Dear Brothers and Sister,
In a world guided by selfishness and emotions the followers of Jesus will struggle with how to live in love and in faith in the Word of God. The struggle intensifies in times of trial and times of change. When we face new territory, God calls us to look at our heart and to navigate unknown waters in faith and love. The struggle to figure out what God wants us to do is often more significant than what we decide to do.
God promises that when we ask in faith for wisdom in the midst of trials that He will give us wisdom.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
In most instances that wisdom comes from the Bible. Wisdom is often found in understanding how to practically apply to our trials what God has already told us in His Word. Certainly, wisdom is never contrary to God's Word.
One thing that will always be a major ingredient in God's wisdom is love. As recorded in the gospel of John, Jesus' words to His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion repeatedly emphasized the central importance of love. Take some time to meditate on these verses from John chapters 13-15:
13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
14 23-24 . . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
14:28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
14:31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. . . .
15:9-10 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Some sincere followers of Jesus are struggling in these days with the practical aspects of God's commands to be subject to governing authorities and when is the time when “we must obey God rather than men.” Their struggle is not rebelling against authority, but rather seeking God's wisdom in how to navigate through uncharted waters.
God promises to give us wisdom as we ask in faith. Although some of the practical answers may be elusive, this one thing is clear:
God's wisdom in facing our trials will always include love. God's wisdom will always include loving God which will be seen in obeying Him. God's wisdom will always include loving people as Jesus loved us.
So, if you are struggling with any trial in your life ask yourself these questions:
Am I loving God and obeying His Word? (or am I disobeying something God has said?)
Am I laying down my life for others? (or am I acting selfishly disregarding what is best for others?)
Although there will still be struggles, if we are acting in love we can be sure we are heading in the right general direction.
Serving with joy,