Monday, September 12, 2016

Look For the Rainbow

What I've Learned in Marriage-15 It is often said to look for the silver lining after the storm, meaning look for the good side of the situation. That outlook can change your life because if you focus on finding the positive in life and remaining hopeful even in the worst times you will gain victory. I started keeping a journal with all of my “trials” in one column and the “silver lining” in the other. Determining to learn what you can from every situation will cause you to grow in maturity and wisdom greater and faster than any other way and will keep you from despairing in life. But I’ve discovered that there is more to look for than the silver lining or even the lesson to be learned. There is also the promise.

The rainbow has always been a symbol of God’s promise to never destroy all of creation in flood again. (see Gen 6) Regardless of what other meanings society has given it, biblically the rainbow has been and always will be the sign of God’s promise of provision to humanity. Look for the beauty in the storm. Look for the promises of God that apply to your life. Look for God’s love. In marriage this predominantly applies to endurance. No marriage is perfect. We all have storms and troubles, some worse than others. At times it may seem as if it could get no worse, as if it were hopeless. But nothing in life is ever hopeless where God is concerned. And He has commanded that marriage is to be for life, so we can trust in His promise to take care of our marriage, to carry it through to the end. I have many times thought that perhaps we made a mistake by getting married, but I know that God intended for us to be together, and even if He hadn’t the vows that we made are sacred and to be honored for life, to God and to each other. As such, God will always make a way to get through. That doesn’t mean that He will automatically take away all the problems or make life forever smooth. What can help us get through the rough parts is looking for the rainbow.

First, look for a way to grow. Seek the lesson God has to teach you. Marriage is one of the refining fires God uses to make us pure. The sooner we discover and pursue that purpose the easier our trials will be.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NASB)

Second, look for the good that could come from your trials. That may be the lesson to learn, the process of perfection. But there may be more.

And we know that 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 (NASB)

Third, look for the promise. That is what will give you the hope and strength to endure. Romans 8:28 can also be considered a promise. God promises to make good come from your adversity if you love Him. There are many promises that God makes His people in the Bible. Find them and believe them.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.”
Hebrews 11:17-18 (NASB)

Abraham looked to the promise God had given him and trusted God with it to the point that he willingly did what God said even though it didn’t make sense. It was that promise that gave Abraham hope, both to continue in the hope of the promise before Isaac was born, and after. And God was faithful with that promise. He provided for Abraham so that he did not have to sacrifice his son, as He had always planned to do. He was testing Abraham’s faith and faithfulness to God, to see if he still put God first now that he had received his promise. When you can not feel the goodness of God, trust in your knowledge of His goodness and faithfulness. He will not let you down.

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