God is orderly. Usually I am not. God has a reason and rhythm for everything He does. I struggle with being random. Have you ever tried to carry a thought through to completion? You should try that sometime to see how many rabbit trails you end up chasing until the final observation is made. It is quite amazing to see how distracted we can be. I think this is why we often worry and feel deep anxiety. We lose track of the process that God is carrying us through. Or, maybe we don’t even realize He is carrying us through a process at all.
For instance, take a look at this passage in 1 Peter 5:6-11,
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)
What did you read? Did you notice there are two sequence patterns in this passage? So often our minds are only drawn to the call to cast our cares upon God and remember the devil is out to get us. Yet, there is much more to this passage. Look carefully at the call to humble yourself, to cast your care upon Him, to resist the devil and temptation and trust God to raise you up at the proper time. The second sequence comes at the end of the passage. We hear that God will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us after we have suffered a little while. So, we see the minute we ask God for His help He does not instantly remove the problem. No, in a very orderly way He uses it to build us up as followers and learn to trust Him more. Through our struggles God desires to teach us that He does have dominion over all.
One way to grow up in the faith is to become better readers and analyzers of Scripture. When we slow down in our reading and begin to look passages from different vantage points we begin to see patterns like this. We begin to see the depths of what the writer desires to teach us and we gain a better understanding of how God works.
God is orderly. Usually I am not. I need to learn how to remain focused on what God is doing. Interesting sentence there so think about it. What do you think about most when troubles come? When I begin to think biblically I am able to keep my focus, better understand what God is doing in my life and learn how I should respond to Him. This week, let’s do that as we take a deeper look at this passage.