Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”- Romans 5:1-2
We live in extremely difficult times right now, and it is easy to feel discouraged. There seems to be so many decisions we are forced to make on a daily basis around really mega-important issues like healthcare, vaccinations, school choice, careers and much more that can leave us feeling exhausted. If we are not careful, it is easy for our discouragement to slip into despair. Despair is a place of desperation, and it can lead to us making some very bad decisions. During this time, we must cling to the hope we have in God and the promises we have from Him in the Bible. He will never leave us or forsake us, (Hebrews 13:5) we are his precious children (1 John 3:1) and He is the source of our joyful hope that allows us to endure long suffering through enduring prayer (Romans 12:12) It is important on a daily basis to find our hope in the One who is still in control, and who does not shift like sinking sand. He is the solid rock on which we can stand, and the basis we should use for all of our critical decision making.
Martin Luther King Jr. endured great suffering in his quest for equal rights for all people. He knew the antidote for his present suffering was to focus on the future hope found in Christ Jesus. That hope allowed him to pen these famous words: “‘we must never let our finite disappointments rob us of our infinite hope.” For many millions of people across the globe right now, suffering and discouragement is real. But we must prevent the destructive nature of despair from taking root in our lives by focusing on the hope of the coming glory in Jesus Christ. He will redeem all of our pain and brokenness. If you have made some bad decisions due to the stress you are under right now, don;t beat yourself up, and definitely don’t run from God, but rather run to Him and admit on bent need how much you need Him and how sorry you are for any sinful acts committed. We are all under great stress and therefore we need to humbly admit our need for Him. For me, this is a daily exercise. He can do amazing things with a humble and contrite heart. When we recognize His ability to transform our suffering into something beautiful on the other side is when we can begin to praise Him no matter what, even during these painful periods. Clergyman Henry Ward Beecher said “A humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grows.”
Are you in a place right now where you are so full of regrets, fear and discouragement that you feel like your life is meaningless and you feel hopeless that your life will ever turn out the way you imagined? Well, if that is true of you, I have great news for you: You are wrong! In fact, this quote should speak right to your heart and change your mindset around: “If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.”- Lisa Bevere. Oh, you do have a critical decision to make: You can continue on trying to do things your way, or you can acknowledge on bent knee that your way led you to the place of despair you find yourself in now, and you desperately need God to help you! Here’s the next bit of good news: He will! I know these times are very hard for all of us, but God will not waste our pain, and He will use it to deepen our faith and dependence on Him. We must remain focused on the big picture as spelled out in Romans 5:2 above that allows us to “hope in the glory of God.” What is the big picture? It’s that God is still firmly in control, even in the middle of the storms of our life and the tempest that swirls all around us. It means that even when we can’t see the light in the middle of the night, it is coming in the morning. It means that He will never leave us or forsake us, and we do not walk alone. Is there anything that is trying to steal your joy and rob you of your hope? Don’t allow it to. Turn it over to God in prayer and trust that His shoulders are big enough to handle all of your pain.
Prayer: Father God, we admit how tough life is right now for all of us, and we ask for Your strength to carry us through the storms of this life. We humbly admit we are too weak to do it on our own, and we ask for forgiveness if we have made poor choices due to all the stress we are under right now. May the hope of your glory be the light that lifts us out of our discouragement and despair, and gives us new purpose and a deeper faith. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!