If you’re reading this, you’ve faced challenges, unpleasant circumstances, wilderness, and dry seasons before. You’ve been hit with news you felt you wouldn’t be able to handle. You’ve experienced traumas you thought you’d never live through. You experienced trials you thought you’d never overcome. These are the facts of life.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. 1 Peter 4:12
I know you’ve heard that one church sermon where the pastor encourages their congregation that God is going to bless them, turn their situation around, and make things easier for them. What happens when He doesn’t? What happens when the very thing you’ve been stuck in and praying to get out of doesn’t change? What happens when God doesn’t make the next three months of your life better than the last 3 years? What do you do? I wish I could give you a time frame on when God was going to work your situation out. I wish I had one for myself. I wish God would come down from heaven and say: “Sade, just give me 6 more months to give you the thing you’ve been praying for”; but that’s not realistic.
Yesterday morning, I woke up completely drained from a night of crying my eyes out. I received a call from someone looking for my father. I had to explain to them he’d transitioned on. In that moment, and even as I am writing this, I had to literally re-live the trauma all over again. Where there once was peace: I felt anger, disappointment, and overwhelming sadness. This is one of those circumstances that I just cannot change; I can’t bring my father back. So what do we do when we are hit with those unpleasant or difficult situations and we want to completely break? You endure. I know, that is not something you want to hear. In fact, you probably came here for a quick fix to your situation; let me offer you something better.
The word of God not only comes to encourage us for where we are now but give us a glimpse of the future. Before Jesus passed away, He sat His disciples down to have a conversation with them about his passing. He wanted to warn them that He would be leaving them. They were distraught about the pending circumstances they would have to ENDURE. Jesus didn’t encourage them by saying: Everything will be okay. He said: “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Life will not be absent of trials or unpleasant circumstances. You may face things that make you feel like you cannot go on any longer but the hope is: there is access to strength and power to endure. Not power to change the circumstance but power to ENDURE.
How can I be sure?
So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.
Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Samuel 30:6 ESV
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
These 4 short scriptures give us hope. It gives us hope that although we will face unpleasant challenges in life, God will be our strength through it all. When we are weak, His power is made stronger through us. We have access to approach God and ask for help, in fact; He is waiting on us to do just that. God’s word is our strength. God’s word helps us to remain encouraged. We know, through His word, that we can trust in Him. He is our anchor in the middle of the storm; our peace. He keeps us grounded when all hell breaks out around us. He is our sanity when life is filled with chaos. I don’t say this because I read this in a book. I say this because I know. I know God to be all of these things. Am I going to experience trials? Yes. Are there going to be moments when I am completely worn down? Of course! Just as I had to be reminded of these very things, I wanted to remind you too!