One day I wrote someone with some encouragement I am strongly led to share with you now about the hard stuff in our lives which I believe we all experience at times to one degree or another. Some seem to go through harder stuff than imaginable for much if not most of their lives. Others a more moderate amount. Still others seemingly much less. But we all face challenges at one time or another, don’t we?
“I’ve been through many struggles and continue to, but through it all the Lord has brought me into a phenomenally blessed and fulfilling beautifully intimate and close personal relationship with Himself,” I wrote. “[He uses] the hard stuff to draw me ever closer to Himself, to grow me into His image, and to use me to help others on their life’s journey following Him…!” I finished.
Please don’t think the seasons of going through hard stuff in our lives are wasted time. Oh, they can be wasted if we don’t take advantage of the opportunities we have in the midst of it all.
But if we surrender ourselves totally to the Lord Jesus Christ, if we love and follow Him through it all, if we ask for the gift of His Holy Spirit and for fresh fillings of His Spirit, if we read the Bible and live by it, if we seek, hear, and obey Him, if we yield ourselves wholly to the Lord working in and through us, I believe with all my heart we will find the Lord doing powerful and beautiful and glorious things through it all.
What should we do? Humble ourselves, put our trust in Him, and keep following Him – moment by moment, step by step, breath by breath – forevermore!
I believe the hard seasons of our lives can indeed be wasted time as I can attest to this in my own story. For many years, going through seemingly endless struggles, I lived for self not Jesus. I lived according to the world’s ways not God’s ways. My heart and life were filled with complaining, self-pity, selfishness, self-centeredness, drama, chaos, ungodliness, anger, rage, bitterness, hurt, whining, dragging endless people into my drama and chaos, a hard heart, and on and on it went.
Today I am totally devoted to Jesus and to fulfilling God’s will for my life. When hard seasons come, and they most assuredly do, I do my best to not go back into my old ways and instead to put my trust in the Lord and faithfully follow Him forth.
Please, friend, don’t waste your hard times. Don’t waste your times of struggle. Cry out to the Lord for all you need from Him and seek with all your heart to love and follow Him with every ounce of your heart.
When we face hard times, let us be solidly founded on and grounded in the Lord who is love (1 John 4:8). Per the Bible, Jesus’ followers are to be “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). We are also to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2). We are to “believe” God’s love for us (1 John 4:16). We are to love the Lord with ALL our hearts. We are to love others as ourselves. (Mark 12:29-31). At all times, whether in our hard times or not, let us humbly yield ourselves wholly to the Lord and be thankful to Him as He lovingly and blessedly and mercifully leads us forth!
Oh, God, I never in a million years would have imagined you could take someone as hopeless, lost, and broken as I was for decades and today use me to help others go through the hard seasons of their lives. To you be all the glory. Please, God, help my readers to get through their hard times not in the wrong ungodly and unrighteous and selfish ways I once did but instead in the right way. Your way. Trusting in you, looking to you, seeking and receiving your love, grace, mercy, comfort, kindness, strength, power, wisdom, fellowship, etc. Oh, God, help us all through all the seasons of our lives – hard ones included – with you getting all the glory for the good you do in and through us as we walk forward down the pathway you set before us, hallelujah, AMEN!
Even as we go through our hard times, let us remember the Lord God almighty is the greatest – and perfect – source of love, healing, hope, joy, strength, wisdom, power, peace, and comfort! Amen!
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV