We are told that we will have trouble in this world, but how often do we still question and wrestle with why God has allowed suffering into our lives? Deep down, we still struggle to not equate God’s goodness and love with how our circumstances appear. Personally, I have days when my pain feels more unbearable because I allow thoughts to swirl in my head that say, “If God really cared, he would show his love by easing my pain and protecting me from anymore hardship.” Then all it takes is pinching my finger to fan the flame of unbelief. I forget that his wisdom and love is in light of eternity, while mine is often stuck in the temporal.
The danger is, once we find ourselves dwelling on the lie that if God were good, he would protect us from harm, every inconvenience and trouble that comes our way only feeds our distrust that God must not be for us. This dangerous spiral, one that I have found myself on far too many times, will eventually produce the bitter fruit of resentment, cynicism, bitterness, and inner turmoil.
Friends, we have to fight the lie that says, “If God loves me, he will protect me from the trouble of this world”. It is a whisper of the enemy that seeks to twist the character of God and plant the seed of unbelief. Instead, we have to remember that Christ promised that we will have trouble in this world, especially as followers of a suffering Savior. BUT, he does offers us peace in the midst of the troubles we face. Not because he’ll always prevent them, but because he will walk with us through them. He has already conquered death - the greatest threat we face. How much more will he enable us to be overcomers in the lesser things - for our eternal good and to the praise of his name?
Let’s not lose heart and believe the lie that Jesus is distant and uncaring when our circumstances don’t seem to reflect his goodness - no matter how convincing our feelings may be. Instead, may those feelings drive us to cry out to him, asking for his peace to fill our anxious hearts and minds. Our trials may threaten to overcome us, but we have nothing to fear - Christ has overcome the world. ~ Sarah
I read this sentence this week and it was clearly what I needed to be reminded of. I’ve struggled with feeling numb to everything in life because it all feels too unbearable at times. I’d rather check out than face the reality of how overwhelming it all seems. And while I’ve faced seasons like this before, this one has felt even heavier. Why? I think it’s because I’ve become like a deer in headlights to my trials. The intensity has stunned me. While I think this is a normal human response to coping with immense suffering for a time, we are not meant to get stuck staring at our suffering as if it’s the only thing that now exists (even though it may feel that way). We only add to the weight of our pain when we forget to look for God’s goodness and presence in our lives. If we’re a child of his, his presence is always with us and his goodness is always to be seen (even when we struggle to see it). But if we aren’t looking for it or we refuse to see it because we’d rather focus on our misery, then we will struggle to know the comfort and nearness of Christ, and bitterness will prevent joy from rising from the ashes.
I’m realizing that I can wallow in what’s hard and what seems impossible or I can fight to keep my eyes fixed on the truth that Jesus is still good and he is still working, even when the heartache tries to drown that truth out. So, would you join me in looking for ways God has been good to you in this season? Instead of just looking at the hard - how has he provided? Maybe you have a friend or family member who has been a great support and encouragement to you. Maybe you were struggling and God opened your eyes to something new in his Word? Maybe the sun was out today after many gray days. Maybe you were late to bible study and there was an open spot in the front row of the parking lot. And maybe, though you feel discouraged at times, you can see that God has grown you through your trials and drawn you nearer to him.
If so, thank him for it and make a conscious effort to take note of these things. The enemy loves to take advantage of us when we are down, so let’s fight back by reminding ourselves of the good and faithful God we serve. ~Sarah
Nothing like a 7:15 appt to discuss my next surgery to kick off my 35th birthday!
But I’m learning to look for God’s goodness in these very hard days. So I’m thankful for doctors who are trying to restore my walking ability, a husband who keeps me laughing and loves me so selflessly (even after so many hard years together), family that I call friends, a gospel-centered church, friends who are willing to do real life with me even when it’s messy, a roof over our heads, an editor who makes writing enjoyable and keeps me from saying stupid things, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Jesus. He has saved me, he somehow continues to sustain me, he is patient and gracious with my failings and emotional meltdowns, and he has promised me a greater home that he is preparing for me. I long for that home more each day, but I’m learning and trying to live intentionally in the moments he’s given me today, however hard they may be. Thank you to all of you who have been a friend, prayed for me, encouraged me when I was down, and pointed me to Christ when I needed to be reminded of what is true. I don’t know what tomorrow or this next year will hold, but I’m thankful for today and for all I’ve been given that I don’t deserve. #35 #hopetomakeitto36 #hopewhenithurts