Last month I started a bible study with my neighbor. It’s been a total blessing. She has a 15-month-old son who loves playing with my (almost) 2-year-old son, and while they play, we dig deep into the Word and pray for each other. What’s even cooler about this bible study of ours is that God just so happened to put perfect study material into our hands. Renee had two copies of, “Trust Training: A Field Manual for Confident Trust in God Before, During, and After Life’s Battles”, by Dionne Carpenter.
I don’t know about you, but I know I could use some training on trusting God more.
Each week we’ve learned about what trust truly is, how to define a battle, and the different types of battles (defensive versus offensive). The inspiration for today’s post came from the discussion about when and how our life’s battles either hinder our relationship with Jesus, or build upon it.
You may want to do this exercise with me, as I believe it will bring you much joy and peace knowing that God is good; even during the darkest times.
I jotted down all of the major battles that I’ve faced during my entire life. From my childhood, all the way up to the current battle I’m facing. I then deciphered whether it was a defensive or offensive battle. In order to do this exercise correctly, here is how the author, Dionne Carpenter, defined them:
Defensive battles: battles in which we’re minding our own business when suddenly someone or something threatens us (a serious illness, our boss fires us unfairly, etc).
Offensive battles: battles in which we hold the power to choose what to do (whether to move, to bring a foster child into our home, etc).
The next step in this exercise is to decide whether each particular battle hindered or built your relationship with God. For example, the miscarriage I had in November built my relationship with God because it was a time of reflection in my life, and a desire to know God more intimately. There was only one battle I faced that hindered my relationship with God and that’s because I was very young and didn’t know the power of His freedom.
I was amazed that even through some of the darkest times in my life, God used those battles to train, equip, and prepare me for the days ahead. It’s proof that what God allows in our life is always meant for good, not for evil. However, sometimes our human hearts and carnal understanding block the free gift of peace and prosperity. We harden our minds to the greater plan that has already been established. In doing so, the very thing that was meant to strengthen us, now defeated us.
Friends, let’s open our hearts and minds to the purpose set before us. Let’s focus more on the outcome of our battles, and the victory that has already been won on the cross. We can be confident that if the Lord has called us to it, He will equip us to endure it. Indeed, all things work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Today’s bible verse:
Genesis 50:20-You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.