Thursday, July 19, 2012

Really, Lord??

Life can be interesting can't it?  It often takes unexpected twists and turns and leaves us feeling a bit overwhelmed at times.  We can become a bit undone when things don't unravel quite the way we think they should.  In fact, the unexpectedness of living in this fallen world has been my companion over the past year.  I've often asked God in my prayer times, "Really, Lord?" For sure, things in my life have made absolutely no since over the course of the past year.  Many times I have been angry, frustrated, disappointed and confused.  Most times I was able to pour my heart out to the Lord and keep moving forward. However, there have been the occasional bad days that I had no words.  The pain was so exhausting and acute that I couldn't even utter any words to describe it.  All I could do was just exist and trust God with my life.  Oftentimes I felt so helpless and limited.  I couldn't do anything about my situation, I was completely powerless to change anything.  It was almost as if I had become completely handicapped and could do very little for myself.  I won't relay the exact circumstances, but suffice it to say my husband and I were hit in almost every area imaginable.

Some scholars refer to these kinds of situations as "The Dark Night of the Soul" and indeed it has been that to us.  It's in these extreme circumstances that you find what you are really made of, so to speak.  I suspect most of the Biblical heroes to which we esteem so much honor and respect dealt with these same character building times in their life.   Just to name a few:

  *Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years to see a completely impossible (physically speaking) word           come to pass over their lives. In fact, Romans 4:19 says, "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead."

  *Joseph was sold by his own brothers, falsely accused and imprisoned and seemingly forgotten about.  I'm sure it seemed as if someone locked him up in prison and threw away the key.

  *Naomi and Ruth were left destitute and penniless, in the middle of a famine with nowhere to go and no way out.  Both Naomi's husband and two sons died leaving them completely abandoned and without the means to provide for themselves.

There are so many other examples of what a dark night can look like.  Some may only last a short time and others may last decades.  However, one thing will always ring true in these trying times; 1) God is still good and  2)He is with you.  If at any time you waiver or forget those truths, the pain can overtake you.

God is still good.............
The fact that we can't always see His goodness doesn't diminish the fact that He is good.  Truth is truth, no matter what we are going through.  David said this:

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  (NASB)

Another translation says it this way:

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. (Word English Bible)

As difficult as it is, we must remain confident of God's goodness when we go through these seasons, if nothing else but for our own sanity and peace of mind.  Confidence in God is our weapon against the enemy's schemes to distract us and ultimately pull us from a position of trusting in God.  I would highly recommend, finding, memorizing and speaking a few key scriptures daily and especially when you feel tempted to think and speak negatively.  Remember, God's word is our weapon and it's a sure-fire way to shut the enemy up.

He is with You........

I love what Paul said in his second letter to Timothy, after many had deserted him.  Some had even betrayed him.  But Paul, with this incredible revelation said:

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth.

Oh man did you catch that?  He said the Lord stood with him and strengthened him!! Who cares who else was or wasn't there if Jesus was there!  Sometimes we just need to open our eyes to God's spirit in our lives, especially in incredibly dreadful, depressing circumstances because the unseen truth is that He is there, waiting to strengthen us.  In fact, I believe He is longing to strengthen us.  He is not overwhelmed or intimidated by our problems and difficult situations.  He able to do more than we can ever ask, or think or imagine!

Here are a few tips to help if you are struggling in this area right now:

1) Remember what God has already done
Write them down as they come to mind in a journal and rehearse them over and over in your mind           until your faith is built up.

2) Remain thankful
Verbally thank God daily.  It is imperative to keep yourself in a worshipful and thankful posture.

3)Use the word as your weapon
Become skilled at wielding the word!!  Make your driving ambition to read and commit scripture to memory and then use it!

4) Rest in God 
Don't obsess about the future.  Enjoy your life right where you are, even though it may be tough.  Think of new ways to enjoy your life, whether that be hobbies or recreation.

And, when you have done all that you can do........stand.......and stand some more.......and yet stand some more until you see the salvation of God come through in your life.

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