‘God is more interested in our character than our comfort’ is a phrase I picked up recently and which I believe helps us understand who God is and why we sometimes wrestle with unresolved issues.
A story is told of a farmer who placed a weather vane inscribed with the words ‘God is Love’ on top of his barn. One day a traveller stopped by the farm and watched the weather vane moving with the breeze. Then with a smirk on his face, he asked, ‘Do you mean to say that your God is as changeable as the wind?’ The farmer shook his head and replied; ‘No. What I mean to say is that no matter which way the wind blows, God is Love’.
We know that the experience of living brings with it a series of challenges. These challenges can be as variable as the wind – some great some small. They can be challenges to do with, for example, our health, our relationships – marriage, singleness, parenting, or our work, or our finance or our responsibilities, or disappointments. Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in presents a challenge of one sort or another. None of us is exempt.
The question is not how strongly the wind blows or from what direction it comes, but how we respond to the challenges we face? How do we find life and contentment in the midst of the challenge? How do we make the most of our situation and glorify God in spite of it?
Nicky Gumbel has written that his perspective on life and the challenges it presented changed when a friend said that, in a sense, life is a series of problem solving exercises. We will never be without problems in this life. It is the perspective we have towards these problems and the way in which we find life and contentment in spite of them that sets us apart as a people of faith, a people who know their God and walk with Jesus. So that, no matter which way the wind blows, or however fiercely or the direction from which it comes, God is still love. He is still on the throne. He is still sovereign and in the midst of the fiercest storm I can have confidence to trust myself and my future to his unfailing love.
An attitude of gratitude
One way in which we can keep the faith in spite of the storm, is to daily give thanks to God for his blessings to us. This stops us becoming so self absorbed and distracted by the wind that we lose sight of Jesus and his purpose for us of bringing his Love to others. It helps us to rise above the storms of life and witnesses to others of the presence of God within us.
Bearing witness to a God who loves and cares
In August a wind of violence swept through several of our cities causing riots, death and destruction – a reminder, if ever we needed one of how broken we are as a society on so many levels. This is the time for the church to witness to a better way of living, to point to the truth inscribed on that weather vane and call the nation back to living life God’s way. It is a task that God has set before His church and in which we all have a part to play. We at Holy Trinity also have to witness to this better way.
The Alpha Course – September 14th 8pm
We all need to play our part in this great enterprise. We do this one person at a time. As we come to God in prayer, he will place the name of someone on your mind whom (unbeknown to you) He has already been preparing and getting ready to respond to the invite you will give to join you for the launch party of our next Alpha course on Wednesday September 14th. All you and I have to do is pray and give the invitation. This will be a quality social event with live music, drinks and nibbles at which previous members of the course will share their experiences. To attend the launch party doesn’t require anyone to commit to doing the course. It is a fun taster evening, but one which we hope and pray will inspire a response.
Living life God’s way means keeping our eyes fixed on Him, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness and knowing that whichever way the wind blows in our experiences of life, regardless of our circumstances, God is Love and he requires that we witness to this truth.