It broke my heart the night God revealed to me that I stopped trusting Him because of the tragedy of the events going on around me. I’d been serving Him loyally and selflessly with all my heart. I genuinely gave my life to Him. I wasn’t perfect but I was faithful and yet still my life continued to crumble. Even in my knowledge of His sovereignty, my heart was still put to the test against the reality of my struggles. And like Jesus, burdened and grieved at the battle of the cross, the depths of our hearts cry out,
“My God, My God why have you forsaken me?!”
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt as if God didn’t “have your back” in life? As if He’s somewhere in the distance leaving you to your demise- leaving you to figure things out for yourself? Have you ever just felt alone? Maybe you feel like that right now or maybe it’s been building up for months. You’re wondering why He’s let everything that’s happened to you happen. As if He should have protected you and never let you go through what you’re going through because you’ve been faithful to Him!
I understand. I understand completely and God had to deal with me. These are very real feelings to have and it’s good to be honest with yourself; to be in reality about where your heart is so you can deal with it. But nevertheless they’re lies. And you need to start beginning to see them for what they are…lies. Somewhere in the bitterness of your tragic experiences you let the enemy seep into your thoughts and convince you not only that God doesn’t love you enough to care or turned you over to your demise but a twisted sense of pride that God “owes” you something in return for your faith.
I want to take a moment to speak to the lies of your heart the same way God spoke to mine and I want you to chew on these points to ponder:
The presence of trials does not equal the absence of God. [Click to tweet]
God promises, “I will NEVER leave you! “ (Deuteronomy 31:6). If we feel far from God it’s because somewhere along the way we let our hearts lose hope and walk away from Him. Let go of the bitterness about your situation and pride that keeps you closed off to operating in your own strength and fighting to keep control. God wants to be with you in the valley. Sometimes it’s not always God’s will to remove our troubles but to teach us how to turn to Him instead of ourselves; to trust Him in the midst of despair- to be hand in hand with Him crossing through the waters. Understand that the more we give ourselves to Him in these dark times the more we’re able to experience Him giving Himself to us and filling the voids of our sorrows. It’s a two way street. When we turn to God in times of need, just being in His presence in a very dark place brings intimacy. It brings the intimacy of knowing that when no one else was there, when no one else saw, when no one else understood…in that moment God became my everything. And when God is all you have you soon realize He’s all you need. That’s the kind of faith God is trying to grow on the inside of you!
Meditate on Isaiah 43:2
He’s far more concerned about the process within you than what’s going on around you.
Many times when God isn’t changing your circumstance it’s because He’s mostly concerned with changing YOU within the circumstance [Click to tweet]. Your character, your inner strength, your integrity matters to Him because they are everlasting qualities. As you hold your ground, the wisdom, the strength and the maturity that grows within you from hard experiences are all things you’re going to need to sustain the position God is calling you to. He wants His children to be strong, resilient, fearless and determined, all of which is acquired through the training grounds of life. He’s doing a work within you right where you are. Know that there is a purpose in your pain.
Stop comparing. Your journey is unique to your calling.
We look around and this persons ministry is advancing, this person just got married, they’re having a baby, their finances are on the up and up, accomplishments are overflowing on the highlight reel of our friends and acquaintances life and the danger of an insecure mind is that it will instantly inflict you with how well you’re not doing. How far you’re not going. How much your life is on a standstill and just doesn’t amount to that. You begin to believe that maybe God is handing out blessings and promotions to everyone but you. STOP. RIGHT. THERE. God has not forgotten you, you just can’t see what He’s doing in you because you’re too busy looking at everyone else! Stop focusing on where other people are going and start focusing on where God is taking you! He fully plans to use your journey with all its twists and turns for His glory [Click to tweet].
Our choices have consequences.
This might be harder to hear but you have to accept it for what it is. And that’s the fact that, you can pick your sin but you cannot choose your consequence. Much of where you are right now may very well be a result of chasing your own passions rather than heeding to Gods leading. It may even be results of bad choices you made years ago! Consequences serve as a great teacher for the stubborn and many times God will let us learn a lesson or two for the future of our own good or even for the good of others in helping us warn them what path not to take. And yet still He is so merciful! No matter how far off track we get from God’s plan when we turn back to Him it is His will to FULLY RESTORE us in every area of our lives. God is ready to take full responsibility for the ultimate good of the life willing to do it totally His way no matter how far you’ve gone.
Stop overlooking the little ways He’s blessing you every day.
A negative mind can’t see God in anything because it’s too focused on all the negatives. You’re blind to all the blessings God has around you, which other people are praying for, because you choose to stay stuck in a bubble of self-pity. Do you have a place to lay your head, do you have a job, do you have at least one person who cares about you, do you have access to clean water, do you have the basics to survive? God has been meeting your basic needs and making a way for you but you’ve gotten so use to these blessings that you believe you deserve everything. But everything good comes from God. He’s had His hand over you all this time because He cares for you, now let Him into your heart.
He has good plans for you. Put your trust back in Him.
Sometimes so many things go wrong in our lives that we stop believing God has good things in store for us. Maybe for everyone else…but not us. At least, that’s the way things are looking. We begin to project our current struggles into the future as if it will go on forever this way. But I want to challenge you to think outside of where you are right now because it’s God will for you to come out and advance forward. That is His plan. His plan for you is GOOD, His word says. I really want you to let that sink in until you believe it. It’s for your GOOD and He wants to lead you there. It might not happen overnight. It might take some parts of your life falling apart so His will can fall into place. And if that’s the case you have to be willing to let that happen without getting downcast or bitter about it.
I want to challenge you to trust Him again, because he never left you. He never stopped caring about the details of your life. He never abandoned you to figure things out on your own. He never turned His back on you. He is waiting for YOU to draw near to Him so He can draw near to you again and fill you with the peace of His sovereign love.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.
– Romans 8:18
My 7 Day Anxiety Detox E-Series is Here!
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Each day, for the next week, you will receive a devotional on what the scriptures say about combatting anxiety. These devotionals also integrate practical self-help therapies from the Cognitive Behavioral perspective to make it useful for you. It’s great to be inspired but it’s helpful when you can apply it. So you will have real tools for real life.