Someone asked C.S. Lewis, “Why do the righteous suffer?” “Why not?” he replied. “They’re the only ones who can take it.”
Indeed we are living in trying times. All people across the face of the earth are experiencing some kind of hardship in one way or the other. From the pandemic of the Corona virus, systemic racism, riots and protests that have emerge in our society. The bad news and troubles in life seem unending. In times of crisis like these we often become overwhelmed, troubled, restless and weak. In reflecting all of these issues surrounding, I have to this resolve that the crisis in our lives can produce two main outcomes either to (1) overcome us or (2)we overcome the crisis or it can either render us (1) weak, crushed, destroyed or (2) make us stronger, wiser and better. I believe strongly we all want the latter outcome which is to emerge out of the crisis as stronger, wiser and better.
Beloved it is important we note that God does not waste anything in our lives. Every bit of your life when committed to God is used to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. Every struggle we experience serves as a thread that is used to weave the beautiful tapestry of our life. During difficult times in the believer’s life, God builds, sanctifies and draws him or her closer to Himself in ways no other situation in life could have ever done. God’s will and purpose in times of difficulties is to make us stronger, wiser and better, and can only be fulfilled if we yield fully and wholly to Him. Here, I want to highlight three (3) keys ways that we can allow these challenging times to be used by God to make us emerge stronger.
Obedience to God’s Word and Will
In all of the accounts of men and women of faith in the Bible all their victories are linked to their obedience to God. Whenever God’s word is heeded the outcome is victory and when God’s word is disobeyed the outcome is calamity and destruction. David, God’s servant was fully aware of God’s ways and so set his mind to always seek God’s word before he embark on anything he did. At times when he will fail to do so the outcome was disastrous like counting the people against God’s will. God never leaves us nor forsakes us so in troubling times. He will speak and provide ways to sustain us in these times and if we will humbly listen and obey Him we will attain God’s victory.
2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:Deuteronomy 28:2 NKJV
Commit yourself to the Christian Disciplines
Imbibe or ingest God’s word, commit to prayer and fasting and do good always. These disciplines will strengthen your spirit, solidify the foundation of your faith, and also vanquish the deceptions of the enemy. Committing to Christian disciplines will fuel your spirit to withstand the toll of the hardships. The reason, God’s word instructs us to abide in Christian disciplines is also because it keeps us connected and in tune with God. God intervenes as we stay connected to Him to work out certain things in our life. God will prune, refine, renew and revive us when we commit to staying connected to Him.
and this woman was a widow [i]of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.Luke 2:37 NKJV
Never take your eyes off Jesus Christ
Keep your focus on the one who has made, saved and called you and trust that He is always faithful. As the songwriter says
And turn your eyes upon JesusChristian Hymn by Helen Howarth Lemmel
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
The horrific things that are putting fear in the hearts of people will all grow strangely dim and it will all be swallowed in God’s glory and grace.
Beloved in Christ if we continue to love God, trust in Him and have faith in Him in our times of suffering we will become stronger in these three (3) main aspects of our life:
Our faith in God will become stronger
No time in life gives you the divine opportunity to build your dependency on God than in times of crisis. When all other grounds are sinking sands, Christ Jesus become the solid rock on which we stand.
Our spirit will become stronger
As we abide in Him and He in us, we will be stronger through His strength and nothing can overcome us because greater is He in us than He that is in the world. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; – Ephesians 3:16 KJV
Our mind and heart will become stronger
Your heart and mind will be filled with the hope of God’s assurance, His word will be alive in your spirit and your focus will be clear as you have experienced the faithfulness of God.
Beloved in Christ, just as the 120 in the book of Acts stayed quarantined until they received the Holy Spirit, let us also use these times to wait upon the Lord. I believe the power of God which descended on the 120 on the day Pentecost will also fall on us after these troubling times are over. Dear one, please continue to set your mind and heart on God, and I believe as you do so, you will emerge out of this crisis stronger, better, and wiser than ever before. Be blessed, and always remember that Jesus Christ loves you.