“We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed;” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
I want to come together with you here and face discouragement head on. I’m talking about grabbing it by the horns and trying to shove it nose first into the dirt. Ok, so what does that have to do with anything? LOL! What I’m getting at is that I too am disappointed in the way things have gone in my life and deeply discouraged that time just moves on without an answer to my prayers. I think that it’s important though to realize that God is trying to grow us and that sometimes that road takes us through thorns, jagged sharp rocks, and cold dark places. Sure, we have to ask ourselves and God Himself if we need to break free from some lingering sin in our lives? We need to ask if there is someone whom we need to forgive or to ask forgiveness of ourselves? But, past that sometimes is a place of silence that becomes very lonely and dry, a place where no amount of begging, no amount of tears, and no amount of yearning will bring God to give you relief. These are times of testing, times of refining, and times when we should look to our faith, our beliefs, and to the depths of ourselves to continue doing what is right, what is true, and even during periods of waiting for the answers to our prayers for God’s deliverance we need to be ever vigilant so that when the test is over that we can hear and see God when He does speak.
I’m not a scholar or a pastor but I do know these things from experience. I was told once that I don’t get dates because I’m too steady and loyal. I may not be the “bad boy” type but I know where I’m going when I die! Maybe that’s true and maybe nice guys do finish last but God gave me this loving, tender, compassionate heart and who am I to try to change that? At almost 38 with no prospects and never having had a true girlfriend I might be inclined to agree. But, one thing I do know. I trust the God who created and redeemed me. I’m holding on to the things that He has told me and promised me and that I cherish in my heart. I’m looking at my broken dreams and shattered hopes and praying Isaiah 61:7 for God to take those broken hopes and dreams and resurrect them and give them back to me in a double portion.
Just remember… No matter how low we sink, how dark and cold it gets around us, or how alone we feel; God is always right there with us. He will never leave us or forsake us no matter how much we feel that He has at the time. (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6) That’s a promise for all of us to hold on to!
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6-9)
Sovereign Most High Holy God, give us a proper perspective on our lives. Help us to see You in all things and Your hand at work in our lives even during times that we are discouraged and disappointed with our lives. Help us to remember that when we are suffering with the hard and painful things in our lives that You are with us no matter what and that You allow us these times to test us and to purify and grow our faith. God, forgive us of our sin and doubt that adds to our discouragement and help us in our unbelief. Please give us Your Spirit of strength to endure just as you give us each breath and each beat of our hearts. We love You and ask You these things in the name of Christ Jesus our Savior. AMEN
“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.”