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by Grace Bellingham
During one of the songs I was using in my morning ministry the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart an understanding that I wanted to share with you. The song is by Josh Grogan, “You’ve Raised Me Up”. The chorus of this song goes like this, “You’ve raised me up, so I can stand on mountains, You’ve raised me up to walk on stormy seas, I am strong when I am on Your shoulders, You’ve raised me up to more than I can be…”, the significance of the words, “You’ve raised me up to more than I can be” so struck my spirit.
Throughout our lifetimes God takes us through times of great trial and affliction, the Bible speaks often of trials and testing, times of affliction and suffering and each of us can attest to the fact that this is true. The significance of those times, however, is rarely what we think. So often these times are for our growth, the increase of our understanding of God and His character. They are times for us to quiet our souls and meditate on the goodness of God and the truth of His Word. It is during these times that God is able to work in us His will and do His best work in the shaping and molding of our lives into the vessels He requires for His work.
Have you experienced great loss, sorrow that had no end in sight, misunderstandings that devastated you and everyone involved in them? How about those times when you let yourself down, when you made life-altering decisions that affected you and the people you love in permanent unalterable ways? Then there are the times of inner struggles and eye-opening experiences that reveal more about ourselves than we care to see; times of treachery, your treatment of another or someone’s treatment of you. I’m sure you know what I mean, times when we believe deeply that we will not survive but for the grace of God. And that is my whole point! His grace is there to sustain us, to give us what we do not have when we need it most. The strength to endure, to bear up, to trudge through, to look up instead of in, to believe in the face of immeasurable resistance or conflict, to hope in God and God alone when there seems to be no hope at all.
It is through these very times that God is raising you up. Raising you up to be more than you could ever be on your own. More than you could ever hope to be, more than anyone else ever imagined you would be. God needs us to move up higher than that place of comfort where we are content to remain if conflict and suffering is what it takes to move us on. Thank God that He chooses those times for us and gently leads us through them, shaping and molding us into His image as we go.
Do you want to be more than you could be on your own, making your own way, dealing with your own difficulties, having your own way? God’s desire for each of His children is that we allow Him to raise us up to stand on those mountain tops and not forget Who put us there, looking to God and not ourselves. He wants to give us the grace to walk on those stormy seas, when life is totally out of control (ours) relying on God to get us through. He wants to raise us up to become more than we could ever be on our own.
Our lives are not our own, they were purchased by God with the blood of His Son, Jesus and His desire for us is that our lives give Him glory, that we reflect the love of God and the power of His grace towards us. When we face the afflictions and suffering that life sometimes hands us with faith in God to turn what is so awful into something that becomes a treasure trove of new understanding about God and His love for us, we give Him glory, the glory that He so richly deserves.