Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12 (NIV)
What is it that has us at the end of our rope? Is it the Corona virus… A difficult relationship… An impossible boss… A health challenge, addiction or disability? Life happens to all of us!
No… we can’t control it. And yes…It’s not fair! But when has life ever been fair? It seems someone always comes up with the short end of the stick. I am 5’2” tall. So I know that the short end of the stick is not always the worst position to be in. It’s how we perceive and respond to our dilemma that makes all the difference in how we move forward.
I think we could reverse the order of the opening scripture to start with be faithful in prayer. In an earlier blog, Where is God in our New Normal?, https://mvarga.com/spiritual-insights/where-is-god-in-our-new-normal/I said that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe! If we pray for God’s will in our lives, everything else seems to fall into place.
Then we can be patient in affliction. This does NOT mean fixing our affliction. Believe me! I have tried everything humanly possible to ‘fix’ my balance issues. I think it’s through trying & failing; trying & failing that we finally learn to give it to the God we’ve been praying so faithfully to.
If we can pass this tough and sometimes lonely test, then we CAN be joyful in hope. That means we make a conscious decision to not be upset or frustrated by the problem anymore. That doesn’t mean we have to stop working on it though. We just stop taking our failed attempts personally. We gave control of things to God, remember?
God will take our failed attempts and turn them into an even better way to conquer our struggle. Some times that involves following a different dream …or reacting in a different way. Ultimately, we trust God as we look for His direction.
We should never give up on what God has started. He can turn any seeming failure into a blessing for us. Sadly, this usually doesn’t happen at the precise moment we want it to. We just need to remember to be patient in affliction. We can’t get frustrated or upset with God if life is not progressing at the speed we want it to. We’re not in control. God is! He will work all things out…for us and for His glory.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41 10 (NIV)
Ever met someone who has been through a terrible ordeal? Yet they seem happy! Perhaps they have learned that having peace with God is the first step to living a fulfilling life. If we don’t think God would be pleased with our decision or actions, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate. Yes, we’re hurt & frustrated, but what alterations do we need to make to know that God has given our action His favor? God commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Doing good for others is one ‘sure-fire’ way we can hope for God’s favor…and it lifts OUR spirits in the process.
What do we do when we just can’t take it anymore? Do we get mad? Blame someone else? Do we feel like a victim? (Poor me!) It’s times like this we need to think of all the good things, the blessings in our life. Be grateful! That IS the best way for a needed change in perspective!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV).
Never forget the command of our opening scripture. Be faithful in prayer. It is still the most powerful force in the universe! It WILL change our perspective!
Things are tough. They’re really tough!
Help us remember all that Jesus went through for our sake. The physical pain…the emotional abandonment…endured without a word. So that we could spend eternity with Him! Is our struggle as bad as His? It sure feels like it sometimes.
Please give us a new perspective on what we’re suffering. If there’s something we need to do, give us the strength to do it…correctly. Help us to reach out to help others in our struggles. Helping others can make us realize we’re not alone.
And if we can’t do anything about it, help us do it for You.
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