There are times in life when things are happy and settled. One feels able to wake in the morning and progress through the day with joy. Things seem “right with the world.” My experience confirms that “the Lord is for me.” Then suddenly, something happens which shakes me deeply. My world and my spirit are shattered.
It could be something within my own heart that I am struggling with or something outside myself, like a close, intimate, friend turns away from me, or my child is seriously ill or injured, or a loved one dies. It could be that I am battling depression, facing a divorce, or my husband loses his job. Something comes into my life without warning, like the Old Testament’s Job. Satan attacks the loved ones of God and His creation.
Is there any help for me when suddenly it doesn’t feel like God is for me? When my emotions just found a new low place which I didn’t know existed? How can God be my ally when I feel so alone and rejected? How can I believe the Lord will never leave me when even my dearest earthly friend or mate has just turned away? Is God really on my side now? I need the truth of God’s word to stand on. What is the Lord doing and how can I keep trusting Him while my world is turning upside down?
Oswald Chambers wrote in the devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest. “There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.”
Reverend A. B. Simpson spoke of something similar. “The blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Leader, and our Resting-place. There are times when He presses us forward into prayer, into service, into suffering, into new experiences, new duties, new claims of faith, and hope, and love, but there are times when he arrests us in our activity and rests us under his overshadowing wing, and quiets us in the secret place of the most high, teaching us some new lessons, breathing into us some deeper strength or fullness, and then leading us on again, at his bidding alone.”
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Here is helpful counsel for my lowest places. First, remember God is still in control. Even though I am in a state of shock, the Lord is not surprised or taken off guard. He knew what was coming, even the very moment it would reach my life. His intention is only for my good. Just before telling us that “God is for us,” the writer of Romans explains and encourages us, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and to them who are called according to his purpose.” Our loving Lord knew our hearts would doubt and faint when troubles came, therefore He gave us these comforting assurances.
Next, whatever trials are intruding into my life, I must remember the Lord is still the same. He is unchangeable, ever constant. Fixed as the sun in heaven, even more so, as it will be one day destroyed. His love for me will never be any less than it is at this moment. God the Father is caring for me right now. Jesus Christ, my Savior, is praying for me to the Father, and the Holy Spirit indwells to comfort me. The relationship, friendship and oneness I have with Jesus is unchanged.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us…(for nothing) will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37,39 AMP
Remember too that even if everything in my life causes confusion and bewilderment, though I feel overwhelmed, I am continually kept. The psalmist testified to our position of strength when he wrote:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”’ – Psalm 91: 1-2 AMP
From a position of being totally loved and kept we can say:
“…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” – 1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV
“This is the victory… our faith.” – 1 John 5:4. NKJV
During World War II the “V for victory” movement swept over the conquered countries. The people who heard it were greatly encouraged to continue enduring their present trials because they anticipated that the victory would soon come. Faith is the one necessary ingredient – the essential response I need when life falls apart.
Where does faith come from? Do I just imagine it or psych myself up with pretend emotions which I do not feel at all? No. Rather,
“…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 NKJV
The more I can put myself in the position of seeing and hearing the word of God, the more my faith will be at rest. Read it, listen to it, write it, think about it, mediate upon it, pray it back to the Lord. Rehearse the gospel to your heart.
Oswald Chambers says, “If there is a shadow on His Fatherhood (Luke 11:11-13)… Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father— as if He were callous and indifferent— but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives…” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.”
Oh faithful and true Lord, God. You are the Lover of our souls. Please fill us with Your presence and Your grace to trust You, moment by moment, while we wait for the ultimate victory. Please enable us to keep seeking you in the midst of our pain and to know that nothing can separate us from your love. Thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
This article was originally published in Homeschooling Today Magazine. Subscribe today!