Life is hard. We all know it, and there’s no way of getting around it. Becoming a Christian is a not a “get out of the hard life free” card. In fact, it can seem like everything in the world is attacking when you dive deeper into a relationship with Jesus.
This post is running a day late because life got hard. I’m battling illnesses that cause me to be exhausted, dizzy, and in pain. No, I’m not trying to one-up anyone here. It’s not like I have some terminal illness or life threatening disease. But what I do have is complicated, uncommon, and really annoying because it is difficult to manage.
But this is life. We all have struggles, whether it be health-wise, financial, emotional, or relational (or sometimes a dreaded combination of these). These are the thorns of the flesh that Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 12, and they either hinder our relationship with God or take us to new heights in our walk with Him.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV)
For the longest time my struggles hindered me. I grew depressed and hopeless, even when I became a Christian. And even though I still get beaten down, I find that I rise again–stronger than before. This isn’t because of anything I have learned or done, but by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
I am blessed to be surrounded by the prayers and encouragement of my family and friends. I serve a wonderful church that cares deeply about the well-being of others, and for this I am grateful.
Even though I tend to get sick of being sick, I am even thankful for my illness and the trials I have faced. Without them I might not have realized my need for God. I might not have become a youth leader. I might not even be a blogger!
I’ve been forced to slow down and spend more time with the Lord, writing for His glory. I know I depend on Him for my strength.
Beckie Lindsey, a wonderful woman of God and blogger at Spotlight, kindly allowed me to share with you a quote she made on one of her posts on prayer and faith.
No one escapes hardships. What’s important is how we respond to them. —Beckie Lindsey
This is the secret to faith. This is how we go through the hardships of life and come of them as more than conquerors. We can’t control everything that comes our way, but we can rest in the God who is in control of all things. We can rest in His promises that Jesus is with us always (Matthew 28:20).
We can count it all joy when we face our trials and temptations because it means that God is allowing us to grow. Lean on Him and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you. You may feel like everything in life is out of your control–but fear not–God’s got you.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3 NIV).
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