FLURISH: HARD STUFF
How are you feeling today? Are you weighed down with a mass of junk? Are there things going on in your life that are difficult, even devastating? Are you just plain tired of dealing with problems?
Or perhaps it’s someone you love who experiences illness after illness or tragedy after tragedy? Seems never-ending and no light at the end of their tunnel of suffering. And you just don’t understand why?
I find myself in this situation even as I write. Several people I love are enduring ongoing hardships for years that seem to worsen every time I hear from them. I found myself numb before my GOD. Why Lord? YOU know these precious souls love You? Why all this pain?
How do you handle that kind of stuff? Some people get angry with God. Some fall into despair and later bitternes. Others slowly slide into the murky quagmire of depression. Are any of these things positive? Will they help improve the situation?
Remember the theme of FLURISH from John 10:10, “… the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” . Nothing positive there. The thief specializes in anger, hopelessness, bitterness and his favorite weapon, depression. Recognize these things as spiritual emotionally charged bombs ready to destroy your heart and eventually your body and life if you don’t take action.
Hard stuff is all around us. We live in a world of uncertainty, never knowing when the next calamity, the next “bomb” will present itself. If we want to FLURISH, we must filter each event that happens, everything we hear about, through the sovereign grid of our great GOD. Trust HIS words in John 10:10b, “… I am come to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Since HE reigns with absolute power and loves us unconditionally, HE already knows about each event that enters our lives and the lives of those we love. Our fallen world set in motion hardships for all of us figuratively and physically;
[“… For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45b New Living Translation.
BUT as children of God, Christ followers if you will, we have HIS promise to bring good even out of the HARD STUFF! HIS ultimate plan is to transform us to be like HIS perfect Son JESUS. To be one in closeness with us like they are is the height of FLURISHING. This pinnacle can only be realized when we reach the golden shores of Heaven. For now we are in process, preparing, learning, and growing. HE graciously turns our HARD STUFF into GOOD STUFF in the now as well as eternity!!
(See Romans 8:26-39).
SO in conclusion, what do we do when we are faced with HARD STUFF? Here are a few things I find helpful.
1. Pray for courage, it may be a rough ride. We’re not promised an easy road but we never travel alone. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God WILL be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 New International version
2. As always, ask for grace to withstand whatever you are facing.
Now believe He has given you that courage and grace to ask one more question of our all knowing God: “What can I learn through this experience?” What lessons are cloaked inside this pain? Remember, God can use even the HARD STUFF to bring ultimate good into our lives as we read in Romans. BELIEVE Him rather than what you feel. This is part of faith.
3. Now thank HIM for how HE plans to help you through the suffering and bring something awesome out of it!
4. Journal your journey and track His faithfulness to encourage yourself for whenever the next HARD STUFF hits. In time, when you learn to trust Him with your HARD STUFF the challenges won’t seem as horrible. Trust HIM and try it HIS way. See for yourself HIS words are true.
karan k 🙂