A Devotion by Cheryl Zelenka http://facingtrials.com
It seems like overwhelming circumstances enjoy a grand entrance. Calamity doesn’t care about being convenient or whether she fits into our daily schedule. In fact, inopportune moments are her favorite time to appear.
Therefore, it is no surprise that these unexpected situations and times of affliction stop many of us dead in our tracks. Some of us will need a mere moment to catch our breath and remind ourselves to focus on God and not our crazy circumstances. The wind may have been knocked out of us, but we pick ourselves up and stand because our gaze remains heaven bent.
But for others, their trauma may be so great and their pain so overwhelming, years will pass before they are able to look back up into the eyes of God and once again stand. The wind was not only knocked out of these suffering souls, but their faith was challenged. Trust in a loving God was questioned and doubt hampered their healing process. Deciding to once again continue on in their spiritual race is monumental.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
So, when a sudden calamity comes your way does confusion and fear stand in the forefront of your mind? There is a difference between the emotional feelings experienced due to an overwhelming or sudden hardship and the confusion found inside chaos and fear. We are told that, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
If fear is overwhelming you as you face your struggle, toss it aside. Fear will torment you only for as long as you let it rule your heart and mind. The Shepherd does not want His sheep exhausted and overwhelmed with anxiety. Furthermore, fear hinders your ability to hear His voice and follow His leading. Remember, Jesus Christ is the PRINCE OF PEACE, not fear!
Standing back up after adversity has knocked us sideways requires perseverance. It also requires a clear head. We are told to cast off every thought that goes against the knowledge of God. If we are questioning the love of God, we need only to remember the loving sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
Your trial will refine you. Your struggle and pain will teach you many things. Gems of wisdom and knowledge are laying at your feet, so pick them up and continue on in your journey. Don’t let confusion and fear hinder your purpose in this life. Take every one of your thoughts captive and run the race set before you with endurance and the blessed peace of Christ Jesus.
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV)
“’I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’” Isaiah 45:7 (NKJV)
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