My soul is in anguish.

“My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?” Psalm 6:3

How long?” is a fair question to ask of the Lord. He does not expect us to suffer in silence. In fact, it’s okay and desirable to pour out our petitions to Him. We need heaven’s healing. When we verbalize our confusion to our loving heavenly Father, we feel relief. Just to know that the Lord listens to our heartfelt cries, no matter how petty or profound, is reassuring. Sometimes we can’t sleep well at night. We wake up in anguish, our mind racing. Our heart needs a touch of grace and peace from Jesus. A troubled heart has a hard time with sweet dreams because there is a dread or disappointment that destroys its quality of rest. However, deep sleep accompanies those who are able rest in Him. Rest is a result of resting in the Lord’s presence (Exodus 33:14).

The pain will linger until you see Jesus face to face, because it is a touch from the Lord that will get you through this difficulty. Therefore, do not let this momentary affliction keep you from experiencing God. Adversity is meant to engage us with eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). If everything were easy, we would be prone to forget our Heavenly Father. So while on earth, it is okay to ask, “How long?” Questions keep us from being clueless with Christ by driving us to our knees in dependency on Him. How long before you can be married? How long before your parents will be more understanding? How long before your teenager will mature? How long before the doctors can diagnose your ailment? How long before you can change careers or get a promotion? How long before finances are not such big issues?

All of these are fair questions and need to be asked. It is wise, healing, and hopeful to lift our concerns to Christ. But once we go to God with our questions, it is imperative that we listen to His answers. It is not enough just to question. We must be willing to listen to the Lord. His answer is simple yet profound. “As long as it takes,” is His compassionate reply. As long as it takes to accomplish His will; as long as it takes to mold us into the image of His son Jesus; as long as it takes for us to learn the lessons of faith, patience, love, and forgiveness; as long as it takes to break our stubborn pride and replace it with gracious humility; as long as it takes to die to ourselves; as long as it takes for God to glorify Himself through our lives.

So above all else, in your state of questioning and confusion, receive God’s unfailing love. How long before the Lord can love you? Right now. His love will see you through, so invite Him to love you as only the Lord can.

Trust God Through the Storms of Life!

God uses storms in our life to shape and mold us “to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). James says that storms (or trials) are used to make us “mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). So when will all our storms end? Not until the process is complete. Not until we’re called home to be with the Lord! But there is certainly much more to our Christian walk than storm survival. As we mature and grow closer to our Heavenly Father, we will see more clearly His purpose and learn to actually rejoice during our times of difficulty. Rather than fight the wind, we will allow it to teach us and cause us to soar! The storms will continue to be a part of our life, but we will also experience seasons of great victory.

These seasons of victorious soaring WILL come! For they are as much a part of God’s plan as the storm. But they are equally a time of teaching – a time where we must be reminded to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust the guidance of His Spirit.

We must continually “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). We must trust as the storm approaches and as the waves threaten to sink our boat; but we must also trust as the wind and waves are calmed. In fact, we must focus on trusting Him even more when the storm ceases. In difficult times, we are continually reminded of our need for God; but times of blessing can cause us to trust our own ability…and forget.

God desires far more than to just be available during our times of great need. He desires to walk with us in an intimate relationship every moment of the day. Let’s continue to trust Him while we’re sailing through the storm. But as we victoriously rise up on the wings of eagles, let’s also remember to praise Him and trust while we soar.

Your painful trial is temporary!

The question many people ask is where is God when life hurts? The truth is that Christ is on the throne with complete authority over all that believers face in this perishing world. That is the most comforting of all truths and yet so many people still are unable to stand in faith in times of trouble and strife. Without a doubt, we are living in perilous times. The increase of evil puts us all within the range of attack. We are trying to survive in a time when truth of God has been thrown to the ground and trampled. The hearts of most people have grown cold. It seems that everyday brings more heartache and pain as the forces of darkness have increased their effort to destroy lives. Yet, in spite of all this, Christ is still our hope.

“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Your painful trial is temporary. The enemy wants you to believe that things will never change but that is a lie. The truth is that God sees your struggle as He is using it for your good. For that reason, you must never let your faith be nearsighted. Trust in God’s long-range plan for your future. You cannot fall so far that the grace of God is not able to restore your life and complete the purpose He began in you. You may feel that it feels like you are always up against mountains in your life. That might be so, but each time God will take you through your troubles, You must come to realize that those mountains never have the power to block your path. Your struggles have only served to reveal to you more of the love and power of Christ and to realize that you never were alone. All of your battles are being led by the army of God. You are a conqueror(Romans 8:37) because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.(1 John 4:4)

I know that so many of you are facing problems of every kind. It may feel like you are losing the battle but that will never happen. In the center of each storm is the magnificent power of God who is working all things out for good. He has a divine purpose charted out for everything that touches your life as a believer. He is looking for those who can trust Him in the bad times as well as the good times. That is what defines a true believer.

God’s power is not limited by the impossibility of your situation. He knows how to allow your pain to work out the purpose for which He planned. That is why we never give up and never surrender. We are a royal army who are being trained to rule in a kingdom that will never end. Be mindful that your struggles won’t endure, but through Christ, your eternal future will!.