“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” — James 3:2.
Everyone has different expectations from Christianity, but one thing we should not expect is a life free of Glitches, Urges, Flaws, Failings, Aggressiveness, Weaknesses, and Sins, (GUFFAWS). We have them and we are bothered by them. We define ourselves by them. We invest way too much time in thinking about them. Our GUFFAWS come from different places, caused by different situations in our lives, but everybody has them and everybody wants to get rid of them. “I’m struggling, and I want these unhealthy urges to end. Will you advise me? How can I work through my failings? Will this weakness ever go away?”
God’s grace may overcome any GUFFAW you have. But we are so anxious to be rid of them we can miss the reasons behind them. Have you ever considered the idea that maybe, just maybe, God does not want to change your GUFFAWS…at least immediately or in our time schedule. There are people in the Bible where God chose to not change their circumstances; Joseph, Esther and Paul for several examples. The point is this: while we should always be striving to be more Christlike, we can be putting our emphasis in the wrong place.
God sometimes allows circumstances that make it appear as if evil is winning, but only for a time. Take, for example, the account of Peter’s imprisonment in Acts 12:1-17. Shortly after King Herod killed James, the brother of John, he sought Peter’s life as well. Peter was arrested, Peter’s imprisonment would seem to be both a threat to his life and a hindrance to the advancement of the gospel, It was neither. In the end God used the enemy’s destructive attempts for his own purposes, to show the power of God to both his persecutors and the church.
At times, our GUFFAWS seem like a hindrance to our walk with God and to the platform God uses for the gospel to be displayed through us. As believers, we can be confident that even GUFFAWS can be being sovereignly orchestrated for the purpose of growing us up in Christ Jesus. So if you have something that pops up in your life more often than you would like, understand that God can and will use these for His purpose and His glory.
No human failings are powerful enough to silence the message of the gospel and restrain the power of God.
To remove our GUFFAWS requires God. God does what we cannot do, so we must pray and follow him in obedience. Sometimes God delivers us from our circumstances, but when He doesn’t, He always equips and carries us through. Either way, it should cause us to look back with an awe, trust, and deeper love for our Savior.
- Do you believe your problems are greater than God’s grace? Why did you answer that way?
- Name three bad things in your life that the Lord used for your good and His glory?
- Are you struggling now? If so, have you surrendered the outcome to the Lord, or are you still trying to control the outcome?