The desired end of man on earth is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. God has one destined end for us: holiness. We were made in the image of God and His aim is the production of saints.
God didn't save us because He pitied us. He created us to be holy and He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we could be rightly related to Him.
The Atonement means that God can put us back into perfect union with Himself, without a wedge between, because of the death of Jesus Christ. Do we long for that union or do we just want the blessings of God?
Sometimes I think God's purpose is to make me happy. If you listen to my prayers you would think I'd found a link to a "blessing machine." It's not necessarily all prayers for myself or my family - even prayers for others present a long list of wants for them.
It's not about what I want! God isn't waiting to hear our wants! He desires to bless us, but in being a Perfect Father, we don't always see his blessings as blessings. You know what I mean? We're not always excited about the gift of patience when we have to wait for our dreams to come true. We don't want the gift of endurance when we have to suffer through many trials to become a stronger person.
Sometimes I think I've refused to open some gifts. Instead of "giving thanks in all things" I refuse to open the gift. Oh yeah, I get the circumstances regardless, but I refuse to accept the blessing gift of endurance because I just whine and complain and beg my way around it, never opening the actual gift given.
Seems I also notice that when God wants to give us a gift, He doesn't give up after one try. When we refuse those character-building gifts, we in essence, open up the door for the enemy to continue to mess with our circumstances.
Do I believe God sits up there making a long list of "character gifts" I need and then sends bad circumstances my way? No! God gives good gifts. The devil can easily handle sending evil our way. God only allows it if it is actually going to be for our good as Romans 8:28 promises. It's hard to see the good of bad circumstances when we can't get away from looking at the outside wrapping.
If we respond right to circumstances, we will always be blessed by them. Not only us, but others around us. We are either a light on a hill shining Him for others, or we are in darkness under the bushel basket.
Oswald Chambers says, "The first thing that will hinder [this] joy, is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances. The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God's Word. Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water."
We get so caught up in ourselves. Advertising has convinced us that life should be easy and beautiful and full of everything we want.
It's not about what we want! It's about God being a Good Father! Have you been refusing His gifts to you because they aren't what you would choose for yourself? Children weren't meant to know what they really need. Parents were provided for that. Many of us didn't have good examples of who God is in our parents and we have a hard time seeing God as a good parent.
Believe the Word!
When you are rightly related to God through salvation and sanctification, you will be exactly where you need to be. Wherever you are, you are there by the permission of God, and your reaction to the circumstances will determine whether you fulfill your purpose.
Joy is available when we are truly thankful in all things. Not about them, but in them. Not thankful for them, but in them --- that you may be sanctified and set apart for God's purpose.
Think again about your circumstances. Where do you stand with your gifts? Have you tossed them on the ground refusing to open them as a child having a temper tantrum would? Repent, crawl up into His lap and find Peace and Joy amidst the circumstances.
Donna L. Watkins lives in Central Virginia with her wonderful husband enjoying birds, wildlife, gardening, forests, nature travel and her cat, Squeek. More articles can be found at TheHerbsPlace.com and a free subscription to her mailing, A Healing Moment. http://www.theherbsplace.com/ahm.html