As I look at my 53 years on this earth, I can help but remember all my mistakes and sin. God has shown a great deal of mercy towards me. I do not live-in condemnation, but my previous sins and mistakes do not allow me to take glory for anything good. The Bible tells us in 119:71,
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes. (ESV)
When we insist on doing things our way, we will always hit the wall of failure and affliction; when we do, we have no choice but to take a serious look at God’s statutes. Before long we will come to the realization that God’s ways are better than ours. I said it before, 2020 was a difficult year all around the world; however, I never experienced peace and joy like I did in 2020. I am truly thankful to the Lord. David said in Psalm 54:7 that God delivered him from all his troubles; I can honestly say the same.
Life have not been easy, I suffered the death of my first wife, went through a divorce with my second wife, trouble with my children, faced great challenges with my current marriage as my wife and I dealt with the blended family dynamics and with our own scars and issues. Close to ten years later our marriage is in a great place. We survive the awful statistics of second marriages and blended families… ALL GLORY TO GOD!
The peace that was missing in Arizona was a local church family; God took care of that! My wife and I are very involved in our local church, Harvest Outreach. We have found a place where we are welcome with open arms, and we are excited to serve for the glory of God and the service of his people. No doubt that in this Christian walk we must surrender to God; we must make Christ our Lord and we must remain in fellowship with the Holy Ghost. No doubt that we must have a local church and we must use the gifts God has given us. The combination of these spiritual responsibilities contributes to experiencing joy and peace.
Going through afflictions causes us to reevaluate our lives; to pay close attention to what we are doing. A sincere look at ourselves will clearly show what is and what is not working. Arrogance and pride get on the way of change as we continue to force our way over God’s. Humility gets us to the place of surrendering and it is there that we find peace and joy; there is no other way around this. The sooner we humble ourselves before God the better!