Inside: Do you question that God has your back when life is tough? Want some tips and advice about why God is the best person to put our trust in during hard times?
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The last few weeks had been filled with tough times:
- A new baby
- Some birth-related health problems
- Hormonal troubles
- A death of a child that attended our local school
It seemed like one hard thing followed on the tail of the last hard thing. (And I thought hard things only came in groups of 3…I think that is an old wives’ tale to be honest!)
I found myself hiding away in my room to just sit in despair.
As I looked out my bathroom window, the weather seemed to share my feelings of gloom.
The black clouds enveloped the sky, as the wind howled and the sleet came down in blankets.
All of these actions of the weather worked in tandem to make everything appear like a cold, frozen world.
I felt like this storm would never blow over both inside and outside my body.
It was slowly going to take me out, at least that’s how I felt.
My mind constantly filled with what was wrong with me; why I couldn’t pull everything together?
Did I not have enough faith or maybe I didn’t have the right type of faith?
How could I have confident faith in difficult seasons? When each second just felt hard.
I wasn’t sleeping, barely eating, and my sparkle had dulled to gloom.
Have you been there, friend?
Has life ever seemed so wrong and you feel guilty because you know hard times are supposed to happen but God has you?
Am I the only one who has felt like God has forgotten me?
How was I going to endure these hard times?
When Weariness Sets In
I was stuck and my willpower was gone.
I couldn’t get out of my funk.
The purple circles were evident under my eyes, and my hair looked as though a brush hadn’t been through it in a few days.
The weather outside only seemed to mock me; its chill tried to reach through the windows to grab me too.
Have you been there?
Those hard things that feel like they will never end and you want to be patient but you’re impatient?
On this particular day, I had had enough.
I couldn’t fight any longer. In desperation, I finally surrendered my white flag and admitted to God that I was done trying in my strength.
I drew my line right there on the brown tile of the bathroom floor.
It became a battle between God and myself; no advancing was going to happen for me unless I relinquished my fight to Him.
Letting God Lead in a Hard Times
What I had been trying wasn’t working.
The pit of despair just got deeper and deeper.
I was chasing my tail and going in pointless circles.
I could either keep looking inside at what wasn’t right with my circumstances or look up and trust God knowing He would bring me through.
When I dropped to my knees in submission to God, my experience changed and my soul started to sing a melody of hope.
Fear became faith.
Panic turned into peace.
Grasping for control became opening and allowing God to fill me.
Real praise left my lips for God bringing me through this season,
Real Worship in Tough Times
Right there, next to the bathroom shower near the east window, my anxiety gave way to worship.
Real genuine worship.
The definition of worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. Or honor given to someone in recognition of their merit. (Source: Merriam-Webster).
Do we give heartfelt worship when life is going well?
If you’re like me, the truest form of devotion happens after going through tough times.
True worship is when life becomes unbearable. You drop to your knees and praise God for who He is, and trust He is making a way for you.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock (Psalm 27:5, NLT).
Could this be why God says life will bring us tough times? So we can find the right meaning of admiration of God?
The Behavior that Continues in Hard Times
The Israelites were a lot like us. When life was hard, they needed a Savior, but when life was good they trusted in themselves.
Doesn’t that make us seem like we use God?
Have you ever had a friend that only came around when they wanted something from you? It doesn’t make you feel good, does it?!?
That’s how we treat God many times: He’s only needed when we can’t figure it out or change the situation ourselves.
The background is the Israelites, they lived in Jerusalem. These people had again fallen away from God (it’s a recurring theme in the Bile..who am I joking, it’s a recurring theme in my life too. Life goes good, need God less. Ick, it pains me to write that, but it’s true!)
The prophet Isaiah warned them to return to God or judgment and destruction will come their way.
The Israelites appeared to be worshiping God, but only God could tell the truth.
The Israelites decided to trust enemy nations like Assyria and Egypt instead of the faithful God, who had seen them through time and time again.
The Lord told Isaiah, the Israelites didn’t offer their hearts to God as they should.
13 And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote (Isaiah 29:13, NLT).
The people’s praise was lackluster and counterfeit because they had forgotten what He had done for them.
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NLT).
Tough Times Get us Closer to Christ
Have you ever clung to God? I have in my past. I was out of options and He was the only one I had.
Here’s what I”ve learned (and forgotten many times too): In our desperation, we become wholly devoted to our Savior.
The joy we find in this season is from bearing out our soul to God and getting comfort, peace, and strength.
Through the hard, we become awe-inspired to the power of the Almighty.
Our eyes become open, and we start to see everything anew. God is better than He was before. We become in awe of Him, and He becomes brighter and stronger.
The memories of that day continue to play through my mind, especially when I’m in my bathroom looking out the window.
I’m so thankful and humbled that God brought me through that tough time.
Father- I’m so glad you promise to stay with me and never leave me. You give me your word that I don’t need to be fearful. Help me to draw closer to you during these tough times. Allow me to see how you could use this to grow me and ultimately for your glory. Keep me focused on you. Increase my devotion to you! Amen!
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