Experiencing the love of God through training.

Through the training of life’s trials comes hope,

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts … (Romans 5:5)

Shame comes when mistakes are seen. So, I avoid risks. God’s antidote is to pour love into our hearts. His love overcomes shame.

Learning to depend on God’s love begins with –

suffering produces perseverance; (Romans 5:3)

Through suffering I learn to persevere in assurance that God will be there. Knowing his faithfulness, I wait for Jesus to reveal himself with his surprising salvation.

perseverance, character; (Romans 5:4)

Perseverance is a foundation on which is built character; as seen in the fruit of the Spirit – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control.

Confident in Jesus, there is freedom to behave well. So, character is developed in a pressured environment.

and character, hope.

The transformation of character to hope is the transformation from doing the right thing, to doing it with joy, in hope that God will cover the cost.

And hope does not put us to shame,

Expecting specific outcomes risks shame. Hope is focused not on outcomes, but on God’s love which triumphs over shame.

So, suffering with God we experience his love.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces … hope and hope does  not disappoint us because God has poured out his love in our hearts. [Romans 5:3]

Live Free

How do we move from a trained righteousness to truly live …

… a life worthy of the calling you have received. [Ephesians 4:1NIV]

Paul points to attitudes, actions and a spiritual dimension …

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. [Ephesians 4:2-3NIV]

When that behaviour is merely the product of training it looks good, but the outcome is not the unity of the Spirit nor the attitude love, yet when I break free I find I am immature …

…  tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. [Ephesians 4:14NIV]

Being tossed between enforced ‘love’ and a freedom subject to selfishness indicates an area of immaturity where Jesus has been excluded. Thinking I knew how to behave, I never listened to Jesus to learn from him.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. [Ephesians 4:15NIV]

Paul points to the love of Christ.  Training will always drive, no matter the cost to those we love or ourselves while Jesus understanding the whole draws us to love…

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. [Ephesians 4:16NIV]

Stand tall with God

Standing tall with God is developed through fearful times where we are tempted to run to a place of safety. (Psalm 11-Message)

God’s business is putting things right; … Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.

The Lord’s training requires trust, honesty and integrity so we can look each other straight in the eye.

The fact God had to put things right shows this follows training which involves threats-

I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of God. So why would I run away now when you say,

“Run to the mountains; the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to God. …”?

There are fearful people spreading fear and running for safety; taking things into their own hands they squeeze out God.

But God hasn’t moved to the mountains;

True safety is not the absence of danger, but being away from the Lord.

… He’s in charge, as always, … his eyelids Unblinking, examining Adam’s unruly brood inside and out, …

The Lord is aware. Don’t run away; trust he is able and willing to save.

As the Lord waits His time, he sees His people panicking.

He tests … if anyone cheats, God’s outraged.

The Lord looks to see how we behave through trials. Without trust we will cheat to gain advantage.

Fail the test and you’re out, out … Drinking from a canteen filled with hot desert wind.

Failure brings us to challenging circumstances developing trust.

 

A fuller version can be found at – biblebase2adaringfaith