Life Is Not Always What We Think It Should Be
created on Sat, 01/04/2014 - 02:33

If you look back on your life, you probably recognize that life did
not turn out as you thought it might so many years ago. Your parents
probably had dreams for you and growing up, you had dreams and
aspirations for yourself. Then as you had children you in turn had
dreams and aspirations for them.

As we all know, and I think this understanding grows as we get older,
that life does not turn out the way we think it should. In fact, our
daily lives do not turn out the way we plan, even though we may have a
set schedule that we stick to each day. We find that interruptions or
unexpected events often cause our plans to not run as we hope. I am not
saying that it is not a good idea to have a schedule, but that we need
to be prepared for things not always going our way.

Take Joseph for example, we all know the story of how his brothers,
very jealous of him, sold him into slavery. When Israel (or rather
Jacob) died, his brothers very fearful of how they betrayed their
brother, begged for forgiveness of their brother, now ruler over them.
But what did Joseph say? Genesis 50: 20 ESV tells us how Joseph saw
this interruption in his life as part of God’s plan when he replied,
“But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to
bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are
today.”.

Life can be really hard, especially when you look at your children
who are living a life away from the Triune God. You wonder what good
will come of the situation at hand. Often the temptation is to give up
and move on with your life but a part of you cannot. I love how Romans
8: 24 – 25 offers us encouragement and illustrates that it is our hope
in the Triune God, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us that
helps us to continue on. As stated in these verses: “For in this hope
we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what
he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with
patience.”.

Patience can be hard to come by and it is so easy to lose patience
regarding your kids and how they live their lives. Parents often ask
themselves, “Don’t they get it?.” Life with the Holy Spirit working
through us offers so much peace; we just want them to experience how
this peace works. Romans 8: 1-8 ESV beautifully explains life for
those who walk according to the Spirit: “There is therefore now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the
Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and
death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not
do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,
he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous
requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according
to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according
to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who
live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the
Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind
on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the
flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it
cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”.

So how do parents deal with their children who have walked away from
the faith? With love, patience, hope and remembering that God always
works things together for good as Paul states in Romans 8: 28 ESV “And
we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”.

So when you are ready to just give up, throw up your hands and
declare the situation useless, remember these beautiful words from
Romans 8: 31 – 39 ESV on God’s Everlasting Love, “31 What then shall we
say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who
did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not
also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any
charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to
condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was
raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for
us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation,
or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or
sword? 36 As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as
sheep to be slaughtered.’ 37 No, in all these things we are more than
conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death
nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our
Lord.”.

Prayer
Thank you dear Heavenly Father for the power of your Word. Your Spirit
through the living word is there to offer us encouragement and guidance
at all times, no matter what the circumstances. We confess to you our
lack of trust in your almighty power and our impatience at the unwelcome
experiences we go through. Forgive us for the sake of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who died for our rebellion and rose again, so that we through
the power of the Holy Spirit might experience forgiveness, comfort, and
the strength to continue our care for our children and others around us,
who need our support. We pray in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. Amen.

Bible Verses (included in devotion above)

Genesis 50: 20 ESV
Romans 8: 24 – 25 ESV
Romans 8: 1-8 ESV
Romans 8: 28 ESV
Romans 8: 31 – 39 ESV

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