a whiner. One of Satan’s first temptations when our life appears to be on
hold, like Joseph, is to tempt us to live by feelings instead of faith.
~ Michael Youssef
It's not just when your life is on hold, it's also when your life is in conflict. Satan uses both circumstances to tempt you with feelings of discouragement, inadequacy, frustration, anger and other awful feelings.
On hold: You want change and it isn't happening.
In conflict: Something changes that you don't want, or is in direct opposition to your desires, needs, or interests.
Genesis 50:15-20A classic example of how God works "all things for good of that love Him, that are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). God intended it for good...
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said. But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
So, I just mentioned the famous verse, Romans 8:28. Less well-known is the verse that follows it: "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son."
I just finished reading Donald Miller's latest book, A Million Miles in Thousand Years. Details of how this book unsettled me (and inspired me) will be forthcoming in another blog soon, but for now I have to end with another quote. This book talks a lot about how we love stories, and what makes a great story.
Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller... If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation.... In nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He's a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn't change, the story hasn't happened yet.We love to go the movies and watch ordinary people become heros by facing conflict and overcoming it, and in the process learning, changing. Yet we whine when we have to face conflict in our own lives. We let our feelings take over: fear, anger, etc. Faith is where we trust that God is working all of these difficulties for our good, to transform us, make us more Christ-like. We trust God that we'll be able to look back on our own story someday, and cry with joy to see the culmination of it all.