Not in My Own Time or Emotion
‘But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.”’ (Isaiah 43:1-3, NLT)
This past week, God has been revealing two things to me, and those are #1: Everything happens for a reason, and #2: NOTHING surprises God. If I am being honest, last week was the worst handful of days I’ve had in a long time. I faced a couple of really big trials and just like anyone else, I was experiencing a lot of confusion and anger. When things aren’t going our way or things happen in our lives we don’t understand, we tend to let that situation take hold of our joy. I will admit I did that for a while. I almost let the situations in my life win by letting myself become discouraged and wallowing in it, but then I realized something.
This may be a surprise to me right now, but to God it isn’t. In my eyes, I can’t see a reason for why this thing is happening to me, but God can see each way that these things I am facing will strengthen me and teach me for the next battle I face. I realized it’s not about what I see right now, but it’s all about having the choice to see through God's eyes. Once I recognized the fact that I can choose to sit at my level of understanding or Gods, I pursued God’s understanding full force. It was there that God revealed to me a third truth: how perfect his timing is. I know that these truths are all things we already know and have probably heard them a million times, but when you actually get to know these foundations of who God is in your heart, it is a ground-breaking revelation. Throughout this past week, God reminded me of these 3 things and then displayed them in what I was going through. I can tell you, even though my circumstances where rough, because of who God is and His love for me, I have never felt more filled up and valued. There is the power in not living a life defined by circumstances, but by God’s unwavering grace. This week, I came across today’s key verse and it really hit me: this obstacle I was going through was causing me to live in fear. By the way, if you haven’t heard by now, you need to know that fear is a liar! This verse SPECIFICALLY says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name;you are mine.” I mean, come on. God is literally telling us to not fear because He chose us, He loves us, and we are His! The God of this universe is saying to you right now, “I know that life gets hard and scary and things aren’t going the way you planned, but don’t be afraid, my child, because YOU are MINE!” Then He goes on to say that even if we are in the deepest of waters, He is with us. When we feel like our situations are going to swallow us up, we will not drown. And even if we walk through fire not a single flame will burn us. Now do me a favor and think for a second. I would say close your eyes, but if you did that you wouldn't be able to keep reading this. So just think about your circumstances for a second. How do they make you feel? Do you feel stable? Do you need help or peace or understanding? Where is your heart at? Okay, now that you have that in your mind, separate your life into two different piles: these are your circumstances and here is your God. Which would you like to define yourself by: The ebbs and flows of good and bad days or by the God that traded a country for you, that walks through fire and submerges Himself into the deepest of waters to save and encourage you? That is who He is not just to all of us, but specifically to you. I want to encourage you today. The things in your life may be confusing or overwhelming right now, but God is going through it with you. He is hurting with you, but he is also pulling you through. He has the strength and the resources we need and don’t have, but when we let Him, He empowers us with what He has. You have no reason to be scared today because you are seen by the Maker of Heaven and the Earth! You may feel invisible sometimes but know that you are completely known and loved by your Father, the one who walks through fire for you whether or not you have a father of your own who would do that for you. When you are facing financial issues, He is your provider. When you feel useless, He is your hands and feet, and when you feel blinded by sadness, He is your vision. Luke 12:7 (NIV) says “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Even when you feel like no one sees your suffering, you are seen by God. And when you feel no courage, remember: everything happens for a reason. nothing surprises God, and his timing is nothing short of perfect. Life may happen to you, but your Father holds time in his hands. You are going to be okay. More than that, you can be content and genuinely happy if you give Him the chance to change your situation.
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