There are moments in life that catch us off guard and send us reeling. Whether it's the unexpected diagnosis, the job loss or the late-night emergency phone call that wakes you at 3 in the morning, sometimes the rough moments in life hit us hard enough to send us reeling.
But in those moments, we can remember the words of our God who promises, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The One who reminds us,
"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you'" (Is. 41:13)
And this doesn't just include the moments that shake our lives, but the catastrophes and occurrences that disrupt our nation, peace and way of life. Terrorism, regime changes, violent acts, disease—many things are happening that could bring trouble to our hearts, if it weren't for our great, powerful God.
In a world where it seems the only thing constant is change, we can ascend to a higher, unequivocal truth—that the only real constant is God, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever and will remain so, even when time ceases to exist.
On this side of eternity, when the unexpected arises and our normal way of life seems to be crumbling around us, we can have hope that there's a way to ensure our hearts remain free from trouble. Instead of feeling the drastic impact of every possible fear-inducing situation, we can live in the place where our hearts are sustained and refreshed.
Yes, we can acknowledge what's going on and even mourn what's happened without being troubled, giving into fear or allowing it to control us or our decisions. It may seem improbable, but it becomes possible because of the God who calls Himself our Father.
Keys to Hold Onto:
Know the One Who Sustains
God is a father of His children. We know this and say it often. But God is a consistently good father of His inconsistently faithful, often disobedient, wandering, sheep-like children. All-knowing God chose a darkened, depraved group of people who loved darkness and showed them light, His light. He didn't search out the best behaved or those best equipped with talents to make Him look good.
God came looking for people to adopt into His family, knowing that we would need a lot of work and the world that would try and influence us. Then He offered His Son to make that adoption possible and gave us His Spirit to sustain us and continuously draw us into that place of fellowship with Him. In the moments that attempt to dim our view of God, we must remember the one who loves us and sustains us, the one who invites the weak and the weary to come and rest with Him.
Be Washed by the Word
There is power in the Word. Whether we feel it or not, when we expose ourselves to the truth of the Bible, we are experiencing the cleansing power of the Living God as He speaks truth over us. When crazy moments arrive and we find ourselves wondering, How exactly did I get here? or Where is God? we can allow the Word to show us the way, anchor us in truth and renew us with life.
As we renew our minds with Scripture, we find ourselves starting to believe that even the most disastrous moments can be made beautiful in the hands of Jesus. We are opened up to catch glimpses of what He can do in the midst of the chaos that is threatening to take over our lives. The Bible cleanses us, washing our eyes to see from a heavenly perspective, realigning our emotions to agree with God even while feeling real pain. It is only through this process that we can be given revelation of what we can actually thank God for in troublesome times.
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved" (Ps. 55:22).
Let Him Restore
The Bible clearly says that we have been given everything we need for life and godliness, which is accessible to us throughout our walk with the Lord, whether we're feeling strong or weak. When we come to the one who lifts our heads and brings restoration, we can rest in the truth that the things that are too big for us to put back together can be safely left in the capable hands of Jesus.
Just as we wouldn't expect a young child with a broken leg to set it himself, we can rest assured that in our times of deep pain and crisis that God does not stand idly by, expecting us to restore the things we never had control of in the first place. We have a Helper who desires to help us.
"I have seen his ways but will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners" (Is. 57:18).
This is what our kind God says of those who have turned their backs to Him. So how much more can we trust in the compassion of God to restore us and repair those areas of brokenness in our own lives?
Be Confident in the Lord
In the midst of crisis, it's natural to feel shaken and disoriented. But thankfully, we have a good Shepherd who is strong and steady. Isaiah prophesied that our leader would be kind, gentle, and have a desire for justice saying, "A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth" (Isaiah 42:3).
When the enemy would like to cause us to doubt God's goodness because of our current circumstances or to cease to follow the Lord because of the pain we're experiencing, we can acknowledge that there is pain and confusion and anchor our thoughts and emotions in a higher truth: The Lord is a victorious, righteous judge and advocate. He sees the pain of His children and He is not one who is content to leave us writhing in those hurtful places of life. He is a redeemer and restorer by nature, and He brings about justice.
Even when it may not look like it, God is working to bring about His goodness through every circumstance, so we can say as Joseph did, "What the enemy meant for harm, God turned around for good" (see Gen. 50:20).
While life is full of hard moments and we deal with moments of complete crisis, we can take heart in the truth that God is ruling, desiring His goodness to be seen in our lives, and He is actively working to ensure that no line of Scripture is relegated to the category of "cliche" in our minds. Instead, He desires that the Living Word be received as the truth that changes situations, exchanging ashes for beauty and turning mourning into praise.
At the most caustic moments of life, we can enjoy the privilege of entering into truth and clinging to the Almighty God who strengthens us and infuses us with faith to believe that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
God is one who invites those overwhelmed by the craziness of life to come and rest with Him, allowing them to be strengthened and renewed.
Reprinted with permission from the International House of Prayer Kansas City.
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