“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16). Jesus tells us to “stop judging according to outward appearance, but make a right judgement.” Later in that same chapter of John 7, He said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of your inner most being (your heart) will flow rivers of Living Water.” Of course, He is speaking of the indwelling Holy Spirit and His redemptive work through us. So many other references are made throughout Scripture about the inward life. People tend to look on the outward appearances, but God looks on the heart, the inner being.
The Need for 50/20 Vision
A long-time friend and mentor of mine use to talk about the need for having 50/20 Vision. It’s based on Genesis 50:20 when Joseph said to his brothers, after being abused by them, “You planned evil against me, but God meant it for good.” There are many examples throughout history where God intervenes in human experience to bring good out of bad situations. However, the realization of that truth can best be experienced when we see things from God’s perspective, seeing past the seen and temporal to the unseen and eternal.
Repetition – the Mother of all Learning
Another mentor of mine use to emphasize that every negative has a positive. Furthermore, the more negative the negative, the more positive the positive. So, when life’s circumstances seem really bad, we can look to the Lord and expect that He will intervene and use what is going on to bring good from it. We often observe how God shows up in the most difficult times and the darkest places. It’s not always easy to remember these important spiritual truths. That’s why repetition is so vital to our spiritual journey, and it is also the mother of all learning.
An Accidental Witness
A lady ran into the back of my car on the freeway one time. While waiting for the police to arrive to do an accident report, I engaged her in conversation, shared the Gospel and had prayer with her. She was very open to the Lord and received Christ. As a result of that encounter, she immediately shared her experience with a security guard in the parking lot. A little later in the day, she shared her testimony with two police officers while processing the accident report. It was a great example of how the Lord can use negative experiences and turn them into redemptive results.
It’s important to remember that when things really get bad, we can look to the Lord and trust that He will show Himself strong on our behalf. History is filled with examples of how God has used those crisis times and difficult experiences for His divine purposes. However, it is important to focus on the inward and eternal, rather than the outward and temporary.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles