And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
I have mentioned this more than once but I’m going to mention it again. Over the years I have learned to thank God for not just the good things but for the negative things in my life. I have learned to thank Him in spite of the negative, I guess we all have, but I have also learned to thank Him for it.
There have been times when I have asked God questions that started with “why” and “how long.” But I have been realizing in recent times, that I have needed to shift my focus to the reality that after all I’ve been through I am still standing. How many of us can say that? I think many, if not all of us can. We have been through trials and testings ... that’s a part of life we can never escape. But maybe more and more we need to remind ourselves that with everything that we have been through and continue to go through, God is there, He has never left us, He has never abandoned us.
It has taken me a long time, I admit, to fully understand and appreciate this verse: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The second part of that verse, “a very present help in trouble” has troubled me for years because I never felt it to be true. It seemed to me that God didn’t do anything right away to help me out and that I had to wait for a long period of time before help finally came. But recently, this week to be exact, God gave me a revelation of that verse that really blew my mind. I was having my private devotion with Him and He helped me finally see that He has been a present help all along. As I looked back over my life, I realized how blessed I have been and still am; how safe and secure I have been and still am in God’s loving care. He has NEVER left me nor forsaken me. He has always been and continues to be at my side.
But what you might ask prompted this sudden revelation? A book. I recently purchased the kindle version of a new book by Pastor Samuel Rodriguez entitled “From Survive to Thrive.” It’s one of the many books that in recent months I have felt God prompt me to purchase as I seek to grow and develop in Him. In a sub-section entitled “Prism of Pain,” the following words jumped out at me: “God wants you to know He has not forgotten you and your needs. Your Creator has carried you through the unimaginable trials of recent times in order to strengthen you, empower you and redirect your attention to what matters most. Through the power of Christ in you, you are not merely a survivor but a conqueror.” God has not called us to just survive through the trial, or bear with the pain, but He has called us to thrive and the word “thrive” has a few meanings – to flourish, to prosper, to develop well, to bloom, to blossom, to succeed... You get the picture.
As I read these words, God helped me put things in perspective. He helped me see that through every situation I have been through, He has been there. He has literally been sending help to me every step of the way through songs, sermons, movies, books, people, even the wonders in His creation have been sources of encouragement and motivation for me. Added to that are all the things He has been accomplishing in and through me, using me to bring inspiration, encouragement and hope to various lives. Guess what? That’s not just me, that’s all of us. Whenever we yield our problems, our situations to Him, He provides help and encouragement in so many ways and goes a step further and uses us, sometimes in the midst of our storm, to be a light and help to others.
Many times, we don’t even realize it but just because we can’t see His hand at work during our trials doesn’t mean he isn’t working. It just means we aren’t “seeing.” Remember that even at His weakest moment, Jesus asked God, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39 NASB). We would all like to blossom and bloom in the Lord without the pain, without the suffering, without the trials. But remember Jesus also said in the same verse, “yet not as I will, but as You will.” He knew that there was something greater on the other side of His suffering. We need to be reminded of that too.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Savior, I invite you to do that now. Suffering in this life is inevitable but in Christ you can be a part of discovering the greater blessings that God has in store for you on the other side of your pain.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.