It’s normal to complain when life doesn’t go the way we expect.
But what if it’s not supposed to…
In Henry Blackaby’s Bible Study, Experiencing God. He talks about the way we often make plans and then get upset when God doesn’t seem to cooperate and facilitate. He encourages readers to watch and learn what God is doing around them and to get involved in what He is doing rather than expecting Him to bring success to their goals and agenda.
I’ve been thinking about the difference it might make in my life if I spent more time asking God to reveal His plans and purposes rather than asking Him to help me accomplish mine.
What if you and I willingly surrendered everything to the Lord, offering Him the sacrifice of our desires, hopes, and dreams for the future . . . humbly following where He leads.
I’ll admit, that’s what my head and heart want to do but when it comes to my follow-through, I lean towards independence and selfishness. And I’m wondering if that’s because deep down I don’t trust Him enough.
I want my life to be easy and problem-free . . . but God’s plans and purposes for me don’t always work that way.
Do you remember what God told Ananias to say to Paul following the Damascus conversion?
The Lord told Ananias, “Go! I’ve chosen this man to bring my name to nations, to kings, and to the people of Israel. I’ll show him how much he has to suffer for the sake of my name.”Acts 9:15–16 (GW)
Can you imagine what Paul must have thought when he heard those words?
Yet, look at what Paul wrote later in his life:
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.Romans 8:18
For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.2 Corinthians 12:10
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?
We cry out “why” when suffering happens. But God uses people who have suffered to help and encourage those who are suffering?
When people who have suffered share God’s love with strength, God is glorified, our faith is strengthened, and our hope restored.
When life isn’t going the way we planned—when we’re suffering . . . it’s time to run to Jesus. To prayerfully ask Him to give us strength and to help us use our stories for His glory.
A Prayer Asking God to Give What
is Needed When You are Suffering
Lord Jesus, Paul was transformed by Your presence and voice . . . so much so that even when he was told that serving You would result in his suffering, he was undeterred. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and more all because he boldly shared the truth of Your love.
I whine and worry when You say “no” or “not now” to my plans and desires. I want smooth paths and easy days. I tell you that I want to live completely surrendered to Your will but I don’t want that to include suffering. “Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” Remove my doubt and help me trust that You will give me everything I need even when suffering comes my way.
And Lord, please use my story for Your glory. May I tell the world about Your grace, mercy, and love and proclaim that You are able to give strength, courage, peace, hope, and whatever else is needed on days of comfort and on days of suffering. I love you! I thank and praise You. I give myself to You. Amen.
It’s easier to write about happy moments and joy-filled days but when we look around, it’s clear to see that suffering is part of life here on earth.
But we are not alone:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
We have the blessing of God’s broader perspective:
In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever! Amen.1 Peter 5:10–11
May God be with you, uphold you, restore, support, and strengthen you today and always.
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