This past week has been a year of growth in the Lord. There is so much I have learned during this past week than I have all year, and I can’t help but give God the glory for it all. There have been several areas of my life that needed to be surrendered to God that I was holding back from. This week, however, I’ve been learning more about God’s character and how His Word actually gives us the ability to remain joyful in the midst of the storm.
Last weekend, I had a very difficult time managing my own emotions. A reoccurring issue had come up once again in my digestive system, and I couldn’t see a way out. I would complain and cry over it, and yet that seemed to make the whole situation even worse. I actually believe it was prolonging the issue more than it should have, simply because my focus was being placed on the issue itself rather than the Lord.
So how did the issue resolve? Well, it didn’t happen overnight. It was resolved once I surrendered my worries and fears to the Lord. Surrendering is another way of saying “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I’m giving you everything I have without limitations because You alone know what’s best for me.”
Sometimes, God needs us to see something we are blinded to by allowing us to walk through a difficult circumstance. Is it because He is a mean, cruel, and strict? The opposite is true. It’s because He loves us so much, and knows that there is sin in our lives that holds us back from living out our best lives for Him. He would rather see us walk through something difficult with our full attention, rather than see us live our lives independently with no need for Him.
Isn’t this why God didn’t promise us a life without trials? I truly believe that without trials and tests, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. The Lord has shaped and molded me into who I am today because He knows what is best, what is true, what is right in the sight of Him.
I believe the first step to finding joy in the midst of any kind of trial is to keep our minds fixed on the Lord. Ever notice how when something has our attention, we can’t seem to think about anything else? This human ability of ours can really hinder us if we have our eyes focused on something that doesn’t help us in any way.
When Jesus came to live on this earth, He painted a perfect example of how we ought to live. Not only did Jesus humble himself during difficult times, He surrendered Himself to God in order to find peace and joy in the midst of the storm. Although we will never live up to Jesus’ perfection, we can take away some of the things He did during perilous times.
First, Jesus prayed. Prayer is a vital competent to the Christian life. To be and Christian and not pray, is like saying humans don’t need air. We need air to breathe and to live, and we need prayer to live out the life God has called us to because it is our way of communicating with Him. Sure, we could read the Word a thousand times, but without prayer, we really aren’t putting God’s Word into practice. We would be fooling ourselves if we thought we had a “good relationship” with the Lord without ever praying to Him for guidance or direction.
Second, Jesus showed us the benefits of drawing closer to God. When we draw close to Him, He draws near to us. We often find ourselves running further from the truth once we’ve got ourselves into a difficult situation, but the wonderful news about being saved and born-again are that Jesus doesn’t focus on your past mistakes, He is much more concerned about where you are right now.
Ever hear of the saying, grow where you are planted? God desires for us to grow in Him each day, no matter how terrible we think of ourselves and our situations. God brings people through trials and tests for a purpose. He doesn’t do it just to see if we’ll “sink or swim”, He genuinely cares about how we will respond by placing our trust in Him to take care of the situation at hand.
Finally, Jesus reminds us of God’s goodness and faithfulness. In the book of Joshua, we are reminded to “be strong and of good courage” to “not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” I don’t know about you, but I find that statement to be very comforting in the midst of something horrible. We may not think He is with us, but He is. And that’s what makes Him so unique and awesome, He is all-knowing.
So what do we say or do when a trial comes again? Because we know they will. Do we stand there and ask God “Why?” or do we simply say these words “Lord, I don’t know why this is happening but what I do know is that you are with me. Your hand is upon me, and I can trust you to take care of me.”
I love David’s message from the Book of Psalms, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
This verse is saying “Yea, even though I can’t see the ‘good things’ in this situation, I will not be afraid. God is with me, and He cares. He is working on my behalf and there is nothing I can do besides pray and trust Him.”
I know I tend to write a lot of trials and finding joy in the midst of them, especially after I have gone through one myself. However, I do believe that Jesus has called me to a life that involves trials and tests for a few reasons. The first one is to draw me in closer to God and continuously allow me to grow through each hard season. The second one is to encourage others, especially those who have been through similar situations in order to provide hope and comfort to the lost souls out there.
There are so many things out there that promise us peace in our trials, but the only Person who was and forever will be capable of providing true peace is Jesus Christ. I’ll never forget the day I came to Him with all my shame and guilt, with all my past mistakes and all my sins committed and asked for His forgiveness. When I did that, He came into my heart and became my Lord and Saviour.
If you’re someone who is walking through a time of difficulty and need something to help you through it, may I suggest placing your trust in Jesus like I did a few years ago? He has changed my life in so many ways, and I know He is aching to change yours too.
Please visit my testimony page to see how I was able to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray that you will feel the Lord pressing on your heart to make that committed decision and take that first step of obedience by making Him your personal Lord and Saviour.
Here are some photos from this past week, enjoy!
Quick shout out to Shauna-Marie Mole, who has been non-stop messaging me this week providing me with encouragement and prayer. She reminded of something I needed to hear this week, which helped me our tremendously in the midst of my difficult situation. Praising God for this faithful friend He has given me!
Also, I wanted to thank special ladies from my church who sent me a nice little card in the mail this week, saying they were thinking and praying for me as I had asked them to pray for me last Sunday about my digestive issues. When I told them about it, they said they didn’t have the right answers for me but knew of Someone who did. They were exactly right, God knew every detail and was able to bring me out of that situation stronger than ever before. Praise the Lord!
Until next time,