Opportunity To Draw Near to God
I recently read a Harvard Business Review article by an author who studies learning disabilities. He concluded that the greatest challenge to people with learning problems is not the disability itself but the fear they experience in connection with it.
Each person has a choice about how he or she sees reality. People assign meaning to events, which means cause for defeat can be reinterpreted as God’s desired means for growth. Faith overcomes fear and the torment that accompanies it. Love drives it out. While God’s word does not cause us to deny reality, His perspective reframes and redefines it. Even though God may appear far away, His goal is to draw us near to Himself by His love. Each of us has the choice to draw near to Him or not. When we do, we shall be rewarded with experiencing His will, His love, and His purpose for our lives.
Conversely, the greatest opportunity for those with learning challenges is the possibility the condition affords them to overcome their trepidation. Just as understanding a problem associated with learning disabilities provides insight to fight against it, replacing natural thinking with the truth of God’s word empowers us to overcome obstacles and transform life into what God has always meant it to be, His ideal. The greatest opportunity for us to experience the power of God in our lives is to hear what Jesus says in connection with our greatest misunderstandings, weaknesses, and struggles.
Events we instinctively describe as good or bad, positive or negative occur in the world all the time, but it is our perception that assigns them a particular meaning and even power in life.
The perilous times people see happening in the world can cause great fear, but fear provides the avenue to experience God’s perfect love, which casts fear to the outer darkness where it belongs. Faith in the love of God and His ability to work all things together for good for those who are the called according to His purpose reframes those events in light of God’s design. Torment belongs with Sheol not with people having overcoming faith. Christ’s love and victory, what we may call the faith perspective, rids us from the fear associated with the terrifying things happening in the world, just as God has the power to deliver from Sheol.
Faith does not deny reality. It redefines it. It acknowledges the tribulation we have in the world, but it also recognizes that Christ has overcome the world, we have overcome the evil one, and greater is Christ who is in us than he that is in the world.
Allowing ourselves to be disheartened is natural, as we perceive night covering more and more of the earth. Shrouded in darkness are the rolling fields of grain that once shimmered like gold in the sunlight, but reality has not changed. We may see darkness approaching only to discover God desires to use it to bring about His will. Though the darkness may hide something, what was once so clearly visible in the light is still there. It is hidden for God’s greater purpose. God’s love is always present whether we feel it or not. We just have to trust completely in His love for us and not what we feel. We trust His word, not our perceptions.
In Jeremiah 31, “Here is what Adonai says:
“The people escaping the sword
found favor in the desert —
I have brought Isra’el to its rest.”
From a distance Adonai appeared to me, [saying,]
“I love you with an everlasting love;
this is why in my grace I draw you to me.””
God’s love has never left us and He will never take it away. The dark clouds do the job of delivering needed rain in order to prepare the fields for harvest. When the sun comes up, it will scorch the unprotected but shall rise with healing in its wings upon those who are trusting in the name of the Lord.
The fact that night is coming does not change the time of the harvest. Darkness does not change reality as defined by God, but it does compel us to draw near to Him to find Him.
Distance from God helps us realize our true need for the Lord Jesus and our dependence upon His word for the winning perspective He has for us. We just may need to have our eyes opened to His goal and purpose.
We may need Jesus to reorient our perspective to His. We may have to lift up our eyes to see what He wants us to see and do what He has for us to do to fulfill our role in God’s divine plan. This one thing, however, is sure: God will complete what concerns us, but we must choose Him. We must choose life, believing that God rewards those who diligently seek Him.