Suffering with hope

A Word of Encouragement from One Who’s Suffered Much

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Friends – I know many of you are facing the scary reality of job loss, plunging savings, broken plans, sickness, and a lot of unsettling unknowns right now.

I just want to offer you an encouragement. We have walked through 12 years of losing more than I ever imagined possible – in finances, jobs, family life, health, and even basic physical abilities. I won’t deny that it has tempted me to despair, caused me to grieve time and time again, provoked fear and worry, and given me more than a few grey hairs. BUT, I can say with every ounce of my being – it has all been God’s grace and goodness to us. And he has never ceased to be faithful.

~Circumstances that I thought might destroy us have actually given us greater joy in the life God’s given us as we’ve learned to place our hope in Christ and what he’s promised us, rather than in the unsatisfying and unstable things of this world. I encourage you to ask Christ to give you more joy in him during this forced season of slowing down and having less to distract you.

~A major loss of income after having been very financially comfortable, and two seasons of unexpected job loss have been incredibly hard…but they have actually brought about a more steadfast peace as God has taught us to be more content in both little and much. In some ways, the less we’ve had, the more free I have felt because I have less to cling to and try to control. I know that my heart is too easily satisfied with lesser things than what Christ has to offer. It’s been his grace when he’s taken from me what’s keeping me from enjoying him more.

~Seasons of loss have taught me to look for God’s faithfulness and provision – which has exponentially grown my faith and shown me how faithful and near God is to us – we’re just often too busy or too comfortable to notice. Instead of focusing on all you have to fear right now – take note of all the ways you see God’s faithfulness and provision in the days ahead. You just might be amazed.

~ The realization that we’re not in control is scary and unsettling. But over the years, as our family has been thrown into years of chaos and hardship after hardship – I have learned to rest more in God’s sovereignty in both the little and big things. Of course, this is a life-long lesson, but the more we trust that God is sovereign and Lord over every aspect of our lives – from a health crisis to getting stuck in traffic on the way to an important meeting – the less we are tossed by the constant crashing waves of life and the more we are ready to point others to the hope we have in Christ when crisis comes. Friend – instead of being paralyzed by fear, you really can trust that God sees you and will not allow anything to touch you apart from his perfect will. He is just as sovereign today as he was when Christ hung on the cross and defeated death three days later.

~ The more that has been stripped away in an earthly sense, the more I’ve actually been able to enjoy what God has given me on this earth – without putting my hope in it. So Christian, don’t fear what you might lose. Trust that Christ will always give you enough for what you truly need – and you will actually gain more peace and joy in the process.

I could go on and on, but I will just say this – I know it’s tempting to fear right now and that there are a lot of challenges facing each of our families in big and small ways. I’m right there with you. But if you are a believer, please believe me when I say – I feel so privileged and blessed to have walked this difficult road because it has given me far more than it’s taken from me. I’ve lost a lot of the world, but I’ve gained so much of Christ. It’s ok to grieve all that’s being lost right now and the pain of these circumstances. But GOD IS FAITHFUL and HE WILL NOT WASTE ANY OF THIS as you look to him. Instead of living in anxiety and panic, let this time drive you into God’s Word. Spend more time praying about your struggles, fears, and anxieties than dwelling on them. And lastly, don’t lose heart. No matter what you lose in this life – if you are a Christian, you cannot lose what is most precious – life in Christ and the promise of eternity with him.

I know it may be hard to see any of this as good right now – but from one believer to another – God has been, is, and will always be faithful and good to his children – even if it’s through what doesn’t seem good in the moment. Rest in that. Trust that. And share that hope with those who don’t have it.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:1-3, 7, 10.

Home is around the corner,

Sarah

You can now pre-order Jeff and Sarah Walton’s forthcoming book, Together Through the Storms – Biblical Encouragements for Your Marriage When Life Hurts (spring 2020) here or on Amazon. To hear more of their story, you can watch the book trailer here-

 

3 thoughts on “A Word of Encouragement from One Who’s Suffered Much”

  1. Hi Sarah, After you and your family have gone through so much, God is still enough, it’s so encouraging. Many times, we think we are in control, but, this virus really taught us we are not, and God is the only one we can trust. This is a time for us to seek Him more. Thank you so much, Sarah for your genuine and inspriing sharing.

    Tried to post above it kept saying wrong password.

    Blessings Laura ________________________________

    Like

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