In the midst of deep pain thank God with your words even before you feel it in your heart.Dr. Charles Stanley
It’s easier to be grateful when you are at the peak of your success if you have answers to your questions, and if everything is going on your way but to be grateful amid adversity takes courage, patience, and faith. How to be hopeful when you are in a hopeless situation? How to be grateful when you are experiencing drought and emptiness? How to be faithful when everything falls apart?
Look to Jesus, focus on Him rather than the circumstances. I know how painful it is, how lonesome it is, how tiring it is, and how discouraging life is at times. Thus, we need Jesus every moment, we need His Word. The Bible reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18-23, “to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.“
Setting our mind in Jesus Christ rather than our circumstance will keep us continually aware that we are walking in His presence even if we don’t understand. Whatever God allows in our life, He promises to turn it for good. He promises to be with us and enable us, not to explain everything. Thus we need a leap of faith to trust His heart. God is too wise to be mistaken. And you know He will give us overwhelming peace that comes from our intimate relationship with Him.
Sometimes, it is His way to draw us closer to Him and trust Him fully that He is able. Surely the one who calls us is faithful and he will do it. It may be painful to let go of the plans and dreams we used to have, the things we thought were good for us, and our desires, but His ways are better than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Sometimes God destroys our plans because He knows it will destroy us. Sometimes God breaks us so He can complete us. Sometimes God seems so distant so we can seek Him. Sometimes God allows pain so He can heal us. Sometimes God removes everything so we will realize He’s the only One we desperately need the most. Sometimes He rips our dreams and plans because His dreams are better and bigger. And you gonna thank Him even it doesn’t makes sense yet.
Others might have good plans for us even ourselves but God’s plan and desires are better than anyone’s. I was reading Jeremiah yesterday and God asked him to send a letter to the exiles. Jeremiah 29:10-13 says, ”This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah wrote these remarks in a letter to Babylonian captives. Imagine they were imprisoned, enduring constraints and misery, and how difficult it would be to believe these words under such circumstances. The prophet had previously counseled them to build houses, form families, and live peacefully there until the Lord called them back at the end of seventy years. But the Lord assured them that He would plant them in their own land again in due time.
When I was reading these yesterday, reminded me once again that God’s intentions for His children are not to harm, but to prosper and give us hope and a future.. Charles Spurgeon said on his commentary, “The Lord not only thinks of you, but towards you. His thoughts are all drifting your way. This is the way the south wind of his thoughts of peace is moving: it is towards you. The Lord never forgets his own, for he has graven them upon the palms of his hands.”
Perhaps you’re like me at times, pleading with God for hints and answers as we pursue His path and His ways, but most of the time it’s hazy and uncertain. But I assure you His Word is more than enough, and it’s far better to trust His heart. Thus, even though we don’t know what’s next, we may still rejoice in the Lord and praise Him if we take one small step of faith each day,persevere and surrender until He make it clear.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,Isaiah 55:8-9
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.