Growth with Jesus is maybe the scariest living I’ve ever done. I would almost liken it to being an Apollo astronaut whether testing equipment or proving equipment by going to the moon each phase is important. Apollo lost three astronauts on the launchpad with an oxygen rich environment causing a fire. They also successfully brought back Apollo 13 a broken spaceship and save three lives. Each of these events led to changes in the program that improved it. In like manner God uses successes and failures to improve us for his service.
In the Apollo program everything was recycled as much as possible. With God nothing that happens in your life is wasted. Each fun and painful event is cycled into your life to prepare you for helping others walk through their difficulties and with your God improved empathy/care for their situation.
Growth in Christ and learning to walk with him is an adventure. You will face things about yourself that you never ever thought existed or thought you had the strength to face. This kind of growth takes huge amounts of time. It also involves overcoming fear of the unknown. It also involves overcoming fear of the known events in life.
Facing the known events in life is usually tougher than the unknown. The unknown springs on you and you have no idea is going to happen. Then you have to get your bearings while continually asking God to help you walk through the unknown event. These unknown events show you more about your own soul and your first reaction of what you really want than any other event in life. Relax, God already knows how you going to react. If you have a bad reaction and run from God he is still there waiting for you to come back and trust him. God and God alone is worthy of this trust because he loved you first on the promised and fulfilled cross of Christ. God gave/imputed to you his righteousness through which we are able to spend eternity with him.
Delving into known events in your life is a hurtful matter. The problem arises is that we already have our opinion about the event but God has a different look on it. God wants us not to be frozen by the event but work through it gleaning both faith and wisdom. The event was put into your life to show you something about yourself and prepare you for the service/purpose God has for you in this life. If you never work through it in forgiveness you will not be as prepared as you could be for your calling.
If you really want to grow in Christ forgive! Forgive every wrong that has ever been done to you. No matter how right you were and how wrong they were. Forgiveness is a plunge and instrument of destruction to Satan’s schemes that he tries to trip us with.
I was being attacked by some fears one evening. I turned to God for help and asked him to help me, he did. Not as I expected though! When I ask for help in these fears a situation was brought to mind that I had not forgiven. As soon as I realized the answer I complained to God this wasn’t what the problem was and I need his help, the unforgiveness in me became even sharper to my mind.
I complained to God! You do not understand me God I need help with my fears and the things that are happening in my life now. This unforgiveness happened a long time ago! I cannot remember how many times, at least three or four interchanges between God and I, and the same event of unforgiveness came up. Come on God I need help!
So finally I took my eyes off my current fear. What a thought I was obedient to what God was telling me to do! I dealt with that unforgiveness that was held in me, to my knowledge not known to the other person ever. In that moment of forgiving this person, God strengthened in me by healing my faith so powerfully I cannot remember the three fears that were attacking me at that moment. Obviously I do remember it was three fears that were coming at me. And to this moment this event is still very real and helps me understand forgiveness.
I think I understand a little bit better why Christ while he was on the cross gave another ultimate forgiveness. He said to his people that were crucifying him “forgive them for they know not what they do” how can you forgive someone while they are currently destroying you? God did as an example to us and how to be a servant to this world and giving the hope of Christ to all generations.
How was my fear solved? Not by God running in to rescuing me or zapping the fears! He simply gave me another chance to trust him in the realm of forgiveness of others to strengthen my heart to see the fears as what they really were. God literally healed my faith by allowing me to go back to that time and trust him. My fears were merely clouds and shadows none of which could hurt me yet shaking me to the core.
To strengthen me God simply retch back into my past and showed me a place I did not trust him then allowed me to choose to trust him. It immediately healed the defect in faith that these fears were using against me. Yes, my own unbelief in a true and living God was causing my fear problem.
Growth in Christ in faith was this? Absolutely! How was it done? The lesson was done in a way totally bizarre and unfamiliar to me. In God’s method he used did not seem to connect. It was upside down, the wrong side out! Yet it was exactly what I needed to destroy Satan’s manifested schemes he was using against me at moment in time. But God connected in me that forgiveness was and is paramount in a Christian walk with God. God doesn’t do this just for me, he does this for every single believer who is willing to walk with him through the valley of the shadow of death in his timing for our growth. And overcoming fear, with faith in a true God, and the evil that is ever present in the valley of the shadow of death will build trust and faith in God’s will.
This one thing I would caution. Please do not face things in your life that God is not calling you to face. He has the perfect time when you should engage your fear and enemies. Yes, do ask for strength to engage your internal enemy but wait on the Lord for he is good. If you do it on your own you are headed for a disaster and complications with faith in God not building faith in God.
God and God alone will call you into this self-battle when it is the right time. If the battle plays out anything like mine it was surprising, shocking, seemingly disconnected, and did not seem to take me in the direction of overcoming that I thought it should. Trusting that God was wiser than I was the only way I was able to walk with him through this battle. I did not look or set up on my own this time of growth.