Have Faith
Freedom to Choose A Blessing and a Burden
July, 2013 - Issue #105
"Every LIFE
will have its
share of pain."
In the Bible, Jesus told a story about two men who built two homes. They may have been built at the same time and close together. They might have even had the same floor plan. One of the builders built his home on shifting sand, while the other built his on a stable rock foundation.

Then the storms came, with wind and driving rain hitting both of those houses - hard! The house that had been built on sand collapsed and fell in upon itself, while the one built on the rock stood firm. The obvious moral of the story is to build your life on a foundation that will last.

But here's an application we sometimes miss. The storm came to both lives. The wind beat on both houses. The rain poured on both building sites. We will all experience storms in life. Good things will happen to us as well as tragic and inexplicable things. Every life will have its share of pain.

God, though, is great at recycling our pain and using it to bless us and to bless others. So why does He allow it in the first place?

God created us in His image and one way it's shown in you is in your freedom to choose. God wanted us to choose to love Him by responding with our own free will - because, without a choice, you can't choose to love God.

Our free will is not only a blessing; it's also a burden. Poor choices cause painful consequences. We make choices that bring pain to ourselves and others.

God will never override your free will. Not only does God give you free will, He gives it to everyone else, too.

This means that when others choose to do wrong, you may get hurt as an innocent victim. You may have been deeply hurt by a parent, spouse, relative, friend or someone you didn't even know. God could have prevented that hurt by taking away that person's free will. But if He had done that, in order to be fair, He would have had to take away your free will, too.

The truth is, some things can only be learned through pain. C.S. Lewis wrote: "God whispers to us in our pleasures but shouts to us in pain."
Bill Rieser is the Newhall campus pastor and Celebrate Recovery director at Real Life Church. If you want freedom from life's hurts, hang-ups and habits, check out Celebrate Recovery Friday nights at Real Life Church, Newhall at Savia, located at 23780 Newhall Avenue, starting late summer.
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