The Difference Between Facts and the Truth
A belief system includes our decisions, attitudes, agreements, judgments, expectations, vows, and oaths. And there Godly belief systems and ungodly ones.
- Any system that agrees with God— including HIs Word, His nature, and His character— constitute Godly beliefs.
- Any system that doesn’t align with God is an ungodly belief.
The facts are only part of it
The truth is that the facts don’t always tell the entire story. It’s easy for us to build our belief system on FACTS, but if we do, we’ll often fall short of God’s best for us.
You see, His ways aren’t our ways. His are higher.
And the facts don’t always tell the complete picture.
Loss can be a gain?
For instance, there are some things which can only be obtained when-- literally-- there is nothing else to lose. There are some things, some treasures, which require tests and trails in order to receive.
James says to “count it joy” when you face these tests and trials-- because you already know the outcome is a payoff of some sort that works in your favor (James 1:2f.).
I don’t fully understand this. I see a lot happen that seems NOT to have a gain on the other side. Or the price seems so high on the front end that it really makes you wonder...
Hence the tension of having to trust that all things eventually work together for the good (Romans 8:28f.) and that everything is made beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). That is, believing that the facts (hard times) don't tell the entire story (the truth).
James uses a banking term. “Count” is “reckon” or “reconcile.” It’s one way you manage the books. You paid this out and reconcile that thing in. You gave XXXXXX and received XXXXX for it.
It’s like an investment. A purchase. A trade.
Sometimes, as James presents it, something happens in life that you wouldn’t choose-- an investment you wouldn’t want. He says to endure, a high yield return you don't expect is coming. A return so grand that you couldn’t have acquired it any other way.
I know. It doesn’t make the enduring easier. Still leaves lots of questions, numerous unknowns.
But, those facts only tell us part of the story.
What if we measured things differently, then?
But what if the measure of the test or trial is the true measure of the “gold” that can be obtained? And what if it truly requires stepping into a place where you have nothing but empty hands and an empty heart so that you can receive the fullness of everything the Creator has for you?
Peter says the place of emptiness is important. It provides a simplicity, a purity, a perspective that only that spot that James writes about can provide (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Empty hands + empty heart = one day these things will be filled with the grandest treasures that can only be obtained, and received, from that HARD place.
It's not all "good," but it all works together for the good
In another passage, Paul encouraged us that “all things work together for the good.”
If all things work together for the good (again, that’s what Paul writes in Romans 8:28f— not that all things ARE good, but that they all work together for good) then that also means the facts (i.e., a bad situation) doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story, that is, it doesn’t contain complete truth.
A few years ago I read Brennan Manning's book Abba’s Child. He quotes Saint Augustine’s reflection on this verse as stating that in the economy of God, all things work together for our good. All things. Even our past sins.
God can take even that….
I’ve seen it firsthand. He takes every crooked path and makes the way straight. He takes every piece of grit and forms it into gold. He takes the broken pieces of our lives and morphs them into His best.
Such is the nature of grace.
Even when the facts look bleak, they only tell part of the truth.
This video comes from Lesson 3 of “Liberty,” course 2 in the Transformation School of Ministry “Core Four.”
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