We continue along in our study and discussion of chapters 5 & 6 of Without Rival by Lisa Bevere
As I hung up the phone with my husband my mind raced and wondered. I wasn’t quite sure if I had heard him correctly. He called to fill me in on a conversation he had.
People we were close to and once praised us for a job well done, were now yelling and telling us all we had done wrong. Just like a switch had been flipped— so had the atmosphere. What once was a great thing had become something hard.
My husband and I examined our own lives to see what we could have done to cause this upset. There was not one moment. A difference in opinion and convictions had turned into a rivalry. And, the not-so-funny thing is, this has happened more than once.
My husband and I, being in ministry, have found ourselves in this position before. We have walked into places knowing God’s hand had lead us there. We have gone and done exactly what the Spirit had laid on our hearts. We have had many times where the great things we know God has called us to have turned quite sour. Or, is that just the way it seemed to us at the time?
At the time they were painful and caused us distress. I will admit that at the time I could not see these the situations for what they really were. They were moments where God fine tuned our lives to be more like him. They were moments where God was drawing us deep into his heart so he could prepare us for something bigger than that moment. Yes, even though it hurt at the time, it was for our good.
Romans 8:28 reads: For we know that in all things God works for the good of this who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This is an amazing verse and we all have turned to it a time or two when things are not going so great, but can we look at the verse that follows it a little closer too.
Romans 8:29 says: For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
All things work to bring out the good in us because we are being conformed into the likeness of Christ. That makes me so excited and it makes all the pain worth it. No, it is definitely not easy. Yes, it hurts when people who we once trusted and admired turn on us. However, we know that God is good and He works all things for His good for us.
In Without Rival, Lisa Bevere states on page 115, “Outward pressure works inward transformation. Rivals reveal the destiny that God has prepared for us. We decrease that God’s glory might increase in our lives. The gift of a rival is part of the learning, refining, training package.”
I couldn’t agree more. Our rivals, the people who cause us pain, intentionally or unintentionally, will either cause us to run from Christ or run to Christ. Let us run to Him and trust that whatever the reason he will use it for our good.
Please choose one of the questions from our conversation cafe and answer it in the comment section below.
- Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Could you see at the time it was for your good?
- Lisa Bevere also states on page 116, “Rathe than measuring yourself by where you are, remember what he has already brought you through.” For me this always helps me see God in the crazy moments. Do you often live only in that moment or do you try to look back and see God’s faithfulness in your life?