I have been amazed by the stories I have heard recently of friends and their families struggling. Struggling. Life can be such an uphill battle. I am comforted by the knowledge that God is bigger. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31). In the study we did earlier this year called Reclaiming Your Joy, by Lorraine Hill, she discussed resting in the Sovereignty of God:
Since God possesses all power in heaven and earth, no one and nothing can hinder his will from being accomplished. “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). When God permits certain events to happen, it is for his purposes and plans. Thus, even in the darkest of situations, God could affect a change if he so desired. If he has not affected such a change, then we rest assured in knowing it is not for our ultimate good or for his glory.
I struggled terribly with this at one time in my life. Years ago, my husband was deployed and I had a toddler and an infant…I was all alone in a new city. We had survived crisis after crisis – health issues, marriage struggles, Hurricane Katrina…I had my second child while dear hubby was away. This was the darkest hour for me, personally, for many reasons, but mostly because it seemed endless. The difficulties had gone on for years. I had no strength left. I crawled through my days, weeping and alone. I asked God, “If You love me, how can you leave me here alone in this desert experience? If You can help me, why won’t You?”
Little did I know that He was helping me. He was training me. I just ran from Him. It was too hard to bear the thought that He would allow me to struggle so. Thankfully, my mother had poured the Word into my heart for too many years…I knew His voice and I knew that I couldn’t live without Him. I came to the realization that it was better to be in difficulty with Him by my side, than to be at ease without Him. As I stopped struggling with God, I chose to trust instead.
I think when hard times come you have to remember His character, which does not change. God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Num 23:19). When I intentionally remember His Character, I think of 3 things:
- God invented wisdom so He is wiser than me. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Is 55:9).
- God is powerful and He is watching over me – He has not lost sight of me or my situation: So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said,“Truly here I have seen him who looks after me” (Gen 16:13).
- God is faithful, good, and trustworthy: The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love (Psalm 103:8).
Here is where the faith comes in – if God is wise, powerful and good, then I am right where I am supposed to be. I have realized a hard thing too: God is more interested in my spiritual good than my earthly comfort. He has plans for me and He will not let anything, including me, hinder them. Yet He never, never leaves me alone. He knows this is the thing I truly cannot bear.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deut 31:8).
Behold I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt 28:20)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:16-18).
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zeph 3:17).
Hold fast to the Word of Life, girls. He will never let you down. He sees what you cannot see. He knows what you cannot know. We can rest when we know He is handling everything because we know He is wise, He sees us, and He is good.