It’s a wonder sometimes how we can even rise and face another day with the busyness and struggles of this not so simple, American life. Every day seems to carry with it a new set of problems and reasons to be concerned for our own wellbeing, as well as that of our families and all of those that we care about and love, we are undoubtedly living in perilous, unpredictable times. While just being a member of the human race makes one susceptible to all kinds of unpleasantries, being a christian in a volatile and somewhat hostile world only increases our need for strength to face the new challenges and trials that lie ahead of us each day and season of life, a strength that is not of this world, nor is it given or received by seeking the things of this world, but it’s a strength that can only come by daily seeking the one true God and laying all of these burdens and concerns in His capable, loving hands. He is good and regardless of the reason why we face these troubled times and seasons in our lives, Jesus will not fail us when we lean to Him for the strength to overcome.
I have personally come through a very difficult 2016, but at the same time, a very personally freeing one for me as well. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have grown in areas that I needed to grow in; trust in God when I completely don’t understand His ways being one of them. I’ve learned that through the tough things, the heartbreaking things, and the confusing things, our God is always present, but like a good Father, He doesn’t always immediately remove us from those tough circumstances and trials, even though we cry out day and night to Him to do so and bring His Word and promises over our lives before Him continually. He does however always, unfailingly answer those cries, but within the timeframe of His wisdom. There is no wasted tear and no wasted sleepless night in prayer, when you truly belong to Jesus.
It’s within those trials and tribulations of our day to day lives where we learn what we’re really made of in the inward man. We find out the level of trust we have in God and His Word and the level of confidence we place in ourselves and others and sadly, we learn that we sometimes believe that satan is greater to destroy than God is to build, but through it all, we also learn that our enemies aren’t greater than our God and that our God is always greater than our hearts. I came to see during the course of this last year, that God was moving more in my life to fulfill His Word, when all I could feel was the enemy moving against me. It was also in this year that I entered the beginning of a prophetic word coming to pass that I’d received from the Lord several years earlier while driving my car (I had to pull over because of His Presence) and a great healing has begun in my physical body, which was the precursor of the Lords preparation for me for something He’s called me to do in my life. All of this was taking place during a very hard season when the Holy Spirit was going in and healing parts of my heart that needed it, as well as releasing me from past assignments and hopes, so that I could embrace and accept the change that is coming. It all has a purpose when we’ve placed our hopes, trust and hearts into the hands of our Father.
Now, I can’t say that I’m never sad about the outcome of some of these trials because some things are lost during these times, but it’s never without the Lords foreknowledge and plan of redemption. His Word encourages us to consider the sufferings of Job and the END INTENDED by the Lord. Sometimes what we lose is not a loss (although it feels like it is) but a way for God to make room in our hearts and minds to receive something greater to come, something that will display His Glory and restoration of hope in our lives, as well as giving us a testimony of His goodness and His mercy. I know it sometimes feels like we’re going to die when our hearts are being torn and tossed by these winds of change and trial, but I can attest to you that God can carry you in His strength and recover your heart from the most broken and devastated places we may experience. The key is letting patience have it’s perfect work in you and allowing the potter to shape the clay according to His will and not our own. Let Him work the deeper work in you, because through all of the pain, He is near to the brokenhearted and heals all of our wounds when we let Him into those areas of our lives.
There was a time when all I could feel was the deep loss of what I loved, loss of what I’d hoped would be and it was devastating to my heart but really what God was doing was preparing me mentally and spiritually, so that I could see that His wisdom is far greater than anything I could ever ask for or imagine. He is doing what He’s promised even though it looks like those promises were dying or I was being asked to let go of my hopes for a season, He was and is still working His will according to His perfect purpose in Christ.
I don’t know exactly what I’m being prepared to embrace or what changes I’m going to be walking into, but I do know that it’s on the horizon and that my personal trials over this last year have been preparing me to step into that place of fulfillment and an amazing testimony of His grace. I still walk in the unknown in so many areas of my life, I still have many reasons to be concerned and even fearful and many opportunities to let worry consume me, but I’ve grown deeper in my trust in God and I’m much, much less into what I can or can’t do in my own strength. He is my sole provider and the strength of my life. It’s so much more pleasant to focus upon what God can do, than on what my enemy can prevent or stop in my life, he’s only a tool used to forge the way at times, but he’s not the author nor the finisher of my faith. I know the Lord has my back until the End, when we walk together into eternity and my race is complete.
Like Joseph, he walked through many trials of his heart (betrayal, rejection and false accusation) and even of his integrity, though he was completely innocent. Many of the things that were day to day struggles in his life, were all just a part of the Fathers divine preparation and plan for Him to walk into a place of victory, redemption, vindication and triumph and this is also the Fathers heart and plan for us as we walk day to day in Christ, learning to trust His work in our lives when we don’t understand it and learning to trust His ability and His strength in us, to bring us to the right place at the right time, to accomplish His purpose for our lives.
May God bless us all in this new year of 2017. My hope and desire for all of us, is to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that in Him, we would find a renewed sense of expectation and hope.
Midnight Oil Ministries