Have you ever lost hope? Questioned what in the world God was doing in your life? Have you thrown your hands in the air and screamed out the words " I GIVE UP!". I know I have, more times than I'd like to admit out loud or in writing. My heart has often guided my mind into places of uncertainty. Tricking me into believing that God doesn't have any interest in my life. Maybe you've fallen for those lies a few times as well. When we allow the enemy to begin to whisper proclaiming lies into our hearts we will quickly lose site of God right in front of us. I've allowed words like "you're not good enough" and "you aren't worth his love" slip into the deep chambers of my heart. For a while, I choose to believe those lies, I let satan win a battle that Jesus has already WON! And I have to reclaim that victory EVERY! SINGLE! DAY!
Yesterday I was pretty bummed out about a staffing opportunity that didn't exactly go the way I had planned it to go. And in the midst of the situation I found my self questioning God with all of these "Why" questions. Why not me, when you told me go? Maybe you can relate. Just being sooo sure that God is leading you one direction and then the situation takes a turn - our first human reaction is to ask the "WHY" question. Why now? Why me?
But, God wanted me to find something through this frustration. Don't you love when he does that? I believe that sometimes God just wants to hear our "yes, send me", and see our faithfulness through our obedience in him. He wants to see if, like Peter, we will step out onto the water and trust him to know he won't let us drown.
I am currently reading in Romans and I came upon a MUCH needed line of verses out of Romans 5:1-5
"Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character,and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
What? Affliction produces endurance? Yep, you read that right! How powerful that in our affliction and trials we can take away strength and stamina and produce endurance for the next challenge ahead!
Verses 3-5 really made me jump up and do my victory dance!!
3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character,and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
This hope WILL NOT disappoint us! That verse speaks volumes to my troubled heart. How beautiful is this line of scripture. To know and remind us that our afflictions produce endurance, endurance that eventually leads to hope. Affliction leads to Hope.
Jesus was rejected, beaten, mocked, crucified, yet his suffering, his affliction lead to HOPE!
His sacrifice gave hope to all man kind.
The son of God and Man who came to give life, hope and grace to us.
So, next time you have all those messy, rough, terrible situations tossed your way, I challenge you to NOT throw in the towel. Instead, throw up your hands and have faith that our Father knows exactly what he is doing. Don't focus on the "WHY" focus on I AM. Jesus is I AM, and he has your BEST interest in mind!