Do you feel like God has led you through the desert? Do you trust that He can and will make a way for your broken paths to be made straight when you call on Him? Spend a few moments contemplating the circumstances of your harder way. Then lift your eyes from your situation to your Savior. Call on God, and say to your soul: Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today…the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today … the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:13-14).
Life is filled with challenges. The struggles we endure often leave our hearts breaking and our minds aching for reprieve. We all have experienced our fair share of times when weI’ve been crushed by circumstances that are beyond our control, some worst then others … and I’ve learned that hard times are inevitable and that they hurt.
Every one of us doubts at times. We all fail to trust. But Scripture assures us that even when we are faithless, God remains faithful. As we walk the broken paths that challenge our faith, the truth remains that God does deliver in and through the pain. Though there are struggles that we might take to the grave with us, God is still good. Each hard place is an opportunity for Jesus to show His power in and through our lives.
God has given us his Holy Spirit to lead us by day and by night, to be our Strength, our Power, and our Direction in the deserts of life. Just as God made a way for the Israelites when they called on Him as they faced a seemingly impossible Red Sea situation, He will make a way for you. Call on His name. Trust His plan. Reach for His hand.
I’ve seen it in my own life. God delights to deliver us from our hard places in and through the pain. Hang in there, my friends. He knows each tear you’ve cried and He has never left your side. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it! God’s word stands true and He fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new. He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure. No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy. I trust in the promises of Christ. He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need. I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea.
With all that said, I know many of you are having your faith severely tested and stretched to the limit as you face a powerful battle in your lives. There are times when you feel completely overwhelmed. Yet no matter how weary you may be, God will give you the grace to endure, so don’t ever give up or lose hope. All the trials that we face in our walk with Him will teach us that God has been our help through every single one of them. He sees your tears and knows your pain. He is not far away leaving you alone. Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm30:18). We don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is our hope and strength to get us through anything we must endure in this world.
When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true. King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.” And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost.
Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future. It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him. Remember your pain has no power to destroy the hope you have through Christ. Despite what you face in this life, our God will always be bigger.
Where can I run? Where can I hide? I need a break, a place to take refuge. Life is so full and time seems to be running past me. Does this sound like something you have said or thought recently? We all need to understand that in the middle of all “the stuff” we go through, that God is there. He is waiting to hear you when you call out to Him. Sometimes we just need to say, “God, I’m here and I need to feel your arms wrapped around me today. I need your peace and your joy.”
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress.” Psalm 59:16
Have you spoken this way to God lately? He longs to comfort, encourage, and strengthen us. We feel like He is so far away and that He doesn’t care about what we are going through. We may even feel that God doesn’t have the time to help us when so many things are going wrong in the world today. Our problems must feel so small in comparison but we need to know that they are very important to Him. If we could just stop our busy schedules and just focus on His great love for us, we could feel the peace that is ours to hold. What a comfort when we remember the scripture,
Isn’t it awesome that we can’t out run God! No matter how down we may feel, He is right there to lift us up. He is waiting for us to look up to Him and to desire to come close to Him. I want that closeness and even at this moment, I feel it. God really cares about you and He really cares about me.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:3-4). What a comfort! What a joy! What a peace! Take time right now to come close to God. Whisper His name and feel His gentle, sweet, love.
Trials come into every life. There are days when it would be easier to throw the covers over our heads and avoid confrontation, conflict, and circumstances all together. But the Biblical approach is to press on, to be faithful, to stand firm, and to endure hardship. To be effective in the Kingdom, faith must replace fear, confidence in Christ must replace cowardice, and prayer must replace panic. God works in, through, and in spite of our trials, for He is not bound by our difficulties. Rather those trials can be tools by which He brings about His will and refines us in the process.
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5
From this verse we can glean a myriad of lessons from the sower. First, he continued the work he had been called to do despite his suffering. Secondly, he laid his burden down. There are times in our lives when we need to “lean not on our own understanding” by replacing our “need to know” with trust in God that He will bring to fruition what is in our best interest. As we cast our cares upon Him He will satisfy our desires in His timing.
Scripture is filled with references to the “due season” and “appointed time” of God’s fulfillment. We can rest assured that though God may seem slow, but He is never late. Another important truth that we can see from the Psalmist, is that time is a necessary element in the development of any vision. The sower planted his seed and then had to wait for it to spring to life. God wants us to give Him our hopes and dreams and trust Him to work the miracles necessary to bring them about without our interference. God may even use your own prayerful tears as the water that gives life to the seed. Thus, we must plant seeds of faith, water them with tears of hope, and then wait in eager expectation for God to bring the harvest.
Our minds are finite, and we have a limited understanding of God’s ways. We generally look at a few puzzle pieces at a time whereas God sees the entire picture. Since He has designed the puzzle He knows best, which pieces go where, so it makes sense that we should allow Him to orchestrate our meetings, order our steps, and outline our lives.
There are many believers that can’t seem to forgive themselves for their past. Grace just doesn’t make sense to them. They feel they don’t deserve to be forgiven. And these people are right…grace doesn’t make earthly sense. We surely don’t deserve it. They keep reliving their past and believing Satan’s lie, and then grace shows up with an outstretched hand. “I don’t deserve it,” they cry. And they’re right. Grace, by its very definition, is unmerited favor from God or a gift we don’t deserve. But until you accept God’s grace and forgiveness, Satan will hold you in the vise grip of guilt, and we will miss moments of sudden glory. Have a wonderful as you remain in God’s presence remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus….(Romans 8:1).
No matter what you have done, God has made a way for you to be set free—a very costly toll has been paid for the road to your restoration. Jesus gave His life that you might have not only eternal life after physical death, but life filled with moments of sudden glory beginning at your spiritual birth.
In no way do I want to diminish the seriousness of sin, God hates sin. Neither do I want to lessen the truth of grace. Refusal of the Christian to repent and to continue a lifestyle of sin spits in the face of what Christ did on the cross. Unconfessed sin draws the shade on God’s glory. Confession with repentance raises the curtain once again for God’s glory to shine through.
When we say, “I don’t feel forgiven,” that is like saying that what Jesus did on the cross is not enough. Why should we require more from ourselves than our Creator requires of us? “If you are feeling condemnation for past sins that you have already asked God to forgive, that condemnation is not coming from God. Once you have repented and asked God to forgive you, it is finished, over and done with, wiped away. If feelings of condemnation persist, they are a result of listening to the accusations of the enemy as he tries to keep you from union and communion with God.
Satan knows that the slightest whisper of guilt is easily received by a fragile heart plundered by life. Do not let him convince you to remain in hiding. If you have been crouching in Eden’s bushes of shame, listen closely. That sound you hear is God walking your way. Whispering your name. Do you hear it? Singing love songs of grace. Inviting you to stroll with Him in the garden of your heart where He has taken up permanent residence.
Is there something God has told you to do that seems just too difficult? You can be sure that if He has called you to carry out His will, He’s going to be faithful to accomplish it through His Spirit living and working in you. So if you tell Him, “I can’t do that, Lord—what if I fail?” you’re really saying, “God doesn’t keep His word.” And yet, our total expectation should be in Him—not in our own energy, ability, or experience.
“God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
When you doubt God’s trustworthiness, that unbelief becomes a gap in your spiritual armor, and you can be sure that’s exactly where Satan will attack you. You’ll begin to doubt even more about God’s character, such as His goodness—and that distrust will become a heavy load of baggage you’ll needlessly drag through every area of your life.
You might feel that you do not have enough faith to obey, but the Lord isn’t asking you to have faith in favorable circumstances. He’s asking you to trust that He is who He says He is.
Do you believe that God is a liar? It’s really that simple: either He is truthful or He’s not. But if you believe that faithfulness is His character, then you can do anything He requires. You’ll be strengthened by your dependence on Him—whether a deluge or trials or a flood of blessing comes.
It’s actually when life gets rough and rugged that the sweetness of God’s faithfulness makes itself real in your heart. As you walk through those storms in complete reliance on His strength, your trust in His character becomes part of who you are and strengthens from within.
In the scripture below, Jesus teaches us how to release our faith so that it can work on our behalf to bring about the things that we need. Jesus told the disciples that if they had faith, they could say what they wanted to see come to pass, and then they would have it. This means that we are to speak those things that we have the faith for; and then we should expect to receive what we have spoken. Our mouths have the ability to create… this is especially true when we confess with our mouth based on what we believe in our heart.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-20
It’s amazing to me how faith can be so tiny, and yet be so powerful that if it is used effectively can move something as massive as a mountain. Nevertheless, that is exactly what Jesus said, and He didn’t exaggerate. This tells us that faith is powerful. Therefore, when we declare those things that we need to happen in our lives, we must stand in faith.
Furthermore, when we choose to respond to a negative report or a bad situation in faith, we are empowered to move forward to victory over the enemy that has attacked us. In other words, faith will help us walk “out of” problems that might otherwise try to hold us captive. Instead of accepting an evil report as the final word for this season of our lives, we must choose to stand on God’s Word in faith and trust in God’s plan to bring us through victoriously.
If you’ve hit a seemingly impossible situation, and everything in your soul is telling you that it won’t pass, then make a conscious decision to standby faith. Many Christians are living in bondage to past situations simply because they don’t know how to “choose to respond” by faith and walkout of the pit of hopelessness. If you see yourself as more than a conqueror through Christ, you will be more than a conqueror. Faith works, but you have to work it!