Encouragement for Today - Feb. 7, 2008
February 7, 2008
What is Real?
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 (NIV)
Has your trust ever been shattered by someone you love? Recently I was faced with a very unsettling situation. I was shocked when I learned of hidden sin that had spun its way into the life of someone I care about deeply.
For weeks, I pleaded with God on my knees for an explanation, for understanding, for clarity. My sense of reality had been threatened and betrayed. I desperately cried out, “What is real Lord; tell me what is real. Because what I thought was real may not be.”
I went to bed one night trying to make peace with the fact that maybe I was never supposed to understand this devastating circumstance. I had many questions, but few answers. I had many thoughts, but few explanations. When I awoke the next morning, during my quiet time, the Lord gently began to reveal some answers to my wounded heart.
I was reminded of my need for Him – my never-ending, all-consuming need for Him. Too often I find myself taking my eyes off Him and attempting to live difficult situations in my own strength. I was profoundly challenged by Colossians 3:1-2, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (NIV). Unfortunately, my focus had completely shifted to myself and my questions. And apart from God, my focus had become distorted.
I was reminded that I needed to continue to seek the Lord and patiently wait for what He had in store. Like Paul with his thorn, I too began to beg the Lord to take this hurt away. Make it disappear, Lord. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV). By admitting my frailty, God was able to affirm His strength in me.
And finally, He pointed me to what is real. He gently reminded me that He is real. My God is real. Though on this earth I will face many stressful situations, many disappointments, and many hurts, I know that my God is real and He will never leave me. I once again found loving comfort in the words from Moses to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (NIV). I knew I had to completely depend on God and believe in His goodness.
My assignment in this difficult circumstance was clear. The Lord was asking me to continue to pray, believe, trust, seek, wait, and focus on Him and Him alone. I am so thankful that nothing will ever separate me from His unfailing love. And THAT my friend is real.
Dear Lord, thank you for the life lessons you will teach me each day. Give me renewed strength as a wife and mother. Help me to continue to desire you and to seek you through each situation I will face. I want to completely depend on you God. I love you Lord, and I trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado
Because, Worship CD by Gwen Smith
She Speaks Conference June 2008 in
Pray honestly on your knees as you seek the Lord in times of trial and persecution.
Read your Bible and ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to learn.
What have you been learning through this particular issue?
Have you recorded your thoughts, prayers, emotions, struggles, and victories in a journal?
Have you experienced growth in your spiritual life as a result of a tragic circumstance? Can you help others going through similar situations?
Remember that God is real and that He loves you completely.
Romans 5:3, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” (NIV)
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105