Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. With all the bad things that are happening in natural disasters, terrorist attacks, murders, rapes, or other brutal and tragic events, where people have died and property destroyed; how about when a police officer on duty or a young girl or boy is killed by a drunk driver; or in a fit of rage and man kills his whole family; or someone goes on a military base and just starts shooting; or to make it more personal when we lose a loved one or lose a job or lose our home and all these things happen in succession. How in the world can the Apostle Paul say;
Romans 8:28 (HCSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. These words from Paul are not from a person who has had it good all his life but from a guy who "under great pressure" "despaired even of life". He was "hard pressed on every side" and "perplexed," "persecuted" and "struck down". He experienced "beatings," "imprisonments," "riots" and "hunger" 2
Corinthians 1:8 (HCSB)8 For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in Asia: we were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life.
2 Corinthians 1:9 (HCSB)9 Indeed, we personally had a death sentence within ourselves, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 (HCSB)4 But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardship, by difficulties,5 by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, To be free from the realities of sin and death does not mean that we can live our lives unaffected by the continuing presence of sin and death in this world. So what’s the good? Doesn’t make sense does it? Here’s what it means. It is the destiny of those who love the Lord to be like Jesus. God is committed to produce in us all the love, all the joy, all the patience, all the long-suffering, all the goodness, and all the gentleness of Jesus. But until that happens we are still subject to the realities of sin and death. It is God's love in Christ that sustains us and empowers us—even in the midst of our experiences of sin and death—"to be conformed to the likeness of his Son". God works in all things toward that good purpose. But only "those who love him" know that, because they are participants "with him" in the outworking of that purpose.
Romans 8:29 (HCSB)29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
In a world that often feels harsh, chaotic, and full of struggle, it doesn’t take long before we find ourselves battling the feelings of overwhelm, rush, or anxiety. Many of us, in fact, have grown so accustomed to these patterns, we even start to live there, in the midst of the never-ending hurry and worry mode.
This is right where the enemy wants us. It’s a trap, my friends. I’ve been there before, and maybe you have too. Satan is a thief and a liar. He’s an expert at finding the best ways to try and steal our energy or waste our time. But God is bigger than that, and He promises to be with us. He continually offers us confident peace that can never be found in this life without Him.
Many times, in order to break free of this cycle, it comes down to a choice: choosing whose voice we listen to, and choosing how we spend our time.
God is faithful. Asking for His help in our anxious and overwhelmed struggle, praying and allowing His Spirit to guard our hearts and minds in Him, is the very first step to reaching new and solid ground.
Through some of the most challenging times in life, I have learned the power of praying God’s words back to him. This discipline alone holds the ability to soothe our souls, to refresh our spirits, and cause hope to rise above the fear we might be feeling. And though our circumstances may not change immediately, though our hearts may still be struggling, His Truth reminds us to set our eyes on Him.
Be assured today, He knows your way, He sees your battle, He hasn’t forgotten you, and He’s still at work, even in the most trying of times.
• SOVEREIGN — He reigns over everyone and everything and has never been stressed out.
• UNSTOPPABLE and so are those who follow Him.
• HOLY— God is perfect, which means everything He wants/desires for my life is far greater than anything I could have thought of. • CONSISTENT — I don’t have to worry about Him being in a bad mood.
• GREATER than any temptation the enemy throws my way.
• BETTER than anything the world has to offer.
• BIGGER than any sin or failure in my life.
• GRACIOUS — He knows every stupid, foolish, sinful thing I’ve ever done (or will do), and yet He loves me anyway!
• ALWAYS here with me — God has NEVER walked away from me. He doesn’t always deliver me from the fire, but He has ALWAYS walked with me through it!
• FAITHFUL — If I fail to see His faithfulness in my past, I will probably not recognize the fruitfulness of my future.
• THE ONE WHO PURSUES ME — He pursues me even on the days I tend to walk away from Him.
• RELENTLESS — He has NEVER given up on me!
• PASSIONATE — His passion and zeal that the scriptures reveal cause me to be in AWE.