In Part 1, I shared a bit of my personal testimony. Not knowing better in the years gone by, I must say that I missed the opportunity to see that the pain of my past was divine, it was for a purpose and it was and still is connected to my destiny. Truth is, you have absolutely no control over your past, and neither does your past have control over you now or in the future, except that is, you allow it to control your thoughts, emotion and your actions. Life was meant to be the way you experienced it.
The world as we know it today is marred and broken, yes. There are broken government systems, failed economies and health care systems that are in shambles. Financial hardship is on the rise more than ever before – It has no regard for race, skin color or religious beliefs. Christians and non Christians are affected.
There is conflict in the workplace. There is sadness from broken relationships, and so many broken families. It’s little wonder then that we have been plunged into the tough times leaving many in desperation and despair.
You and I can make plans in order to avoid such experiences as we go through each phase in our life. But the final outcome is still entirely in the hands of the architect and the one who holds the blueprint for each one of us.
So how do you find strength and courage through tough times?
1.) Let faith be your guiding light – faith give birth to ‘substance’ (dreams, vision, purpose, goals) and all that you hope for, not your feelings. Your feelings is an unreliable way to gauge your outcome. You must make a conscious choice to believe God, that all things will work in your favor in the end. It doesn’t matter how you feel as you are going through your hardships, God loves you and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
2.) Don’t try to resist your suffering, but let each one teach you so you can learn and grow through them – God allow suffering and hardship to build up your character so that you become more like Christ. It advances His purpose in you. Hardships produces the ‘flame’ that removes the things that hinders growth and spiritual development. So accept the fact that you will have suffering and simply trust God instead of trying to avoid what He is doing in your life.
3.) ‘Why’ is never the right question, but ask God ‘what’ or ‘who’ – Asking ‘why’ does not guarantee an answer in this lifetime or the one to come. True that Jesus asked His Father ‘Why has thou forsaken me?” But He surrendered His will in the end and died for all humanity. So realize that many times your suffering is not about you, but someone else whose pain you are bearing. Your hardships is a means of drawing closer to God
4.) Surrender your hardship to God through prayer and read His promised word – Prayer invites and draws God’s presence, His peace and His comfort into your life. Prayer builds a shield around your faith while it allows you to you hear the gentle whisper of God giving you new direction while He reassures you that it will work out for your good.
5.) There are some obvious sources of ones hardship – God’s discipline, the cost of discipleship, consequences of a foolish decision, God’s judgement upon a rebellious nation, or just life’s troubles as a result of a fallen world. Identifying the possible source from among these for which you are suffering, bring strength and courage. Where ever you have fallen short, especially through sin, repent so that you can enjoy a better life through Christ.
OVER TO YOU….
What is that one take away moment for you? What would you add to this list? Leave your thoughts in the comment form below.
photo by: La Bele