[Calvary Chapel]  1998-12-05 - Whatcha Doing with JC?

Originally Published 1997-03-15

When I first got saved I had this glow that seemed like it was going to last forever. I soon learned that Christian life was filled with trials and sufferings and hardships. What I didn't learn so fast, was that all these were happening for a reason. They were in my life to refine my faith and to show me what I was doing with Jesus. Oh my snap-crackle-pop wake-up call fer sure!!! I have learned in life to not take my "SELF" too seriously, and not to ignore what God wanted to teach me. Or I could say it like this -- to take into account what He wants … not necessarily what I want. And also what He wants me to learn.

II Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Don you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you -- unless, of course, you fail the test?

In fact, someone once told me that life this side of Heaven, in many ways, would resemble spiritual boot camp -- wow!! Oh my … once again snap crackle pop wake up call!!

I Peter 1:7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold which perishes (the GOLD not the faith) even though refined by fire -- may be proven genuine and may result in praise glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Want to hear about trials?

Once when I was really down over a trial (my wife and missionary partner -- age 30 -- died) I said to another friend, "Why does it have to be so depressing?". My friend looked at me and said "Hey … this ain't Candyland! Look around, man. This place is depressing!!!" He was right -- earth ain't the final frontier for anyone. No, rather it is a place where we accept, or reject salvation We take the time to accept truth, or reject it. We go through fiery trials and we learn … sometimes very painfully we learn. Those like me who choose to accept Jesus of Nazareth, will certainly undergo trials -- yet those trials do not necessarily have to be so overwhelming that God can not use them to 1 teach us, 2 encourage others, 3 help us walk by faith and not by sight. Our attitude is often times the very thing God wants us to change. Sometimes we don't see clearly. A trial will sometimes clearly show us (and quickly) what God intends for us to learn.

And often times THE God who loves His children will take us to the woodshed too, because we know better -- or He wants us to know better. And it's not to just punish us but to help us in what we do with Jesus.

Hebrews 12:5-11 My Son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on , however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

So where is it we will find our joy? Where is it that we will find our peace? Anyone can be happy when the sun is shining … yet when it isn't shining are we quickly trying to fix it ourselves? What about when the thing cannot be fixed? Like the trial I shared above? What do we do? Ever wonder why a sovereign God allows us to be in the situation and what spiritual lesson is involved? Are we in that place where Paul said Godliness with contentment is great gain. Are we content to suffer for Jesus too,

Philippians 1:29-30 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

… and learn about ourselves even if we do not like what we see?

And most important of all when we examine ourselves … (which does not mean compare ourselves to anyone) do we allow the Lord through His Holy Spirit to wash us with His word and give us the restoration and rekindling He wishes, and do we allow Him to have His way and bring us that peace even in the midst of a terrible storm? Almost everyone I know is having their boat rocked in some way … but if Jesus is in your boat will it really sink ?

So I ask what are you doing with Jesus?

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain.

Do you really know this is true?

Romans 8:28 And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

In His Service,