You know those times when it doesn’t just rain, it pours? The times where not just one or two things go wrong, but everything seems to go wrong? We try. Things fall apart. We try harder. More things fall apart. It can throw us into desperation, frustration, and sometimes depression. And while some might say all of this means you’re going down the wrong road, and you need to try something different or go in a different direction, I say it may very well mean you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
When we live life for ourselves, and focus on our own needs and wants, things are generally pretty good. But when we start to seek His will, begin to focus on where He wants us, do what He’s called us to do, that’s when we often find roadblocks and hardships. Seems backward, right?
If it’s His plan for us, why is it so hard?
The Bible Warns us. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12 Sounds like fun! Where do I sign up? LOL. It’s a common misconception that once you become a Christian, life is easy peasy. It’s not. In fact, people who seek God honestly and humbly will experience hardships. But trust Him. His plan is perfect and if you keep going, the reward far outweighs any earthly hardship you’ll endure.
The enemy attacks. If you’re targeted by the enemy, congratulations! No, really. I’m serious. It means you’re about to make a difference. It means you’re on the path to furthering the kingdom of God. It means that you’re allowing God to use you. That is AMAZING! Well, it’s amazing to everyone but the enemy. He doesn’t like it so much. It’s never fun to be in the middle of a spiritual war. But, in one, we are. When he’s attacking you, respond with scripture the way Jesus did. It is written. God keeps His promises. No matter what lies the enemy is telling you. No matter what doubt he tries to plant in you. It is written. The spirit dwells inside of you. Respond with the words of our Lord. The enemy is powerless against them.
He’s teaching us to rely on Him. I’ve talked about this before in When Life Is More Than You Can Handle. We try to handle things ourselves. We’ve got this. He’s only God – creator of the universe, the one who knit me in my mother’s womb, but I’ve got this. I can handle this. Oh, but it’s always pride before the fall, isn’t it? The truth is, we do need Him. We just forget how much we need Him. Be humble, or He will humble you.
Some of you are kind of freaked out right now, right? None of this sounds fun at all. Well, hardships are never fun. Trust me. I’ve got a lot of them right now. And just when I think I can’t take anything else, when I think that God has somehow forgotten about me, or wonder if my efforts are making any difference at all, someone will reach out and tell me how my words have helped them. They’ll say things like “I really needed to read that today” or “you have no idea how much your blog means to me” or “you inspired me to go back to church”. Now, while these messages touch me and make me so happy, I know it’s not me. It’s all God. He is speaking to these people through me. It is the most incredible, humbling thing I’ve ever felt.
The truth is, when you’re living for yourself, and not seeking God’s will, you aren’t fulfilling your purpose. That will leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied. God has a plan for your life. And while the attacks aren’t fun, I’ll let you in on a little secret: God wins. It is written. I have read it. He has promised.
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12
And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28