Thursday, July 15, 2010

God's School

A conversation I had last night reminded me of this portion of a book I read last winter ~

"In this book the reader is invited to visit the campus of God's school of higher education: affliction. The instruction received here comes through adversity assigned by God's sovereign hand.

Here indeed is a university many of God's children would rather not attend. Surely they would not have to attend if there were another place to learn the difficult lessons that are taught there. However as reluctant students enroll they find there are few electives, for most of the courses are required, (1 Thess 3:4-5). Book fees are minimal, for there is but one textbook, the Bible, which is to be used extensively.

Alumni share that there are numerous tests given daily - tests of love, endurance, faith, patience, and diligence in prayer. Those who have their diploma in hand pass on several pieces of advice. The Psalmist testifies, "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Thy statutes." (Psalm 119:71). Job asserted, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:5), and "I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted." (Job 42:2). Paul was taught, "My grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is made perfect in weakness...Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9-10).

Receiving the syllabus for their first class - "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28)- the timid students begin with a sure hope before them that graduation day will come at last. A seasoned professor exhorts the class, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4). His lectures contain truths and encouragements to be learned from alumnus who have graduated from this university with honors (Hebrews 5:8, 12:2-3) .

When the course load becomes too heavy and the undergraduates are flat on their backs with exhaustion, it is then that they will look up to heaven to request help in time of need. (Psalm 121:1-2), the very place their eye should have been all along. The founder of this university reminds them that he has Incorporated the following promise in the school's by-laws, "Though he fall, yet shall he not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his hand" (Psalm 37:24).

Who will apply for this prestigious university? Who will faithfully attend classes every day? Who will study diligently the course load assigned? Slow learners that we are, take heart for there is a patient professor who fully intends that every redeemed student in His class will pass.It may take many years but there is a cap and gown reserved for every scholar in this university. One day each will walk the aisle, cross the platform, and be handed a diploma that states: "All was given in love and intended for your good." Ah, yes, and then what a graduation party awaits! It will make the difficult days of your university training seem but, "light and momentary,"...."for in Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11)."

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Intense Debate Comments

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1