“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
This portion of scripture has been my life line this past year.
We have dealt with death, grief, multiple moves and homeschool all while traveling A LOT!! And we could def add an etc… or two or three as well.
When I speak of suffering, I am well aware that anything we have gone through is not suffering, I know there are levels of suffering I have not experienced. So please understand this is only my personal experience through a pretty tough year.
This year has held some pretty low lows, but also some pretty high highs. If you’ve been through the days when your heart has been completely shattered and you know the Lord, then you know that He is near to the broken hearted. There is no greater proof that there is a God then when you have experienced Him in your darkest hour.
There have been moments to be honest of questioning in my mind. Is All of this because we’re doing something wrong? Is it the enemy fighting because we’re doing something right? Why so much grief surrounding us? Why do things keep happening? I just want to catch my breath before another tragedy. How can I hope? What do I hope for when life feels hopeless? The more I listened to this scripture and read it over and over, the more God showed me the truth about hope in suffering.
Besides the fact that he suffers right along with us. Paul shows us here the purpose of our suffering, which I can’t begin to explain how this has fed my soul over and over.
Romans 5 shows us how we have been justified by faith. Faith is not a feeling, we know that, it’s a choice. When we choose to follow Christ and become his child we choose a life of faith. What is faith supposed to look like? When I chose to move to a foreign country in my third trimester that was faith right? I was scared, but I had peace that God was there, that was easy, it was the day in and day out of living with that decision where I was scared and doubting but choosing to cling to Christ through it to carry me. My faith in Christ kept me strong. There is another kind of faith that is so profound many of us haven’t had to experience it. How about the faith of two parents who’ve lost their child and don’t desire to take another breath? Their only desire is to be with their child. How do you have faith to believe God is good in such hardship? Faith is not in our feelings. When we rejoice because we’ve experienced God, that feels like faith, but what about getting from the feeling of, “is God here?” to that feeling of faith? It’s faith that gets us there. It’s the crying out to the only one who can heal us, even in the midst of doubt, in the midst of the pain and when our faith feels the weakest yet we know there is no other answer but God, that is the faith that is gold. The very thing it takes to put one foot in front of the other is the strongest form of faith. It does not feel like it at all. We cannot trust our feelings. Only God’s word.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Trusting God when the circumstance gives us no reason to have hope, our faith is what carries us through.
So if you are in the midst of a struggle where you can’t even see God, keep choosing Him, keep following Him. He has a plan. Choose faith over feelings and you will eventually look back and see how God has kept you in his care the entire time.
- In an effort to keep this post from being too long I’ll be continuing these thoughts in a later post.