Have you ever asked God to grow your patience or your joy or some other fruit of the Spirit only to have your life turned upside-down and you are now crying, “Uncle!”?
I’ve heard so many stories of this happening to others that I’ve honestly been quite shy to specifically ask God to do something that blunt in my life. Until the close of last year. Deep inside my heart I had a yearning to grow in trusting God with deeper peace and confidence, especially when my world is being shaken to the core. I want to grow in my steadfast resolve to cling expectantly to God’s promises without waver of doubt and fear. So, as 2022 rolled in, I bluntly asked God to “grow my trust in Him.” And then I stood back and waited to see just how He would answer… Here are just a few things that has occurred since…
Our family dynamics changed in a split-second... Transition. Upheaval. Interruption. Confusion. My eyes, due to my OCP, had several longer-lasting flare-up-pain and vision challenges than ever before. Surprise. Discouragement. Pain. Frustration.
The discipleship training aspect of Mission 2:10 being rerouted on account of several factors:
Liberian brother Emmett’s motorcycle accident,
the Nimba group (one of the two Women's groups) expressing their need to temporarily halt further discipleship-marketplace training, and
the funding that is needed to support such a ministry. Setback. Challenge. Second-guessing. Heartache.
What “challenges” have you been experiencing lately?
Such painful challenges of upheaval in heart, body, mind, environment, etc. are inevitable right now on this earth. We live in a world that is broken from sin: however, Christ himself prepped us for such...:
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
Yes, indeed, in this world you and I will have trouble. But He did not leave us abandoned, without rescue and hope. Instead, He gave us Himself and His Word of guaranteed grace moment by moment as well as final victory!
What Treasure He Himself has placed within our frail-ness, so our eyes and hearts are drawn to Him for the satisfaction, help, power, salvation, and peace we each desperately need, not to us or our ability to figure everything out on our terms! The God of the Universe, our Treasure, has determined to dwell in us!
So we won’t lose heart. Yes, we will get battered. We will get beaten down. Our bodies will fail. Our plans will be rerouted. Our hearts will be grieved. Life is indeed hard and cruel and messy. So unpredictable. So out of our control. Such reality is quite sobering and when experiencing such, quite unbearable. We groan for release, don't we?
Even creation groans alongside us:
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering.
We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.
But hold on, my friend!
We are not left to ourselves to make it through all this hardship! God is our Perfect Rescue, Hope and Help! Read the Scripture verses that follow to hear just how He is with us and for us:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.
For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.
And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory. Romans 8:22-30 (NLT)
As I painfully pondered all that I described above, the Holy Spirit also brought me to consider 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, from which I created the visual-video for this post. “…afflicted in every way…but not crushed” “…perplexed, but not driven to despair” So we do not lose heart. That means you. That means me. Because Christ is our Victory and He tells us that in Him we are more than conquerors, then this is where Christ invites us to set our hopes… On Him.
On His sovereign work in, around and through us, according to His power, His grace, His wisdom, His timing, His way… Let us be encouraged. Yes, being a clay jar, with cracks and fragility, we have within us Treasure of surpassing power! So what? So rise, my dear sister and brother in Christ. Lift your head and press onward toward the Prize, eyes on Jesus, our hearts deeply rooted in Him. And lose not heart. 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (MSG) 15 Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! 16 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 18 There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
Thank you, Father God! In Jesus name, Amen! Live Aligned to Your God-given Design, Tami Thorsen about.me/tami.thorsen Certified ICF ACC Life-Coach | COACH Model Trainer Head2Heart Onward Coaching Ministries “Helping you live aligned to your God-given design for greatest Gospel impact” www.head2heartonward.com