So many people are finding themselves adjusting to new situations. Those situations, if I were to label them are endless… (Meaning, some of you are adjusting to having a loved one going into prison or coming out of prison. Adjusting to being a single parent, financial issues, new job or job loss, addiction, health issues, a new child in the home or possibly the loss of a child. A new relationship or coming to terms with a failed relationship. Losing your home or moving to a new area. A new friendship or the loss of a great friendship. Etc.) Regardless what situation you are in, that adjustment period can feel daunting or unbearable. For every struggle, there is a purpose behind it. The Bible reminds us in John 16:33 that we will encounter situations that cause pain or suffering. So many of us get wrapped up in daily life that we are caught off guard when something suddenly changes in our normal routines. We find we were unprepared for what was up ahead…
1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” ( This in simple terms means don’t be surprised by the struggle you find yourself in as the struggle is meant to test you.) If we are being truthful with ourselves, then we must admit we do tend to be surprised. Some of us encounter a situation that throws us off emotionally and even physically. Meaning we react with panic and anxiety which has us disabled by fear of the unknown. (We don’t know what to expect but we fear the unexpected.)
The experience is so difficult that no matter what we do, we can’t find relief or resolution. Our eyes become fixated on what’s right in front of us, instead of on things above as the Lord tells us to. This causes us to be consumed by the unpleasant feelings associated with the struggle itself… We fail to remember that every struggle we encounter passed through the hands of God first. This means he either sent the struggle or allowed it. Remember, 1 Peter 4:12 ? (It’s a test.)
Some of you may assume that the Lord abandoned you during the moment you needed him most. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When we are consumed by something that affected us emotionally it is because our heart was invested somehow in that struggle. It could be that the struggle we are dealing with is attached to someone we love. Someone we invested time and feelings into. The struggle can hold such a tight grip on our hearts that we actually take it on as an emotional stronghold. (An emotional stronghold is something that consumes your every thought…) This stronghold is meant to take our eyes off the Lord and onto ourselves. This leads us to think the Lord left our side but the truth is we allowed our struggle to take us away from Him. This means our focus shifted from being on the Lord to being on the situation at hand.
How many of us remember during a crisis to pray for ourselves? (We can remember to pray for others during their struggles but when it comes to us we react first then pray. That’s the wrong order.) Did you know that when we are faced with a crisis that is an open invitation to pray? When we don’t pray for ourselves it only proves our trust is stronger in ourselves at the moment than in the one who can deliver us from the situation we are faced with… Should you forget like many of us do, Hebrews 7:25 reminds us that when we are not praying for ourselves, Jesus is.
Sometimes our situations can feel like a raging storm on an open sea. We are tossed and thrown all over the place and keep trying to come up for air; but exhaustion and fear is causing us to drown… Isaiah 43:2 reminds us when we pass through waters the Lord is with us. If you are expecting the Lord to calm your storm, you must first ask yourself… did this storm produce greater faith and trust in the Lord? If it didn’t, then your testing of faith will only continue. Instead of asking the Lord to calm your storm ask him to calm his child during the storms..
My friends, every struggle is intended to test our faith. It is needed so the Lord can develop our trust in him further. He is leading us to higher places but without strengthening us first; we won’t possibly be able to stand once we get there. This means if we can’t handle hurt feelings, mistreatment, rejection or turbulent conditions in our comfort zone; how on earth will we handle them outside of our comfort zone when we end up at the place he is taking us too? Your struggles were not meant to be met with resistance but rather with acceptance and trust in the one who will see you through them. Remind yourself that if the Lord is allowing the struggle he also will see you through it… Now believe it… Hebrews 12:2 Hebrews 11:6.
Blessings to each of you,