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Where is God in all of our struggles? We are living in unbelievably difficult days and it does not appear to be getting any better. Trying to hold on in faith while the darkness surrounds our situation can literally seem impossible. In our finite minds, it doesn’t make sense that God appears to wait so long to come to our rescue.
The pain of a trial in life can be overwhelming. A troubled marriage can turn your life upside down. Financial problems seem to have no end in sight. A serious illness can interrupt your life in a big way. Addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography or any bondage can bring total havoc in your life. There are just too many problems to deal with as utter darkness covers the earth. Where is the peace that surpasses understanding that Jesus promised us believers? Sometimes it may take all the effort you have just to get out of bed in the morning and face life. Without a doubt, we are living in troubling times. So what can we do?
We are told in God’s word that then enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour you. He is seeking to kill, steal and destroy all that you have. But, the truth is that the enemy cannot take anything from one whose faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. All that he can do is convince you of a lie that his power to destroy you is bigger than God’s power to rescue you. You must remember that the tomb could not hold back the Holy Spirit’s power to raise Christ from the dead and that same power is living in you! For that reason, you cannot be defeated no matter how wounded you are in the battle you are fighting. Christ has conquered death and the power of evil. Though the enemy can wage war all around you, you will not be a casualty of a battle that has already been won. Don’t look at your circumstances – look at your God! Our weakness comes when we take our eyes off the Source of our power. Jesus does not take cover in the attacks of the enemy. He is our fortress and a very present help to us. The weary can find safety in his shadow and experience peace in his never-ending love.
By knowing and understanding the God you serve, you are able to rest and trust him to get you through the storm. If Jesus tells us to take joy despite our problems, he must have a way for us to do so. We know by all that is true that God cannot lie. In every one of our troubles, God is present and working them out. You don’t have to feel him or see him working to know that he is causing all things to be used for your good. It is by faith, which is greater than silver or gold, that we trust despite our pain. My friends, you must understand that while this earth is not heaven, it is here that God is getting us ready to be royalty in a glorious place that will never end! It is difficult to endure the hardships that surround us each day, but it is not impossible. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave us hope that our future is secure. If he has the hairs on your head numbered, he surely is not going to forget to help you when you need him. In his timing, you will understand that he never left you for one second! The Apostle Peter took his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water and began to sink. But understand this – JESUS NEVER TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF PETER! Jesus was able to lift Peter up from the sea because his power did not cease even when Peter doubted him.
God’s love and power for you are real. If you are struggling it is because you are listening to the lies of the enemy and have taken your eyes from Christ. I know that your financial problems are real and that your marriage may be in serious trouble. All that I am saying is that God is not going to fail you. You may think he is not with you now in your pain but the truth is that he is. Even in your fear and weakness, he is not going to abandon you. His love is just so amazing that it will meet you wherever you are. He knows how to lift you from your sea of trouble and he will not let you drown. God can make a way even when there is none.
Let the amazing love that Christ has for you be your strength in the battle you are facing. Get into his word and let him fill you will the knowledge of his power so that you will not be afraid of what the future holds for you. The words that God gave to his people long ago are for you today: “For I am the LORD, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)
Every problem and troubling situation believers face in this life is allowed by God for a specific purpose. He is working out something far greater than what appears to be happening as he guides the process of transforming you into the image of Christ. Your faith is being sharpened as a sword to equip you for the battles of this world. The path of victory has already been set and there is nothing that can destroy a believer who has put his faith in the cross of Jesus. We are commanded to be anxious for nothing and no one. But, is that still possible when the darkness of the storm surrounds us?
The truth is that the strength to endure every painful trial is with you in Christ. If your eyes were opened to view the spiritual battle that is raging, you would see the grand army of the living God totally surrounding and protecting you with powerful weapons far greater than those against you. Though you will still endure the attacks of the enemy, your hope of victory is secure because of the cross of Christ. You may be feeling weary and completely overwhelmed but the bible tells us that God is close to the broken-hearted and he is near to us in our pain. He does not abandon you when your situation is bleak. As you lift up your fears to him in thankfulness and prayer, you allow his power to be unleashed in your life as he takes your struggle and makes it work into his perfect plan for you. God knows your weaknesses and has seen your failures yet his power is more than enough to take you safely through. You may be wounded but you will never be destroyed!
The Apostle Paul knew that each step of his journey was put in place by his Savior. He learned how to wait on God for all that he needed. He was able to be content even in suffering and persecution because he trusted in Christ. He never thought that God forgot about him when he was without food or money. He was willing to endure whatever it took for his purpose in Christ to be fulfilled. The thorn in his side was not to take him down but to remind him that it was all for God’s glory. Paul expressed his trust in 2 Timothy 1:12 when he said, ” For I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is more than able to care for that which I give to him for this day“. That is faith in action!
God is not late to help us even when all hope appears to be dwindling down. Even the timing of Christ’ suffering and death on the cross was planned long before the world was formed. It happened at the perfect, precise moment that God chose it to be. There was no detail left undone as Jesus completed the work of redemption for a lost world. Sin and death was overcome by the cross as Jesus uttered this powerful promise saying, “It is finished!”
Take heart, dear beloved, and know without a doubt that your situation is not dead. It is being worked out in the timing of God who already knows the outcome. There is an eternal purpose for your suffering. You are not waiting for God to show up for he already has. You are holding on for the perfection of the plan he is now working out in your life.
The struggles and trials you suffer are always an opportunity for God to reveal his power to you. Each time a painful situation brings you to your knees, use that position to give glory to God! It frustrates the devil when you do. Never let the enemy convince you to surrender in the heat of battle for you are nowhere near being defeated. You have been made more than a conqueror through Christ and he is not about to let you fail.
Dear Lord, I pray that you make your promise and your hope real to those who are struggling in a painful circumstance. Help them to know that you are with them no matter how weary they become. Strengthen them in your will and give them your peace to hold onto the truth. Amen