“The deepest pains may linger through the night,
but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.”
Psalm 30:5b (VOICE)
When you’re in the clutches of an agonizingly painful situation, it’s easy to focus on your suffering and lose sight of the bright ray of hope emerging on your horizon. If your world is falling apart the difficulties you are experiencing can be overwhelming. Every thought is filtered through a sieve of pain, pressure and misery. Jeremiah was going through a tough time, too, and here he gives a vivid description of how he was feeling ~ including the One thing that pulled him through:
“Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable.
That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed.
Then I remember something that fills me with hope.
The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If He had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!”
Lamentations 3: 19-24 (CEB)
It’s understandable that you might be depressed if you continually think about your troubles. But if you turn your attention to the God of Hope and reach down deep into the depths of your heart to say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!” ~ your pain will be displaced with seeds of heavenly hope, which will grow into His divine joy, the kind which greets your soul with a smile. Remind yourself that God can use everything in your life for something good…even the darkest nights and the deepest pains.
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18(MSG)
God has made great and precious promises to His children, and you can have faith that He will remain true to His word. Few things hurt worse than the bitter sting from a broken promise by a close friend, but your Heavenly Father will never falter in His promises to you. God is the ultimate Promise Keeper ~ You can confidently hold firmly to your hope in Him.
God is no mere human!
He doesn’t tell lies
or change his mind.
God always keeps his promises.
Numbers 23:19 (CEV)
“Give thanks in all circumstances;
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…” What’s the will of God for you? That in everything you give Him thanks. That’s His will for you. The circumstances swirling around you aren’t necessarily His will, but He desires that you give Him praise and thanks in the midst of those circumstances. By doing so, you begin to infuse any situation with the possibility of His divine presence and His almighty power.
Sometimes it’s very easy to be thankful. When God’s blessings seem to be overflowing in our lives and everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to have a thankful heart. But in times of hardship or heartbreak, in times of bitter disappointments, in times of tragic loss, in times of painful suffering, in times when the diagnosis is bleak, in times when we’ve been treated wrongly ~ God’s will for us in those situations is to continually give Him thanks. Through these difficult times, we shouldn’t be thinking, “This terrible thing must be God’s will for my life,” because God didn’t necessarily cause the thing that happened to you. But as Christians “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) This is not saying that God caused bad things to happen to bring about good in your life. No, this tells us that even when bad things happen, God can weave His power and love in it, through it, and beyond it to bring about good in your life.
So as His children, we know that God can take the worst of circumstances and weave in threads of hope and goodness to form a beautiful tapestry. Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. Begin to praise Him and thank Him in the midst of your circumstances, and invite His presence to permeate your situation. Your present condition may or may not be directly changed by God, but ultimately He promises to bring about good in your life as a result.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 4 – 5
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Psalm 107:28 – 31(NLT)
Just imagine the amazing feeling of relief and deliverance when sailing into a peaceful harbor after passing through a dark and tumultuous sea…
The disciples endured a similar experience as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was on board the boat, but He had fallen asleep, seemingly unaware that they were in the midst of a sudden and fierce tempest. High waves were breaking onto the boat, and it began to fill with water. The disciples’ hearts were melting with fear, and they cried out to Jesus for help. “When He awoke, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.” (Mark 4:39) The terrified disciples were struck with awe after witnessing this miracle and asked themselves, “Who is this man?” … “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4: 41)
Are you sailing through a tempestuous season in your life’s journey? Your heart may be gripped with overwhelming fear as giant waves of affliction seemingly crash over your head. You are tossed up and down with no ability to control your course. As a child of God, there are no guarantees of smooth sailing throughout life, and sometimes there will be seasons of extreme turbulence. Like the disciples, you may be right in the middle of God’s will, doing exactly what He has instructed you to do, but still you may experience a sudden life storm. In the midst of the turmoil, hold tightly to the promise that Jesus is always right beside you…He’s in your “boat” in the midst of the storm. He stands ready to calm your turbulent circumstances and save you from your extreme distress. Instead of being fearful, trust completely in the One whom the wind and the sea obey. Watch in awe as He guides you into a safe haven, and praise Him for His great love and the wonderful things He does in your behalf. Peace! Be Still!
“This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself…” Hebrews 6:19(TLB)