As I have prayed regarding this New Year, I realize that I have been asking God to solve my problems, heal my medical issues and fix brokenness in my life – not a wrong prayer but a misguided one. What is shaping my thoughts and prayers? My desires or God's desires?
As I read scripture, another perspective emerges. For some in the early church, problems were a privilege and opportunity to demonstrate their dependence on God. Several themes emerge:
Life is hard. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22 NIV)
God's primary concern is to glorify Himself and to mold me into His image. From an eternal perspective, …our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)
God is fulfilling eternal purposes in the midst of my problems. In fact, problems may be His intended method. …we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3,4 NIV)
It is my hope that I can get to the place in my life where God's glory is more important to me than solving my problems. The benefit will be peace and contentment. Whether I am broken or whole in 2012, or whether I am financially secure or on the edge this year, what I want to matter most is God's glory/character/majesty revealed in me. Forgive me if you have experienced from me the unsettledness that results when I have wanted MY problems fixed MY way rather than resting in the assurance of God's purposes in my problems.
Sharing the journey with you,