I am realizing that when we find ourselves living in our “reason”, it’s no wonder that we’ll face some opposition, some push back, some pain, some temptation…
I’ve been facing a lot of things over the last few weeks, and I’ve often to ran to the Lord saying, “Lord! What is this? I’m doing what You asked! Why are you allowing me to get so beat up like this? Why am I having to deal with so much pain? Why are you allowing this, won’t You take it away? You know, it sure does make it harder to do what I’m supposed to do when I’m having to deal with these things…”
But here is what I am discovering in my life…
More often than not, instead of “taking the pain away” the Lord instead builds in us, more strength to endure…
Here’s thought that’s easy and tempting to agree with: “Wouldn’t it be so much “easier” to do the things God calls us to do if we didn’t have to deal with pain, if we didn’t have to struggle?”
Yea, but what if the Lord is wanting to strengthen us, what if the Lord is wanting to teach us to depend on Him to get through things, what if the Lord is wanting us to teach us how to endure, I wonder how He would do this?
I am finding that more often than not, the Lord strengthens me to get “through it” rather than just taking it away.
“That’s not really what I’d prefer, you know, God?”
I am finding myself living in a moment-by-moment desperate dependance on God to strengthen me in my weakness, to deliver me when I am in pain, to remind me of who I am in Him…
Last night as I was in prayer time at the North Georgia Revival, the Lord showed me a few things, but one of them was this… after spending some time before Him, I sat back in my chair to look at the scripture and I was taken to Jeremiah 12 where Jeremiah asked God a question and God answered his question…
12 Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.
3 But You, O Lord, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”
The Lord Answers Jeremiah
5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?
6 For even your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called a multitude after you.
Do not believe them,
Even though they speak smooth words to you…”
I feel like these quotes really sum this passage up…
“If you complain about the simple things God has already asked you to do, then you lack the spiritual strength to do what he wants you to do next.” (Ryken)
“The effect of the questions must have been that of emphasizing the prophet’s sense of his own weakness, and thus driving him to yet completer dependence upon God.” (Morgan)
“God never calls us to content with horsemen, until He has trained us by the lesser strain of contending with footmen.” (Morgan)
Sometimes we have to learn to simply endure pain and struggle, for reasons we may not understand, but God has promised to be there with us in whatever we face, and He’s promised to give us the strength that we need to help us to endure. It’s all right there for us within our dependance upon the Lord. Everything that He allows is for a good reason, we can know that He’s always a good Father to His children –a Father who knows what we need for the life He has designed for us to live….. for Him. Not for ourselves, but for Him.
Isn’t it easy to slip into this way of thinking, “Well I deserve this, don’t I? I shouldn’t have to go through this, God…”
A lesson the Lord is taking me through is this…
“Stand firm. I will give you the strength you need to endure. You may not understand the “why” but trust that I am a good Father and I have a purpose for your life, and I am doing a work in you. There is a lesson in this…”
It’s not about me. I was never promised to not have to endure pain while serving the Lord on this earth. I was never promised that I wouldn’t have to deal with feeling tired and worn and beat down. I was promised that He would be my strength to endure, my peace and courage as I stand firm, that He would enable me the ability to “push through” so that I can be obedient.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“For you have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat…” – Jeremiah 25:4
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
When I am able to feel my weaknesses so deeply, I have no doubt where my strength comes from, I have no doubt where my hope comes from, I have no doubt that it is not me, but Him.
“He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence.” – Psalm 91:2
Thank you, Lord. ☀️Thank You for building in me, the endurance that You know I will need to build to be able to do whatever You have in store for my life. I may not understand any of it, but You do, and I trust You.