When things are good and all is well, life is just a great big bowl of cherries. Sure, there are always the little things and the challenges in life, but when life is SMOOTH and things are rosy, it just makes everything so...sweet.
Enter in a BIG challenge. Like, something REALLY big. Maybe an illness. Or financial problems. Family issues or the breakup of your marriage. Drug or alcohol addictions in your family. A friend dies or you're diagnosed with cancer. You lose your job or your home or your security. A car wreck cripples you or your spouse passes away.
Basically, life just doesn't seem so sweet when the REALLY big issues enter into our lives. The sweetness goes away and in its place is sourness that just seems to penetrate every part of your life.
It's during times like this in life that I'm acutely aware of my need and dependence on God. We all have the big issues face us at one time or another, and when they do, the people that seem to get through these types of challenges in life with strength and courage are the people who surrender everything over to God through prayer, faith and trust. The people who have a REAL, living, breathing relationship with God seem to BECOME stronger and somehow, in a good way, better through it all.
Going through the big challenges in life are true faith and trust builders. I mean, when life is great and all is well it just doesn't seem that we have much opportunity to work our faith and trust muscles much, does it?
The hard times in life are often golden nuggets of opportunity to draw close to God and it's during the difficult times that God can really, truly build our character. Turning TO God is how we learn to "cast our cares" on Him...even when the situation seems dismal, He call us to continue to trust Him: "cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" 1Peter 5:7.
Even when your entire world seems to be falling apart, God can keep you together and give a sense of peace that doesn't even seem possible: "The Lord is near, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". Philippians 4:5-7.
At times of seemingly unanswered prayer, God STILL tells us to trust him, with, yes, BLIND FAITH (to walk by faith, not by sight). He will continue to give us a peace of mind that will strengthen us even in the gravest of situations. But this "blind faith" is not blind, because we can TRUST in the INTEGRITY of God...in the integrity of His character and deep, unchanging love for us: "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3.
During the most difficult of times when we pray and our prayers are left "unanswered" for a time or with an answer opposite of what we think is best for us, God is right there in the midst of it with us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He loves us and is willing to let us suffer what might seem a horrible time now so that we can experience something better later.
God is working with me in a difficult time right now and as I walk by faith and not by sight, I can tell you and share with you that I have never in my life felt His presence more than I do today. I praise God for His wisdom and for His love and His faithfulness. What I share here on my blog is not ever something that I think sounds good...it's always something that I've experienced and share out of the love God has provided. May you too walk by faith and not by sight. God is GOOD!
"Trust in Him at all times, o people. Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge to us." Psalm 62:8.