Seasons of Suffering

A new season of Fall is well underway. The first “cold” front has hit and it seems relief from the 100 degree Texas heat is finally in sight. Some are saddened by another summer coming to a close. School is back in session, and the long lazy summer nights and mornings of sleeping in are over. As for me, I’m in more in a celebratory mood. The summer of 2016 has proven to be an especially hard one and I’m ready to close the door and kiss it goodbye! fall

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I’ve been pretty sick for the past four months. I also lost my precious grandmother in July. Relief from my health issue still hasn’t come, and getting over the death of my Grossemama still hurts, but I wanted to share some things I’ve learned form God along the way.

I’ve been lost, hurt and confused more in this last season of my life than any other time. And I thought I’d been through some hard things. The death of a loved one will rattle you like never before. It forces you to think about God, and Heaven in different ways. And if you’re anything like me, I was left with so many questions about God’s goodness and faithfulness, even in death. It’s kind of hard not to when you yourself are dealing with a physical ailment and the answers you’ve received aren’t enough and aren’t bringing relief.

But God promises peace in all occasions. John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God’s promise here seemed like a big joke to me when I realized I was dealing with something an antibiotic wasn’t going to take away. Peace was far from me and I was drowning in depression, fear, anxiety and hopelessness. It wasn’t until recently I realized that I was pushing away the peace God was offering me by choosing to not believe the things He said when this first started to happen to me. God promised me that He was going to take care of me, that a full healing was going to come my way, that this was His plan for me to bring back life to my heart and to redeem things that have been lost. He said I had nothing to fear because He is trustworthy.

There’s that word. Something I’m not comfortable with and haven’t been in a while. Trust. Even though He’s proven Himself trustworthy before for so many other things in my life, this one I’ve wrestled with. It just seemed too good to be true…there has to be a catch somewhere right?

(Before I go any further, I want to clarify that this was God’s promise to me in my unique situation. God has something He wants to say to you in your unique situations too, and His promises for you may look different. The only way to know what His promises are for you, is to ask Him for yourself.) 

Trust is a tricky thing with me. And for anyone else out there who has been hurt and had their trust broken, I’m sure it’s a touchy topic for you too. It wasn’t until a great conversation with my sweet husband that I gained the revelation I’ve been looking for. God gave me everything I needed when He first spoke into my situation. “Trust me”. There  is peace in trusting Him! It’s been there the whole time. I realized that I’m not in alignment with Him when I’m not believing what He told me in the first place.

So I decided to repent and ask God, change the way I think. I want to believe He is who He says He is and He’ll do what He says He’ll do. Another thing my husband said to me, “Everyone in this life will have seasons of suffering. But what sets Christians apart is the ability to have joy and peace in the middle of them. God hides joy and peace in every situation and it’s through a relationship with Him that we find them and gain His strength to keep going.”

A prayer for any of you who might find yourself in a season of suffering like I’m in. I pray that God reveals His joy, hope, peace and love to you in it. I pray that you hold on tightly to the promise He has
for you in your situation and that you believe He is who He says He is, and He will do what He said He’ll do. I pray you’ll grow closer to Him and get to know Him in new ways as you walk this out with Him. I pray that you will know and believe in your heart that He never leads you into places where He doesn’t have great things planned for you and new freedoms to claim.  And most of all, I pray you know He is good and you can have peace because He has overcome the world.

 

 

 

 

 

A Prayer and Declaration for Today

God,

Today I pray and declare, I am blessed by You. Restored by You. Redeemed by You. Loved and treasured by You. Full of hope and authority from You and with You. I have great things coming my way because my Father promised me and because He is good. I have unlimited resources FOR ME readily available right now. I have everything I need to be a co-laborer with Christ and to do the good works that He has prepared in advance for me to do.

Today, I will focus on my good good Father and the love He has for me and His people. Today I will ask Him to set others free. Today I will pray for breakthrough for all of my family and friends. For those He puts in my path and in my heart. Today I will see the goodness of the Lord in my life and the lives of others. Today I will recognize those things, call them forth into the lives of others and declare His works are alive and active.

He is the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. I know His works well in my life and in the lives of His people in this age and from before. I am confident of His good works in the future and beyond my generation and my children’s generation. I will remember His good gifts to me and I will talk about them with love and thanksgiving.

I am thankful for You God. You are faithful, full of life and love. The life and love You have are for ME. Today, I take my portion and thank You for giving me double.

Today I say to the world “He is good. His mercy, love, faithfulness, hope and good gifts are for all of His people. Won’t you join me in receiving?”

Today I declare Your goodness to all of the nations. What You have done, what You are doing and what You still have yet to do. I am thankful. I am proud to be Your daughter and proud to be seen with YOU. God, fill my heart with more of Your hope. Fill my mouth with praises and fill my life with more of of You.

Be blessed by me today Lord, in all the ways that I can. I want to serve You. I am thankful You call me friend. In our friendship, we have dreamed great dreams together. In our relationship we have come to know each other and I have come to understand my earthly limitations and how You designed me to be mighty and powerful and live beyond them with You.

Today, I accept what You chose to give me and pray for the opportunity to use it and give it all away. I am thankful for You God.

In Jesus’ name…Amen.

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