In Trials on
17 February, 2016

The struggle is part of the story

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the-struggle-is-part-of-the-story

What do you do when something you’ve held close to your heart is ripped apart from you? What do you do when everything you have placed your hope and security in is swept out from underneath you like a rug, leaving you hopeless on the floor, asking, “Why, God?”

As dramatic of a description as that may seem, I know what it feels like to lose out on a dream, what it feels like to lose someone I love, what it feels like to be afraid of what the future may hold. And for me, even though those times can be unimaginably painful, they can also be a fresh beginning and a chance to truly trust God and give him the pen of my life’s story—including my love story, my financial story, my ministry story and most of all my faith story.

We can never let ourselves forget that the struggle is part of the story. The nightmare we may be living—or have lived at some point—is something God can use to remind us of our need for Him. He can take our broken pieces and make them into something beautiful if we only trust Him. I know because I have experienced it.

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain

your mercy from me;

your steadfast love and your faithfulness will

ever preserve me! {Psalm 40:11}

In those hard times, we may have to hit rock bottom before we realize our true need for God. In those times, we find Him on our knees. And when we do—when we humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him for help—that is when we are reminded of whose arms will never fail us, whose ears will never tire of our cries and whose shoulder we can always lean on.

“I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.” {Psalm 40:1-3}

A few years ago, during a time when I was forced to deal with the broken pieces of an unhappy circumstance that came my way, the Lord opened my eyes to see that the life I had been living was utterly self-focused. He had so many wonderful purposes for allowing my struggle! I realized that I had been so narrow-minded in getting what I wanted most that I placed some important relationships in my life on the back burner. That year in particular may have begun with a trial, but it transformed into a year of joyfully restoring those relationships.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.” {Isaiah 55:8-9}

And as the Lord continued to close some major doors in my life, I had to learn to dance in the hallway until more of them opened up. And, even now—even though many doors have opened and many changes have taken place in my life—I am still dancing in the hallway in some areas. But I have hope that even if the doors I want opened remain closed, God knows better than I do, and His ways are not my ways.

Today I pray that God would open the eyes of everyone reading this to see that His ways are best. And even when struggles come, those struggles have a purpose and an important role in our stories. Let the struggles draw you closer to God and teach you true dependence on Him alone.

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6 Comments

  • Pastor Terry

    Great message today, Jen! Thanks!

    16 January, 2013 at 11:21 am Reply
  • Hugglet

    This message could not have come at a better time. Thank you!

    16 January, 2013 at 3:36 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Hope

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      18 January, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply
  • Rhonda

    Just found your blog. The Lord is using your struggle to encourage others.❤️ Thank you!

    17 March, 2015 at 10:12 pm Reply
  • Ruth

    Thank you Jen I’m going to need to re read this a few times. 😊

    17 February, 2016 at 11:46 am Reply
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