Two [Christian] results of hard times…
For me, one of the most difficult things to do is turn my family over to God and leave them completely in His care. Crazy, right? This is often easier said than done! Think about it: why is it hard to trust God with those we hold dear?
Why do we worry so much about those we love? Why do we sacrifice our joy that way? We say we can trust the Lord with our souls, yet not with those we care about?
Ok. I will speak for myself.
Right now, I’m in my 50’s. That’s more than middle age, Honey! Not old; not young. In all those years I’ve been alive, I can say I’ve been endured a lot of pain and heartache, but others have been through much worse. Still, I have some trauma from living through all that loss in my life.
You see, before I hit my 30s, I buried most of my family.
My dad, my two brothers, my aunts. My uncle. My cousin. Each was gone suddenly and honestly far too soon in my opinion. It left me “affected”. It left a bruise on my heart.
It was a lot.
The recurrent shock of one death after another cultivated two dubious by-products in my adult life. Let me tell you about them.
I wonder if you will be able to relate.
If you are a journaler, write down 2 past experiences that left a “mark” on you.
One benefit from the pain…one result of hard times
The first by-product of all that death is it bolstered my faith in the Lord. No doubt, the traumas cultivated a prayer life and spiritual strength I could not have gotten any other way. Nope!
Each one – each devastating emotional blow – served to thrust (or maybe flung) me at the feet of Jesus.
In the brokenness, I learned to rely on Him for strength, comfort, and supernatural restoration. Maybe that’s why I was able to trust Him for my practical day-to-day needs as a young woman and even for a husband.
Let me say, during those times, people were not much comfort to me. They tried, but my heart was too broken. I was too devastated. Can you relate? Do you know what I mean? It was like one of those bad dreams where you keep falling…falling…and falling. That’s how I felt.
Chile, just give me Jesus! NOW!
Yeah, in those dark seasons, I needed what only God could supply. Thankfully, Jesus showed up for me time and time again.
So, I found that those turbulent, anguished periods of life made me incredibly dependent on the Lord and His Holy Spirit. In the mornings, I needed Him for the strength to face the day.
At night, I relied on Him to carry me through the literal (and spiritual) darkness so I could face whatever came the next day. Then, it started all over again. It was a cycle, but a hopeful one – because He was there.
Random: Nights are the hardest when you’re grieving. Do you agree?
Anyway, I needed Jesus 24-hours a day. I was “tore up from the floor up!”
It was so cool, though! Here’s why…
It built intimacy. One by-product of the hard times was I learned to rely on Jesus. I learned to thirst for His Words and look for Him to show up in my day.
I also discovered the power of worship and how it empowers us, strengthens us, and brings Jesus into our moments in time. Worship is WARFARE!
For all this, I thank God for every trial because I now enjoy a deep, personal communion with Him every single, solitary day – in good times and bad.
Ask yourself: “did I get bitter as a result of that experience or did I grow closer to the Lord?”
If you’re going through a rough time now, determine (make the decision) to come out of this trial closer to Him. Write it in your journal now.
Now the second by-product
of hard times…
Time to be even more transparent.
Losing so many people in a relatively short life span has made me hold on a little too tightly to the few family members have left.
That’s not healthy.
Here is how it shows up: If I’m not aware or prayerful, I can worry about my family so much it can be tormenting.
Say they are out of my sight, I’ll call them to make sure they are ok. Or, if they leave the city, I’m praying for them and checking on them.
You may be thinking “But, T, these things are sort of normal and kind of good.”
My answer is this: the problem lies within the motive. The motive is fear-based and God is not in that. Not at all. Fear has torment and that comes from the enemy of your soul.
Hey, we all want our loved ones to enjoy long lives with us, but not at the expense of your peace. That’s not God’s plan. He’s given you perfect peace!
Recently, the Holy Spirit gently showed me how my desire to hold on to my loved ones transforms itself into worry, fear, and doubt – all of which are direct enemies to faith.
Fear and dread are mentally excruciating – not to mention exhausting! Be clear about this: neither one is God’s will for you.
What two things/people do you worry about the most? How can you begin to trust God with them?
Write it down and date it.
Gotta have faith, Christian Woman!
As you know, without faith, we cannot please God or expect to receive anything from Him. Faith [in Him] is the cornerstone of our relationship and the key to Godly maturity.
We must guard it.
And shield it.
We must isolate it from our logic, our past experience, and the opinions of others.
Our worrying injures my faith and is a total exercise in futility. It accomplishes absolutely nothing. Same goes when YOU worry too.
Trust God instead of worrying, Girl.
As you know, the Lord’s thoughts and plans are so far above ours that, most of the time, they are incomprehensible. He is infinite wisdom.
Maybe that’s why it’s grueling to trust Him with the things we love a whole lot. We can’t figure Him out or know what He will do with them. It’s that mysterious part of God that makes trusting Him so daunting for our human “pea” brains. We want to “understand”, don’t we?
I know it’s incredibly challenging to fall back and trust the Lord sometimes. Still, it’s a discipline we must master. Amen?
When you worry, what will you do to shift from worry to faith? Read scripture, pray or play faith-building worship music? Go ahead, jot it down!
Surrender to God, not to worry.
You see, when we truly trust God, we surrender everything to Him knowing that He has the absolute best intentions for us.
We love Him and He loves us. Isn’t that wonderful?
So, with this knowledge, we can emotionally and spiritually lean back knowing, whatever happens, He will get us through it and be there for us the entire time.
Go ahead and give Jesus a spiritual “high 5” right this moment! Yay-yuh!
The best way to conquer worry is to remember this:
The Lord can manage our lives so much better than we ever could. He knows exactly what He’s doing. Besides, we can’t add an inch to our stature and we cannot control much in the end.
Remembering all this, it’s just easier to release life’s cares and learn to trust God with everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING.
Regardless of what happens in your life, again, God’s grace will carry you completely through it. Think of all you struggled and survived so far.
All those hard times and trials and you STILL made it! None of them broke you or destroyed you. Why? Because you are a survivor in Jesus’ Name! That’s why! You’re resilient. You’re going to be ok. Don’t worry.
Finally, if you’re going through a struggle now, remember, it will bring you spiritual acumen and strength like nothing else ever could. Don’t let it make you fearful, Christian Sister. You can come through it being better than ever…if you rely on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Does fear and worry creep into your life too? What do you do when it does?
Need a scripture?
New International Version
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Please Pin and share with someone who needs this reminder. 🙂