“If God brings you to it He will bring you through it.”
I see this sign each time I walk in to the counseling center. I see it and long to be encouraged by it, but instead I’m often saddened because some of my worst situations are all my fault. The “it” I’m in is of my own choosing, my own sin, or mine and others poor choices. So what then? I feel as if I’ve brought myself to it. If God didn’t bring me to it, will He still bring me through it?
First, I think there’s a few lies in my own response that need to be corrected. The biggest lie is the belief that I got myself into this mess. Yes, sin and poor choices can get us into situations and there are consequences. But can we really do anything that a sovereign God doesn’t allow? He gives us free will but He’s still sovereign. Nothing can happen to us that He doesn’t allow.
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.” — Ecclesiastes 7:14
I like how The Message puts it in Proverbs 16:1:
“Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.”
So in that way he brought me to “it” because He’s allowed it, even if what He allowed was for me to make poor choices.
A similar sentiment is in the lyrics to Mandisa’s “Stronger,”
“‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it”
I hear that and similarly think — but God didn’t start it; I did, meaning I caused this hard time. But “this work” isn’t necessarily a present hard time. Philippians 1:6 says that very thing: “… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
When did that good work begin? I believe God’s good works began at the creation of the world, after all he saw all that he created and called it good. He created man and called man “very good.” But specifically, in my life, it began when he made me.
Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
That’s when the good work in me began. So even if I mess up along the way and have hard times as a result, — for all have sinned and fall short — this promise to bring me through it and complete a good work is still mine.
I think Satan wants us to believe that we can no longer lay claim to that promise, that if we cause our own pain then it’s all on us and all our fault and there’s nothing God will do. But that’s not true. Our Heavenly Father desires more than anything for us to not fall to such lies but to believe He’s going to work all things out to our good — all things. Even sin. Even poor choices. Even _____ — whatever we put it in that blank. There may be still be pain and consequences but he never leaves nor forsakes us (Deut. 31:6). He began a good work, and He will be faithful to complete it.