12 January 2017

When You Feel Like God's Not There Through Life's Storms

      Sometimes, our faith can become tested, all throughout life really. A lot of times I find that life circumstances or events are what makes us as humans question our faith. For some, sickness, tragedies, job loss, etc. will increase our faith in God and draw us closer to Him. But what about those who start to deter from God or lose a little or all of their faith in Him? The typical answer to life's tragedies and sin around us is, "we live in a fallen world". What if that statement is just not enough for those really hurting and not understanding why everything is falling apart in their life? I mean yes, we live in a world of sin and sometimes events happen in our lives that really throw us a curveball, ones that we just can't understand. And then as Christians, we cry out to God and ask Him repeatedly to please heal us, our broken hearts, our sickened bodies, our financial situations, etc. Weeks, and then months go by and things are either getting worse or staying the same and you just don't feel like God is listening to you, nor helping you at all. Where is the healing? Where is God? Why can't you feel His presence anymore? Has he deserted you and left you to fend for yourself?

     I see hurting people all around me. You can see it in their eyes, in their body movements and in the way they speak. I think sometimes people think that when you're a Christian you should have everything figured out and life should be just peachy and you should have no problems. Or when you have problems that you should always carry a smile on your face and work through them with joy. That's not always easy or the case. We are humans after all and we are full of different emotions and thoughts.

     Christians go through storms too. Christians can hurt and have their faith tested. So what makes it different for Christians to get through those storms? The answer is simple I guess... God. We have an anchor in Christ and can stand firm and confident with peace that surpasses all understanding. We just need to remember to turn to Him and let Him carry us through those storms. Psalm 23:4 says, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (NKJV). God doesn't say He will detour your way out of the valley, but rather that He is with you in the valley. He's going to stay with you, guide you and comfort you through that storm.

     God is in control of all things. His sovereignty means that He does not always do what we want, and He allows circumstances to happen even if we don't want them to. As humans, we tend to doubt. When we doubt God that means we think we know better, and that's just not the case. According to Mark M. Yarbrough at Christianity Today, "Our affliction is purposeful and passing, and although we may not be able to understand it, we must cling to God's goodness and follow the pattern of his Son". We have to put our whole trust in God and know that He is in control and that He will will be our comforter and friend through all life's circumstances and storms. Maybe healing is not in the plan, not until we part from this world and are forever in His presence in Heaven. We have to be okay with that, because He knows and is in control. His ways are better than ours.

     1 Peter 4:19 says, "Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator" (NKJV). Continue to pray and ask for healing if it is in His will. Ask for increased joy and to continue to be used by Him daily to make an impact on others lives. Ask to help your focus to be on the lost, co-workers, family members and friends around you and off of yourself. We are here but for a short period of time and each day presents opportunities to share the Gospel with others. As you are being used by Him, are in His word everyday, worship him (in your car, at home, in your prayer closet, etc.), and take the focus off of you, I think you'll ultimately be happier because you'll be drenched in His peace, love and mercy and will experience true joy.

     God is there with you. He's here. He will never leave you. He is the same as yesterday, today and forever and loves you more than human words could ever express. Don't turn from Him or doubt Him or lose an ounce of faith in Him. He will walk with you through the storm and no matter the outcome, you have a testimony, a story to share with others to help them through their storm.

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