Sometimes life can be just plain hard. Sometimes answers do not come. Sometimes we wonder if they ever will. In these moments fear can take the place of peace in our hearts, and fear can rule in place of Jesus Christ. The older I get and the more life I live, I am reminded all the more that peace does not come from the material things we possess, relationships we have, health, or financial security, etc.
No, true peace only comes from Jesus.
Over the last year I feel that my life has been stripped away, and much like the changing of seasons, the Lord has been changing my life and maturing me into a stronger woman for Him. It seems like everything that I have put confidence in has been removed by God, but it has also drawn me closer to Him and shown me what is really important.
A life lived for God is not meant to be a life lived in ease. A life lived for God is meant to be a life surrendered to the Father saying not my will but yours be done.
That also includes accepting and rejoicing in suffering. In the midst of trials and uncertainty, fear can tend to take over. However, God commands us throughout His word, “Do not fear,” and “do not be afraid” (Joshua 1:9). We may not know what is ahead but He does. So in whatever you may be going through today, “cast your cares on Him for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Surrender your life to Him — your struggles, your joys, everything. He is strong enough to handle them, so let Him. We may not understand all of God’s plans on this side of Eternity but one day we will. As one of my favorite songs from Amy Grant says,
“Somewhere down the road,
There’ll be answers to the questions.
Somewhere down the road,
Though we cannot see it now.
Somewhere down the road,
You will find mighty arms reaching for you.
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road.”
To listen to the entire song visit here.
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” ~Jeremiah 32:17
This simple yet powerful statement is one we at times take for granted. We may believe this on the words we speak, but not in heart or action. Just think of how much more peaceful our days would be if we genuinely believed and applied that truth to our lives. It’s easy to quote when life is going great but so much harder when going through trials, and the suffering seems to have no end. The last year of my life has definitely been the hardest. From the passing of my sweet maw-Maw Mildred to me being terminally ill with this chronic bladder infection, my faith has been challenged like never before. However, when I start panicking and doubting, the Lord always gives me the nudge of encouragement that my weary and tired soul needs. Nothing calms an anxious heart like the truth of scripture.
God and I have spent the last 32 years together and even when I have been unfaithful to Him, He has always been faithful to me. Looking back on His faithfulness in my past helps me move forward in the present when my future is uncertain and my mind is too foggy to think. He never has let me down and He never will. Trials as hard as they are, have made the Lord and I closer. I’m so thankful the Lord allows me to talk and cry out to Him and share openly my frustrations, doubts, anger. Some days life is just plain hard, messy, and far from beautiful, but God delights in us and wants us to come Him with all things. So often we spend hours talking to family and friends about our joys and sorrows and God becomes an afterthought to that but instead we should seek and share with Christ first above all else.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Nehemiah. If you have followed my blog for a while I am sure you have picked up on that. At the beginning of the book Nehemiah worked as a cup bearer to the king but during this time Nehemia’s brother shared with him that the walls of a Jerusalem had been torn down. This news grieved him deeply and broke his heart. However, the first person He sought was God. Nehemiah knew even then that the Lord would guide and lead him to do what was right for his people. Nehemiah felt that God was calling him to rebuild the wall which was a daughting task that met much adversity along the way. However, through it all his gaze was continually on Christ and the Lord brought him through it.
Every time I read that story I realize again and again that the same God who brought Nehemiah through his adversity can bring me through mine. We as humans like to be in control and when asked to surrender it is hard. Although by surrendering and submitting yourself to God, He can perform the impossible in your life. While we may be extremely weak and helpless in a situation, He is strong. [clickToTweet tweet=”Instead of holding on to our control we need to surrender to His.” quote=”Instead of holding on to our control we need to surrender to His.”]
As you go throughout your week, remember this truth from scripture — Nothing is too hard for God. Nothing. That sickness you want healed, the job you want, the husband or wife you wish for, the baby you want to have, and the list could go on. God knows the mountain you are facing and he also knows the desires of your heart. He knows, and He cares even when it seems like He is absent from the circumstances. He is not absent. He is there and He is working even when we cannot see or feel evidence of Him. In those moments we have to trust what we know of our Savior, and as Elisabeth Elliot says, “Do the next thing.” When life is too hard and we do not know where to turn next — trust. Jesus and do the next thing.
“I’ve commanded you be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Josh