I suffer from spiritual amnesia. This means that I’ve received many answers to prayer in my life, but, unfortunately, I have a tendency to forget God’s faithfulness as soon another trial comes my way. I’m enduring one of the greatest hardships of my entire life, and this time I’ve made a promise to my Savior. I will cling to the truth of His fidelity towards me. I will remember what He’s done, and praise Him for what I know He will do.
Here are 10 truths about God to cling to when life is hard:
1. What He did for the patriarchs, He will do for you.
We often tend to forget the people we read about were real, flesh and blood, living, breathing humans. We open up the Bible and see the whole picture of what happened in the story of their lives, completely forgetting they actual lived out those events.
God gave them promises, and they worked through a myriad of emotions and shortcomings until they finally received each one the Almighty spoke. God’s promises did not end with the patriarchs. Their lives are reminders of what He’s done, is doing, and will do. Open up the word and read it. Get excited! He wants to work in your life! (See Philippians 4:19)
2. There is nothing new under the sun.
Every hardship we face in life has already been lived by someone else. It’s entirely possible they’ve dealt with their grief a whole lot better. In my own experience with crisis, when I allow myself to slip into “spiritual amnesia,” I set myself back in the healing process.
It’s important to awaken every single day to the realization that you aren’t the first one to suffer your situation. There is so much promise in knowing that! Others have lived through the same trauma. They’ve not only lived through it, they’ve been victorious inside the storm. You have that same hope! (See Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)
3. You are not alone.
Throughout my years of ministry, I’ve tried to be as honest as possible about what’s going on in my heart. I don’t think it does anyone any good to put on a mask. Yes, there are times I don’t want others to know the depth of my pain, but for the most part I work to be as real as I can.
This gives people opportunity to help me through their experiences. It also allows me to help others through my own grief. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard women say, “I thought I was the only one.” I’m convinced that’s a tactic from the enemy. He doesn’t want us to feel like we have community in crisis. Regardless of how you feel, please remember you are not alone! (See Deuteronomy 31:6 and Matthew 28:20)
4. There is no condemnation in Christ.
Guilt is an ugly monster. It whispers lies saying something could have been done differently to manipulate the outcome. It keeps us awake at night wishing we could turn back the clock or have more control. In reality, guilt tricks us into depending on our own abilities rather than God’s. Paul said, “There is no condemnation in Christ.” We don’t have to be weighed down by what we could have done or changed. Instead, the load can be lighter. We have freedom in Christ when we give Him our pain by relinquishing control. (See Romans 8:1)
5. You weren’t born to carry your own burdens.
We are often shaped by hardship, but there is transformation within it leading us straight to our Savior. I have this passion to scream from the mountaintops that every person was born for purpose. There is so much to the intricacy of who we are that is connected to who we are meant to become in Christ. Carrying burdens beyond our ability only slows us down in the process of healing and wholeness.
I know giving our burdens to Jesus is not easy. We have a tendency to take them back right after handing them over. Or, we only unpack a little at a time rather than give over the entire weight. It’s a daily fight! However, it’s a fight you can win! Commit within yourself to allow God to keep the burden. He’s the only one strong enough to carry it. Cast your cares on Him! (See Isaiah 41:13 and 1 Peter 5:6-7)
6. Hope is a reality.
The hope of Christ is responsible for my survival. I’m convinced I wouldn’t make it one day without it. I’ve searched for God through my own devastation, and if there’s anything I know for sure, it’s that hope lives in His breath. From the very first verse in the Bible we can find hope.
The very breath that spoke light into the universe, speaks light into our souls. He brightens the dark with everything He’s done and will do.
There’s an old saying, “Where there is life there is hope.” I don’t know who originally spoke those words, but I do know this: God is alive. He always has been and always will be. There is no beginning and no end to His faithfulness. Because of His life, there is always hope. When we serve Christ, hope is a reality. (See 1 Peter 1:3-6 and Genesis 1:3)
7. No one knows you, or what you need, better than the One who created you.
Thousands of years ago, lived a young man named Jeremiah. God chose Him for tougher work than we will ever understand. Even Jeremiah didn’t think he was a good candidate for the job. God told Jeremiah that before he was ever in his mother’s womb He knew everything about him, including the purpose he was created to fulfill. God believes in us more than we could ever believe in ourselves.
He has a great reason: He’s the one who knows what we were born to do with our time here. He made us for a specific task. You never have to worry about what you need in light of hardship. God already knows. He’s aware of details about your life in which even you aren’t privy. Isn’t that a beautiful truth? (See Jeremiah 1:5)
8. You were created for community.
Sometimes mending requires faithful menders. That means God sends people into our lives to be His hands and feet. They help sew our frayed edges. When we read scripture, we have ability to learn about all kinds of great duos. Yes, specific leaders were needed, but those leaders had people to help them. No one does kingdom work alone. When God created you, specific placement was intended for your life.
You were located near people meant to build you up and support your ministry, people who would both laugh and cry with you. He gave you friends to help you heal. God created you for relationship, even when you don’t feel like it. (See 2 Kings 2:2)
9. God sees you.
When hard times come and the winds rage in hurricane fashion, it’s easy to feel invisible. Through my own grief, feeling unseen or overlooked is pretty much a consistent battle. I force myself to trust in El Roi – the God who sees me.
Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah) made a bad decision. It seemed Sarai’s maid, Hagar, would pay the price, but an angel of the Lord found her. In that moment, not only did Hagar recognize God saw her, but she admitted that she saw Him.
I think that’s my favorite part of this particular story. The God who sees us provides opportunity for us to see Him. It’s important to cling to trust in knowing He always sees us. It’s doubly important to pray that our eyes will be opened to see Him. When you seek Him, you’ll find Him. (See Genesis 16:13-14 and Jeremiah 29:13)
10. The One, who is Love, loves you.
The very definition of our God is love. Isn’t it amazing to think that God, who holds the whole world and everything in it, loves us? We can’t live through hardship based on feelings, but we can live through hardship based on truth! The Bible says that God is love. The Bible is truth.
This means that love made you. You are loved. I understand it’s easy to feel unloved when living wide awake through pain, but truth says Jesus went to the cross in love to preserve love. He made sure that victory could be yours, and friend, it is! No matter how you feel, you are so loved.
Jesus died to take away your pain. Push away what you feel and cling to what is true. You were made from love, in love, to be loved, and to give love in return. You are capable of battling any evil trying to tell you differently! Victory is yours, and you are loved! (See 1 John 4:8)
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