When It All Goes Wrong Again
It is impossible to plumb the depths of your heart when everything in life is smooth sailing. When life is just average, it’s easy to engage auto-pilot and assume everything is fine.
It is the trials that expose the reality of our hearts.
You may mean that I’m talking only about adversity. But, I’m not. Success is a trial, too.
In a sermon on Proverbs 3, Tim Keller (I’m on a Keller role, and I’m OK with that), highlights the fact that God has two tools in his proverbial tool box to test us, and make us more wise.
Success and adversity. Two sides to the same coin.
In our culture, we take those situations, and make the wrong assumptions about their purpose: success = blessing, and adversity = punishment. But, that is not the reality expressed in Scripture. Both are used as trials as a way to find out the reality of our spiritual condition. According to Keller, they serve two purposes. 1) To expose the darkness in our hearts in general, and 2) to expose our specific idols.
During seasons of success, we have the opportunity place ourselves in a position of humility, knowing that it is not a wholesale endorsement of God of your outstanding moral record. The Gospel acts as a grounding agent.
During season of adversity, we have the opportunity to place ourselves in a position of confidence, knowing that it is not sent by God as a punishment for wrong doing. The Gospel acts as an affirming agent.
Then we have the option to either ignore what has been exposed, thus becoming fools, or to repent and become more wise.
To be able to grasp this is of highest importance, because our lives are an unending cycle of success and adversity. It is only during those times that we can see whether or not we learned out lesson from the last round.
It takes the trial of success or adversity to find out the truth.
What season are you in? Success? Adversity? Or in-between? What have you learned?
Photo Credit: Arte & Fotografia