God's Plans Will Stand
Why is Romans 8:28 Relevant?
Daily, I'm reminded that the promises of God shall come to pass, even if I don't see the results right away; and that "all things work together for good." (Romans 8:28 paraphrased). It's good news for those who love God, because as Christians, the Lord calls us to live on a mission - using the talents He gives us.
Some days are definitely not easy. They can be enough to make you want to curl up into a ball and shut out the world and any platitudes of God. But guess what? That's normal, because we are wired to feel emotions. Emotions are an indicator of our hearts, reminding us that just as we are capable of inflicting great pain on ourselves and others, we are also capable of bringing joy and happiness in the name of Jesus everywhere we go. It is prudent, then, to take a look at how we react to situations we face.
When Temptations Knock
It is so easy to be deceived by the Devil, who tells us we are unworthy and unloved. When things don't go our way, we feel victimized, and in turn are more likely to blame God, and stay mad at Him, or even worse - blame others, which in turn is an expression of how we do feel about God - even if subconsciously. The sad thing is, that vicious cycle is exactly what Satan desires each and every day in the lives of those who profess a faith in the Lord.
Standing strong is no joke. It's a physical and mental exercise of wills, honed only by putting on the armor of God. Accept the tests and trials, because they show us who we really are and what we're made of. They also teach us how to fully rely on God, who gives us strength. Help comes in His time, not ours, which is perhaps as equally difficult as accepting a "no" answer to a prayer.
For an impatient person such as myself, I am ever grateful that God is patient, kind, and loving. Because of His steadfastness, I can allow myself to fail and receive His grace to cover my shame when I mess up. Not that I'm off the hook, so to speak, because I am still accountable for every action and deed - rather, it's when I turn my sins over to the Lord and recognize where I've messed up that He equips me with what I need to keep going and not stay beaten down.
Giving Voice to Reason
Each day, we have a choice. Who do we listen to? God's truth, or Satan's lies? It's that simple. As life happens, we can go forward with the confidence that we are protected by the living God; He secures our steps, He hears our prayers, and He will provide blessings that no one can ever take away. We may not recognize said blessings at the time, or think that there are none to be found at all, but having faith means trusting God will use all our experiences for a higher cause. It might feel like punishment in not having a struggle we've prayed about taken away, but how we lived to overcome it anyway may be just what someone else needs to hear in order to get through that very same thing. There's no shame in feeling depressed, frustrated, or sad - Jesus Himself experienced those feelings, too, on the road to the Cross. He understands better than anyone who ever walked this Earth what it means to be whatever we may feel, and He calls out to us in compassion to still trust Him and lean on Him when times are hard. The more we walk with Him, the more we can separate ourselves from how we react, and look to the bigger picture of God's will to prevail.
Simple Ways to Beat the Blues
Are you still stuck in a rut? Here are a few things you can do to not lose hope in Christ, even during your darkest moments:
- Take a walk, while pouring your heart out to the Lord.
- Turn on your favorite music and sing along. Bonus points if it's faith-filled to remind you of how God feels about you.
- Spend time with your favorite people and do something fun together.
- Write in a journal or compose some form of art/music or work on your favorite hobby. Working with your hands in some way does wonders to distract your mind and restore your self-esteem.
- Watch a comedy. Laughter is the best medicine, and if you can still find something to laugh about, you help lessen the hold any negative feelings may have on you.