TRUST THE PROCESS…Has anyone ever said that to you?
Yeah, I’m sure that you have heard that said, and I’m sure you like hearing that as much as you love it when people talk about the “new normal.” (Insert deep sigh and eye roll here!) What’s often frustrating is we are usually told to “trust the process” when we are right in the middle of a difficult situation! Let’s be honest, in the moment it doesn’t always feel like a comforting or helpful statement. Why? Because we are conditioned for instant everything. Patience and waiting isn’t our strong suit!
While we are conditioned for instant gratification, God, throughout Scripture, works through the process.
Here are a bunch of examples…
● Moses stands before Pharoah 10 times before Pharaoh (with a little convincing from God) finally sets God’s people free (Exodus 12:31). It is estimated that the plaques lasted over a period of 4 to 5 months, or perhaps up to a year.
● Look at the life of Moses BEFORE this (Acts 7:22-30). Talk about a process! He was tending sheep and working as a shepherd for 40 years before God called him. He didn’t stand before the Burning Bush and Pharoah until he was 80 years old. (Exodus 7:7)
● King David didn’t become king and assume the throne until many years after the prophet Samuel anointed David to be the next King of Israel (1 Samuel 16). He was anywhere from 10 to 15 years old when Samuel anointed him. He became king when he was 30 years old (2 Samuel 5:4). So we are talking about a period of at least 15 years before David would have become King.
● I could give countless more examples, but for the sake of time this morning I will stop here with the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6. He said, “Being sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Between “began” and “completion” there is a God-ordained and ordered process.
Today, let’s choose to embrace this truth! Perhaps the better way of saying “trust the process” is saying, “trust the God who is sovereign over the affairs of our lives!” Corrie Ten Boom shared a powerful word picture of this truth when she said, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
Romans 8 puts it in hopeful perspective for us, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The definition of process is, “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” Life isn’t a series of random events. It’s all under the control of a loving and sovereign God. This process is leading somewhere…somewhere good!
Where does the process lead? To spiritual maturity. We are told this in James 1.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)
What does spiritual maturity look like? It looks like Jesus! God makes no secret of His desire for each of us. According to Romans 9, God wants us each “conformed to the image of His Son!” At the end of each trial, each difficulty, each tear we cry, God is working behind the scenes to mold us more and more into the image of His Son!
So when you hear PROCESS, think PURPOSE!