It’s time for reflection. At least for me. I have been challenged lately on where I place my trust and my hope. Even today, it’s been one of those days where I felt since very early this morning that I would have to make a critical choice. That choice was to give in and give up or to run to God. Have you ever had a time where you felt like giving in or giving up? This morning I did. What broke my desperation was prayer. Before I left for work today, I grabbed the hands of my wife, and we began to pray. I felt that my life’s work was doing what “the man” wanted me to do. Just pay “the man” and I’d be ok. But thinking that way made me weep. I felt alone and empty. If I was just going to do what “the man” wanted me to do, I knew I would fail. The power of God to deliver, and the power of prayer, saved me this morning. I cried out not knowing where to place my hope and God answered me. God used our time in prayer to meet with us, have fellowship with us, and to have family time.
When we think it’s better to give in or give up, our perspective is flawed. We become frustrated and slowly we begin to die. We suffer and the pain is real. I will tell you that as I wept the pain was real. The pain was deep. Thanks be to God that I was lifted from the miry clay. Hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ and His promise to be one with Him is hope forevermore.
We can be restored to right thinking by the power and promises of God’s Word. We can have a divine perspective rather than a worldly perspective. We can have divine assistance when we need it instead of feeling helpless. Divine assurance comes from knowing God has a purpose and a plan for each of us that is unique to us. And we don’t have to worry about how we’re going to get through what troubles us. We have divine power available to us in the promises of His Word. (Read Romans 8:31-39)
We are called to share in the sufferings of Christ to share in His glory. Suffering does not mean that God does not love us. What I felt in my heart today did not mean that God was ignoring me; that He forgot me. What I felt in my heart drove me to His unconditional and everlasting love. I learned today that some days my circumstances and physical condition will feel out of balance. I will even feel alone and hopeless. The demands will seem far greater than my own strength. But listen, please… Even if I would have not chosen to pray, but rather give in and give up, God still would not have rejected me. You see, through it all, the Holy Spirit was interceding for me on my behalf. We can turn to God at any point and He will help us crawl out of the discouragement and into His strength.
There is no comparison to the suffering we will endure in Christ and the glory that awaits us. Remember, your renewing is coming. Your hope is coming. Your newness is coming. I may be old, but in the end I will be new. And so will you. I hope my experience today has helped you understand that with God we have hope.
Friend, let me encourage you, if you are experiencing suffering… hang on. God loves you and there is a future glory that will far outweigh what you are going through. Know that you are not alone, but the Holy Spirit helps in weakness and is ever interceding for you. Know that God is working and has a plan to turn this evil for good! And know that God has the power to keep you, to strengthen you, to forgive you, and to empower you to conquer even the most difficult circumstance. To experience the magnitude of God’s promises and the future hope that awaits you, take time to listen to a powerful message from Pastor Aaron Taylor entitled Promises for Today, Hope for Tomorrow. You can find it by going to http://painesvilleag.com/a-study-in-romans