“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV
No one is immune to troubles. Bad things happen to good people and bad people. It’s a part of this fallen world. We each go through different seasons in our lives. How do we respond in those bad times?
I was in the thick of a rough season. My life was not looking how I thought it was supposed to look. I was angry, hurt, confused, and felt extremely lonely. I had hardened my heart. It was in that season that I grew to trust in God way more than I ever had before. To be completely dependent on Him. And it is when I truly learned of His love for me.
For Him to work in our hearts, we have to humble ourselves before Him. Those walls we’ve built up, that fear, pridefulness, those insecurities, the not knowing... All of it has to be surrendered at His feet. God wants our hearts. Sure, He could make it happen. He’s God and can do anything. But, He gave us free will to choose.
Who/what we put our hope in, is the rock we stand on. The rock we stand on matters. Say we put our hope in relationships, our job, ministry, the gifts of God, or whatever else... If/when those things fade away, what are we left standing on? God is never failing. He stays the same forever and ever. He is our firm foundation. Our rock that never shakes.
And maybe you’ve backtracked. That’s ok! But do not stay there. God sent His Son. God became flesh. Because He loves each and every one of us. Like the parable of the lost son in Luke 15. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to.
The younger son spent away all his wealth and had nothing during a severe famine and thought he would just go home and become a hired servant for his father. Before the son made it home, his father ran to him and threw a celebration. The older brother was angry. His father pleaded with him, “my son, you are always with me and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate because your brother was dead and is alive again.”
You are not too far gone for God’s forgiveness. He is at the door waiting for you. His mercies are new every day. And if you are feeling like the older son, remember God is still with you always and loves you just as much.
Jesus came so that none should perish. The more we focus on Him, the less this worldly stuff matters. The way we grow in relationship with Him is by reading His word, letting it take hold of our heart, being purified, having faith in Jesus, and having His words written on our hearts. The focus becomes less on ourselves and more on Jesus.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 NLT
We are all called to be the hands and feet of Christ. To take care of His flock. We cannot save people, but we can show them to the One who can. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” We are to encourage one another and lift each other up. No one is perfect and we are bound to mess up. That is why we need each other. To stand in the gap.
To pray for one another.
I pray that we will all be led by God, where He prompts us to be. And when trials come, we will not lose heart. That our eyes will always be focused on Him. That we would not give up but persevere. That the tiny mustard seed faith we have will spring forth and multiply. That the Holy Spirit will fill our hearts, minds, homes, lives, families, and communities. That God will give us boldness and courage to withstand in Jesus' name! On Christ the solid rock we will stand!