I have friends and family members that are struggling. It seems like before they can get through one trial another has encroached. Some of their circumstances are so crazy you can’t make them up if you tried!
My flesh rises demanding a resolution because it’s my nature to want to fix things for them. I find it frustrating when there seems to be no way to relieve them from their pain, uncertainty, and anxiety. Sometimes, I’m just at a loss for words.
I recognize that when I am in their shoes and the struggles seem to come in waves, knocking me down before I can stand from the last, I need someone to remind me there is hope. I need to be reminded of the One that is Sovereign when life is out of control.
Do you need to be reminded, too?
Receive strength, endurance, and hope from His word in Isaiah 43:2 (my emphasis added):
When you pass through deep waters God will be with you.
When you pass through rivers of difficulty, you will not go down.
When you walk through the fire, the heat and flames will not burn you.
God is your shield in times of trouble (Psalm 18:2). He will keep you under His pinions and protect you (Psalm 91:4).
I am reminded of three men who were placed in a furnace to die. You can read about them (here) (Daniel 3). They were thrown in the fire fully clothed with hands bound by ropes. While in the heat of their trial God stood with them. They were not alone like you are not alone. They could have burned up and yet only the ropes that kept them in bondage burned. They were set free to experience peace from fear, anxiety, and doubt while still in the middle of suffering.
You, too, can be set free. The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
While your circumstances may not change, your perspective can. When your perspective changes, the ropes that have you in bondage are loosed. It’s the perspective that God is Sovereign (1 Chronicles 29:11-12), He sees you (El Roi) (Genesis 16:13), upholds you with His right hand (Isaiah 41:10), and does not abandon you no matter the intensity of your struggle (Deuteronomy 31:6).
God is aware that during our trials we tend to lose sight of where our help comes from. That’s why we all need to be reminded from time to time that our help comes from Him (Psalm 121:2). You may be afflicted in every way, but not crushed because God is able to sustain you through His word, His presence, and His power (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
When we don’t have a word of encouragement to offer let’s turn to the Word. Because of God’s Word, we are never at a loss for words! His Word is a lamp to our feet that guides us through deep waters (Psalm 119:105).