The Three T's

The Three T's
The Three T's

The Three T’s

Why me, Lord? Why now? Ever whispered those questions to your Heavenly Father? Some days trouble seems to rain down. We get our fill of the three T’s, don’t we? It can seem so unfair. After all – we are doing our best. We are doing all we know to do. We start the day in the Word. We spend time in prayer. We listen to praise music – even raise our hands in total surrender to Him. And still…the three T’s plague us. We blame Satan - accusing him of attack. Our burdens seem so heavy…so all encompassing…so BIG! We even feel led to remind God that we have already experienced the three T’s. We recap our tests, trials and tribulations so that He will see we can finally be removed from that list. We have done our time – now let’s get on to the good life.

I wonder if the Bible greats felt the same way. I imagine Abraham was comfortable in Ur, Moses was content in Pharaoh’s courts, and David was fine staying far from the battlefield. I doubt Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would have chosen the furnace; Daniel wanted to go in the lion’s den; or Jonah longed to be swallowed by a whale. Nehemiah was held captive; Esther was threatened; Jeremiah was rejected; Paul was shipwrecked and Joseph was sold into slavery. Not their best day. I can envision each of them crying out to God and declaring this is not what they wanted. I imagine it seemed so unfair. I bet the tests, trials and tribulations seemed too heavy. Yet, think about it. It is only because of the three T’s that we even know who these people are. Their test became their testimony. God kept His promise and He used what they endured for good in their life. But…so much more than that He used all they experienced to teach us so much.

As we read the stories of these Bible greats, we learn that God was there. They were never alone. They were not forsaken and forgotten. God was with them and He carried them through. He is with us – each of us – today and always. But He allows us to experience difficult times because each one of the three T’s is an opportunity to experience growth and get to know who God really is a little bit better. But what do we do? We focus on and give power to the wrong thing. Let’s look at Matthew 17:20. Jesus is talking and He tells the disciples “…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” What did He say…faith the size of a mustard seed? A mustard seed is tiny. It is a little bitty thing. But it only takes that much faith to move a mountain or remove a mountain. Our troubles seem as big as a mountain because that is what gets our focus. We have heard it said many times – “What we focus on, we give power.” So, what if our focus was on our faith? What if we truly trusted Jesus in the midst of the storm? What if we accepted that His power is alive in us? What if we realized that without the mountain we would not know much about faith? What if we believed that He is with us – in the lion’s den, in the fire, in the desert, on the battlefield?   What if we came to understand that our test, our trial, our tribulation is about more than me not getting my way?

“God isn’t at work producing the circumstances you want. God is at work in bad circumstances producing the YOU He wants.”

From John Ortberg’s The Me I Want to Be

Oh God is so good. The Bible teaches us that faith triumphs in trouble. Woo Hoo! That is good news, the BEST news actually. God loves us so much that He never grows weary of doing a great work in us. He is teaching us, guiding us and drawing us closer to Him. We just need to quit resisting and choose to surrender to Him. That means we can no longer trust our feelings, our opinions, and our desires. We can only trust Him – the One who died for us, the One who paid our price, the One who has proven His love for us is real. So…as we go through the three T’s over and over again we can cling to Romans 5:1-5:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

So the next time you are struggling with the three T’s, remember that God is working in you to develop qualities and virtues in you so that you will be strengthened and drawn closer to Him. He loves us and wants us to know Him more.

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