.
Finally, persecution puts us on the path to claiming our Kingdom inheritance. It is important to clarify what persecution might look like for us as women today. Obviously, it is a broad term with many potential applications but, simply put, persecution is any type of harassment, isolation, pain, or exclusion you might endure. In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul tells us that everyone that wants to live a godly life will suffer persecution. In other words, we should not be surprised by it. We are to receive persecution as an affirmation that we are in the sanctification process, the journey to becoming more like Jesus!
Few of us have perceived our situation or status as persecution. However, to validate the wounds we carry, I believe it is important we do so. By their very nature, our pain and longings isolate and exclude us from each other. Often, when we don’t fit in and feel like we are on the outside, we become scarred. So, while many of us would never dream of using the term persecution to define our lot in life, we carry the weight of its power over us each and every day. I do not suggest this to encourage a victim mentality, however-actually quite the opposite; I believe we must bring everything into the light of God’s truth. Once we allow the light to shine on the wounds we have kept hidden, we can find freedom from them. Obviously, it is impossible for us to be free from the pain we carry if we are in denial. Addressing any feelings of isolation or exclusion we have experienced is one more way to fellowship in the suffering of Jesus. It is what our emotions were designed to do-cause us to crawl deeper into the arms of The Father.
Mourning, suffering and persecution are all blessings in disguise because they invite us to desire Him more than anyone or anything else. Through them, The Kingdom of God becomes the center of our world. We know we need Him because we have been in mourning. Through it we have been made lowly and embraced gentleness. We have become hungry and thirsty for justice, desiring mercy, a pure heart, and peace. It is because Jesus shared in all of the heartaches He outlined for us in Matthew Five that we can know He is for us and that we are not alone.
Yes, we are blessed when we finally come to the place of truly wanting Him more than anyone or anything else. Is that true for you today?
What do you truly want the blessings or the One who blesses?
Allow the Holy Spirit to ruminate these questions through you right now. Journal what you believe He is saying to your heart.
To read more on this topic order Kerri's book