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Seeds of the Kingdom

Fickle or Firm?

by Peter Brokaar

26 October 2013

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Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
James 5:13, NIV

Last weekend I was biking to town and loving it. Right then the sun was out, and I was going downhill, with a strong wind behind me. It was glorious! I met a fellow cyclist, who was going uphill, but he had the strong wind against him. He was struggling hard, with little result, whereas I was flying down the road with hardly any effort. To be honest, I found it hard not to laugh! But we were probably both thinking that, at some point, later in the day, the situation would be reversed. And we would remember that ‘he who laughs last, laughs longest!’

In our Christian lives we all find times where everything goes smoothly. Things run their normal course, and we continue on as usual. It’s like cycling on the flat without any wind. Then there are times of hardship (uphill, head wind) and times where everything seems to be superb (downhill, wind at our back). It’s during these two extremes that we find out how fickle we really are, (I’m speaking for myself of course!).

Our attitude in times of struggle could perhaps be characterised as “Lord, I need you, but I don’t think I really trust You”. Whereas our attitude in times of ease could be described as “Lord, I trust You, but I don’t think I really need You”. We can be so easily controlled by the hardships or successes in our lives, whereas in fact, both provide opportunity to glorify God.

Remember Job who said (after having lost all that was dear to him) ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him’ (Job 13:15). It’s at times of hardship that we can make a choice to trust in the unchanging nature of a loving God.

The Lord gave the people of Israel instruction on how to deal with the prosperity He wanted to bring them in the land of promise. ‘When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you’ (Deuteronomy 8:10). The Lord wanted to help His people with remaining dependent on Him, even when things were well.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow out of our fickle, ever changing attitudes, become firmly rooted in God’s love, and learn how to say “Lord, I both need you and trust you - always”? I suppose it’s a process of growing up and maturing in the Lord. I know I have a long way to go. I don’t know about you, but if you are in a similar position then it might be good for both of us to say the prayer below from our hearts!

Prayer: Father in heaven, I really do want to become a strong believer who glorifies You at all times. I know I can be fickle and I ask You to help me with growing strong and firm. I want to be able to always say “I trust You, I need You, and I love You!” Forgive me my sin and please help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Co-Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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