Is it just me, or have you also been experiencing rough situations right at the start of the new year? Whew! Boy, I tell ya', it has been a rough one for me. Lately, it has felt like so many things in my life have been beating me up! It's only been a few days into the new year, but I have dealt with everything from experiencing unexpected expenses, charges, unexpected disappointments in different relationships, feeling lonely, and picked on! It literally felt like life was picking on me! I never said it, but at moments, it even felt like God was punishing me! Wow! But you know what? I have realized that through all of the things I thought were harsh that I was facing, God was still showing me mercy and favor. I didn't realize it, but some of things I experienced were a result of my bad choices in the previous season. The principle of seed, time and harvest holds true. Whatever you sow, you will reap or see the fruit of the choice you made at some point or another. You might not see the fruit or effects of it right away, but trust me, whether you're ready or not, it's coming.
Now, even through facing the consequences of our choices, God is still good. The Word of God tells us that God chastens those that he loves. That means, he causes you to reap the consequences of your choices or behavior, so that you learn not to do it again. I know that it may be hard to understand this, but the very fact that God allows us to go through rough and hard times is a blessing. With each storm that we face, God is working in our hearts and wills, causing us to learn from our mistakes and grow from each situation. I like to think of them as tests. You know why? Because it seems like God is silent, like God is just allowing all of this bad to happen, and he's not doing anything about it. But, you know what? He's still there. He's just looking to see how you will handle it. He's looking to see if you will humble yourself and accept responsibility for your actions, and learn from it. Although it may be rough right now, look for the lesson he's trying to teach you. Look to see what you did wrong and how you got here. God is testing you right now to see if you will do the very things you don't want to, but that you need to do right now in order to get to your future.
I simply wanted to encourage you today to not give up on God, on life and your purpose. Don't let your current storm cause you to be depressed and throw a pity party. Don't let it steal your happiness or peace. Your future is waiting on you and it's waiting for you to rise to the occasion, learn from your mistakes and get to moving forward. Don't get me wrong, you will not be perfect. However, how you handle each obstacle and test will determine how long you have to take it. If you resist and complain, it will be long and hard. However, if you humble yourself and say, "God, I give you control and I let go", you will look up and find that it wasn't that hard after all and the test will be over before you know it.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said "Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." If your situation is hard and unbearable, you haven't handed your will and desires completely over to God. Trust me, I know. Things for me became easier, when I surrender to God. And this surrender thing is something you have to do daily. You have to re-surrender everyday to God by praying and worshipping him, or else you will get prideful and forget about God. You will get too busy for God and be back at square one with this test. Your test won't last forever, but while you're in it, you must learn, stay low and humble. Keep spending time with God first, at the top on your priority list, and you will pass this test and graduate to your next level.
Say this prayer with me:
Father, I thank you for life today. Thank you for your grace and mercy towards me. You could've given up on me and left me the way that I was, in my "stinking thinking". But I thank you today. I ask that you forgive me for putting myself and my desires before you. I see that your way was always better. Help me to keep my eyes on you during the difficult times in my life and help me to honor you as Lord over my heart and life. I need you, I want you more than ever before. I come near to you and thank you that you are always with me. Thank you, Father.
In Jesus name, I pray.