Epilogue: A Final Word
God's purpose is for His children to keep on growing spiritually all their lives here on earth. He never intended that we stay in the crib and playpen. He wants each of us to be mature spiritually and emotionally. But we can't mature spiritually if we don't mature emotionally.
We've seen from God's Word how even the giants of the faith struggled with their emotions. How good it is of God to let us see beyond the surface, into the hearts and minds of men and women like Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Joseph, Moses, Naomi, Ruth, David, Jeremiah, and Paul.
These folks were just like us. They suffered the hardships, difficulties, and tragedies of life in a fallen world. They struggled, they failed, they cried out to God, sometimes in confusion and doubt, always for help. And God came through for them. He forgave them, healed them, and used them to have an eternal impact on their contemporaries as well as on God's people throughout the many centuries since.
"To Will and to Act . . ."
God hasn't changed. He has the same awesome power today He had then. He is a loving Father who wants His children to grow to maturity. He has given us all we need to do so: His Word to guide us, immediate access to Him in prayer, and the family of believers for fellowship and accountability. What he asks of us is obedience. But even there, He doesn't leave us to struggle on our own. He gives us His Holy Spirit to make us want to do His will and enable us to do it. "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13 emphasis mine).
As we act with our wills to obey, regardless of our surging emotions, God is delighted with our faith and obedience. He will bring our emotions into line. He can and will deliver us, but we have to choose what we will believe. Will we keep believing what our capricious feelings tell us? Or will we believe what God tells us in His Word and act with our wills to obey Him? When we trust Him, He is free to exert all of His infinite power to help, to heal, and to deliver us. He will use our emotions in the process that transforms us and grows us up to maturity, conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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