I enjoy reading Os Hillman’s Prime Time With God devotional. His is one of many that I “surf” from time to time! One titled “Tested for Abundance”* really caught my eye one morning. The following is a paraphrase from it:
“God’s economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God’s economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of God Himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits. Wisdom comes only through experience. Real wisdom comes from the kinds of experiences that come only from the deepest tests. What we often fail to realize is that God’s measuring stick is the character and likeness of Jesus Christ in each of us. This cannot be gained through a life of ease and pleasure. Ease and pleasure fail to refine.”
I really had to give this some thought. When I look at all of Psalm 66, there is a good dose of incredible praise and acknowledgement of the deity of God. It is paired with a healthy dose of repentance and reality in it as well. The testing.
I have been through times of testing. I’m actually in one right now. And I’m sure there are more to come! It is the nature of a growing relationship with God. We have to stretch out of our comfort zone to grow. Sometimes, if I’m honest, I can get so comfortable that I have to be blasted out of my comfort zone…And that has happened!
And here is the other part. The incredible part. On the other side of each test, I have a greater knowledge of God. I trust Him more. I see more of His power. I learn more about His character and His love for me and others. It makes my relationship with Him so much more personal and necessary in my life.
I can see a pattern developing: a pattern of being stretched; growing. A firmness in my faith and belief in who God is. Insight into seeing God extend His hand and His love to me through others. I know that in times of being tested, I have truly seen the face of God in the faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have seen Him alter circumstances in such a way as to lavish His love on me. Generally when I least expect it! And generally when I have come to the end of myself.
I have a growing knowledge of His love and compassion. A growing knowledge in how to walk in faith with Him. How to become His friend and not just a short order cook barking out the request of the moment. It is so much more about relationship now. I truly want to be a friend of God. I want my heart to be one He can count on. So I need to grow.
A friendship with God makes me a better person. If He is truly my friend, then through my time with Him I will grow to be more like Him. We will share lives with one another.
Father, thank you for being my friend. I want our want our friendship to grow and blossom each day!
* Prime Time With God, “Tested for Abundance” by Os Hillman