Russell and Duenes

God Means to Make Me Dependent

with 3 comments

“Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not go on trusting in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.”

I do not think I know what it feels like to be afflicted and burdened excessively beyond my strength. But I do know the experience of great disappointment, despair, frustration, confusion, unfulfilled longing and loneliness. I know what it’s like to be in the throes of my own self-pity, pride, envious rot, fear and anger. I have felt the power of putting my hope in the prospect of some earthly enjoyment – wife, children, job, house, friendship, praise from others, prestige, leisure, to name a few – and finding my hopes dashed and my heart reduced to a ruinous mass of pain. Is there any strength for my heart in such times?

I believe there is, and I think I have tasted it in some small way. It helps me, at least, to remind my heart that God has good purposes for this world, and for me within it, which I cannot now know. He means to do something with me, something toward which I am not naturally inclined. For my own good, and for the accomplishment of His purposes, He thinks it best to press me into a place of dependence “on God who raises the dead.” As the old hymnest put it: “These inward trials I employ, from self and pride to set thee free, and break thy schemes of earthly joy, that thou mayest seek thy all in Me.”

The failures, trials, “closed doors”, difficulties, uncertainties, confusions, pains and longings are meant to cast me upon the God “who works for those who wait for Him.” (Isa. 64:4). I’m not saying this in some kind of pious way. The trials hurt. The unfulfilled longings are agonizing. The uncertainties and anxieties about the future can be entirely heart-rending. Nothing takes that away.

But if I believe God is good, that He “works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,” that “no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly,” that “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing,” that He “delights in the welfare of His servant,” and that “all things belong to [me],” including “the world, life, death, things present and things to come,” then I have a hope, an inward resolve to go on, and rope to which I might tenaciously cling. And I can find the strength then even to move beyond myself, to the love of others.

God means to make me dependent on Him because that is the best place for me to be, and the place that magnifies His worth and love in a world without hope, a world that is passing away. But I need constant reminding.



Written by Michael Duenes

June 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this Duenes! I needed to read it today (and probably re-read over the next week). Hope you’re well! Big Mel


    June 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

  2. Oh a hymn! Goody! 🙂 What hymn are you quoting from?


    August 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    • The hymn is “These Inward Trials,” by John Newton, of “Amazing Grace” fame.


      russell and duenes

      August 2, 2014 at 5:32 am

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