When Life Makes You Want To Run From Jesus!

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Photo Credit: the Soul Doctor

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, Duet 31:6.

The words of Deuteronomy 31:6 are so comforting to my soul. I don’t know about you, but life has dealt me some challenging circumstances. In hard and challenging seasons one of the greatest temptations presented to us is to run from God instead of to Him.

The enemy of our souls whispers,

“If God loved you, your life wouldn’t be this way.”

“If God were so good, then why aren’t your prayers being answered?”

“If God cared about you, your circumstances would be better.”

“Look God’s blessing everyone but you!”

The problem with the whispers of the enemy is that he’s a liar. God’s goodness and love are not determined by our circumstances. Love is who He is. Goodness is an attribute of His character.

Another great truth is:

Jesus already overcame the world and our greatest enemy death!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

When God Doesn’t Remove Your Challenges:

God doesn’t remove every challenge from our lives. Why? I can’t answer for everyone. I can only give you some insight from scripture and my own life.

1. Delay isn’t always denial. Sometimes the manifestation of our prayer requests or God’s promises don’t immediately surface. Think Abraham and Sarah, Hannah, Mary and Martha for Lazarus…the answer to their prayers didn’t immediately surface. God’s timing isn’t always our timing.

2. God’s no runs deeper than what we see on the surface. We see in part and know in part. God sees every detail and though it hurts at times, we have the choice to trust Him or not trust Him.

3. God promises to never leave us in the midst of challenging circumstances. The greatest intimate moments I’ve had with God have been during seasons of great pain. Jesus was the only One I felt safe enough to talk to or confide in, and He’s safe. Also, Jesus doesn’t mind our tears! He isn’t put off by brokenness, pain, or the hurting. He’s not too busy or too important in His own eyes to reach low to raise us up high.

4. We forget we have a very busy adversary. He’s not more powerful than God; He’s still busy. He can’t steal your salvation. He can try to discourage, oppress, and harass you. I heard a respected pastor say, “If you never face any opposition, you may not be following Jesus.”

The enemy has been defeated, it’s our responsibility to recognize he’s not bigger or more powerful than God, yet he attempts to bully those God loves.

5. Some trials produce perseverance. Some, not all. I don’t like when people take every situation and say, “God is teaching you something.” Yes, God is big and strong enough to take any situation and use it. I don’t believe He authors every situation to teach us something. We live in a sinful world. Some situations are orchestrated by the enemy to destroy people things like abuse, rape, murder, slavery, incest, violence…

A friend gave me a helpful analogy once. A surgeon and a butcher both cut things open. The butcher to kill. The surgeon to heal. God is the master surgeon! The devil is the butcher.

What About Jesus, He Suffered:

For those who use the life of Jesus as a model for suffering; note, Jesus’s death was for a reason, purpose, to save the lives of many. Many people believe their horrible circumstances are from God, when they may not be.

I hope these points encourage you to run to Jesus instead of away from Him. He’s suffered in ways we could not imagine. There’s no one who knows how you feel and how to heal like Jesus!

When God’s Answer Doesn’t Seem to Match Your Prayers

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For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose, Romans 8:28.

Have you ever asked God for something and His answer did not seem to match your request? I have numerous times. This year I asked God for a year free of trauma, people close to me dying, and to save more money. It’s February 2nd and in the past week, I have been a car accident where my car was totaled, my aunt died, and I have another family member in critical condition in the hospital. I would have paid off my car next week. I would have had no car payment and been eligible for overtime. Since I was off due to the accident, the overtime is gone and if you’re working you know most people are making less money this year due to the social security tax in the USA going from 4.2 to 6.2 percent. So, the saving money part isn’t going the way I would like at the moment.

Let’s get to the good part of the story. What has God done the past week? Well, I suffered minor injuries from the accident, and I could have been killed or hospitalized. I missed landing in a frozen pond by a few feet. I was able to turn to miss hitting a utility pole head on. A friend came to be with me and help me the day of. The tow was free. Everything I have needed has been provided. Every day my pain is less and less. Every day I feel God’s love in a deeper way. I have not found a car replacement, but I am trusting God to do something great. I trust God even more with my life. I had no control over what happened last Friday. I simply had to trust God. I have seen in a greater capacity what God can do when we rely fully on Him, trust Him, believe Him, and seek Him. He is good.

Losing loved ones:

I grieve for any person who leaves this world without knowing God. In my mind, that is the worst case scenario. For my family members who know Jesus and leave this world for the next, I can rejoice. They were not healed here, but they have their complete healing in eternity. No pain, no sorrow, no weeping, no hurt, and bliss in the full presence of God. It hurts to lose someone we care for. It’s challenging to see any blessing in loss. I am not here to state we should throw a party or not grieve. Mourning is part of life. What I am saying is that God has a reason for allowing certain things to happen that we may never understand in this life.

When my mum died. I worshiped through abundant tears. It hurt me deeply, and I still have moments of sorrow. I could not understand why God would take her home. Why in this case He chose to not bring complete healing this side of eternity. I recall though sitting with her the week before she died. She said to me, “I am going home.” I responded, “No that’s not true, you’re getting better.” She replied,” No, I am going home. I have done everything God called me to do and now it’s time to go home.” She had asked God to take her home when she completed what she was placed on earth to do. She asked God to take her home if she were not going to be completely healed and a burden to others. God honored her prayers not ours.

When God’s answer does not seem to match our prayers, we can trust in His infinite wisdom, His unfailing love, and His perfect will.

So, my dear friends, if God’s answer doesn’t match your prayers, trust Him. I can say that because I have to trust Him every day. I have to lean on Him as my life depends on Him. I am young person who feels like I have lived a thousand years. But I would not trade my experiences and hard times for they have taught me so much about the love, provision, care, comfort, friendship, and beauty of God. I dare not glory in hardships, I delight in God who makes all things beautiful in His time. He gives us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and peace for turmoil. These momentary afflictions are nothing compared to His love. As long as God is here, we have a hope that will not disappoint. Hang in there! Keep seeking His face. He loves you deeply!

Lastly, I found this online and it brought great comfort.

I asked for strength,
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong;

I asked for wisdom,
And God gave me problems to learn to solve;

I asked for prosperity,
And God gave me brain and brawn to work;

I asked for courage,
And God gave me dangers to overcome;

I asked for love,
And God gave me people to help;

I asked for favors,
And God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted – I received everything I needed.
My prayer has been answered!

You are in my thoughts and prayers today friends…You are deeply loved.
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