Divorce can strip us of funds, real estate, assumed prestige and even employment if people must relocate and leave their employment as a result of divorce. It can seem that all we worked for and have achieved is dissolved.
Numerous years ago, I was chatting with a brilliant young, Christian man (maybe 30 years old) who had just received a wonderful promotion. He stated that he was thinking of writing a book on success. I shivered thinking about what trials and lessons that might lie ahead for him as he had not lived long enough to understand success in God’s eyes.
Success is often seen as a good working position or a substantial income or both. I do not find either one of these as a part of God’s terms of success. In fact, quite the opposite is true for the Christian.
As I was reading in Genesis about Abraham, I learned that he was to become a great nation, ordained by the Father. He made major mistakes along his life’s journey for instance in telling the Egyptian king that his wife, Sarah, was his sister as he feared that the king would harm him in order to have Sarah. Yet, God was in charge and Abram repented and allowed God to be in charge.
Later Abram’s tribe had grown so large that he told Lot to take the members of his tribe and choose the land he preferred. Abraham would take the other choice. Lot, of course, took what seemed to be the best deal. As it turned out, Abraham had to rescue Lot from the evil peoples in this land. Abraham continued to trust God and God told him, “don’t be afraid, I will defend you, and I will give you a great reward.” Gen 15:1 (NIV)
Abraham had learned through sin and errors to be a servant to others and let God control his destiny. In Mark 10:44-45 it states, “Whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave… [Just as Jesus came] to give his life as a ransom for many people.” NIV)
Phil 2: 12b-13 says, “Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, because God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him…Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God’s children without fault.” (NIV)
Our wonderful Lord is all about forgiveness and new beginnings. But, new beginnings require going through trials, [yes, and maybe divorce] and learning from them. Paul certainly did so and he could say, “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. (Phil 4 14, The Message)
Prov:3:1-4 states that success entails:
- Abiding in Him
- Sincere love
- Peaceful intent
“So you will find favor and success in the sight of God and man.”
The brokenness from divorce can teach us what God sees as success and also shows us that our wealth and achievements must be put in his hands to orchestrate, Abiding in Him and being content and grateful where He has us at the present time is success. With that understanding, God can do great things with our lives.
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