Posted by Nathan Warner on

“Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer” (Rom. 12:12).

How do we remain rejoicing and devoted to prayer when in tribulation?  How do we go forward in our relationship with God when He seems to have turned a deaf ear to us?  There can be no easy answer for those experiencing afflictions, when God seems silent to their prayers.  Life is full of difficulties, trials, and little tastes of hell on earth, which our God allows and which we do not understand.  We endure, only the grace of God—He our Father and we His children by adoption.  This is the reality of every Believer’s life—that we must trust our Father as the young, immature, dependent children we truly are in His household, sometimes without a flicker of a clue as to what is going on or why things happen.

We can better understand the context of our trials by looking at the nature of children, understanding first and foremost that as a child you are to “be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord” (Col. 3:20).  We also understand that just as our Heavenly Father has instructed fathers not to “exasperate [Gr. to stir to anger] your children, so that they will not lose heart” (Col. 3:21), we can be secure knowing that God will not exasperate us. 

Now, Children rarely understand the context of events happening to them because they don’t comprehend the complex issues going on in adult life.  “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:9-12).  “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).  Children tend to think that everything is about them (or should be), rather than the hundreds of people who are woven into their lives.  Their worlds are fragile and easily disturbed, and they don’t always understand the consequences of their actions.  Responsibility and discipline can seem like punishment and trials to them.  Children often get angry with their parents when they are denied what they feel they need (or deserve) to make them feel special or happy.  Parents often deny or ignore pleas and requests that will only serve to harm their children down the road—even though to the child it seems crucial to their happiness.  And sometimes parents cause their children pain while fixing serious problems the children don’t even know they have.  Just as natural children only know in part, we also know so little of what is going on. 

We truly are “little children” (1 Jn. 4:4) being raised by our Father to live in a reality that is currently too big for us to fully understand.  Yet He has not left us without guidance: “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:6)  Jesus is God’s “firstborn” (Rom. 8:21b)—you and I are among His “many brethren” (Rom. 8:21b).  Jesus is our role-model for relating to the Father.  “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1-2a).  We must emulate Jesus’ dependence, obedience, and sacrifice, saying with Him, “I can do nothing on My own” (John 5:30a).  He “emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:7a) and “humbled Himself” (Phil. 2:8b) to obey His Father’s will though it led to a cross, saying, “I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn. 5:30b).  May we so walk.  Even so, Amen.



Tags: child, children, dependent, devotion, difficulty, father, fellowship, god, immature, jesus, know, knowing, prayer, relationship, trials, tribulation, understanding, young


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