So there we have it! We were warned about TROUBLE right there in John 16:33! And yet, I continue to be shocked and surprised at the amount of trouble that can roll into my life on any given day. I love trouble free days, but seriously, with a job, kids, a husband, and other forms of frequent human interaction, those days are very rare.
Now for the most part, I can just shake off trouble, forgive the people involved, and keep focusing on the big picture. However, from time to time I get those days where my own weakness (in body or mind) collides head-to-head with some “trouble”, and I’m just fed-up with all the drama. Then, if I let these troubles fester for more than two seconds without taking it to God, I can find myself nose-diving into a full fledged pity-party. To these parties I usually invite only three guests: Self-pity, Discontentment, and Unforgiveness.
During these times I am so grateful for a handful of trusted girl friends! They will allow me to vent, without judging me or judging the other people involved. And afterwards they will gently point me in the right direction… the path of forgiveness that leads me back to intimacy with Christ. When I’m finally ready to lay down my long list of rights and whisper “Okay I will forgive…” PEACE comes rushing back into my life and I remember again… TROUBLE IS PART OF MY PROCESS…
Sarah Young explains this so well in her book Jesus Calling:
“MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything. I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extend that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be. The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall , if you react with distrust and defiance. The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.
The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in my loving Presence. I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.”
So Sarah gives us TWO clues here, straight from the Bible:
– TRUST GOD THAT HE CAN USE TROUBLE FOR GOOD IN YOUR LIFE
– START THANKING HIM FOR YOUR TROUBLE!
I honestly found THANKFULNESS to be one of the GREATEST WEAPONS against attacks of the enemy in my life. I recently found myself so drained by enemy attacks (Ephesians 6) and trials (James 1:2-3) when a friend suggested I make a THANK YOU list of all the things God has done the past year in this ministry and in my life. What a difference it made! It didn’t change any of my troubles or stopped the attacks per se, BUT IT CHANGED MY OUTLOOK AND ATTITUDE!
So, my fellow sister in this world where we are having much trouble, I want to gently encourage you to make your own THANK YOU LIST when things get tough. Also ask God to give you a few good friends you can trust during those times when you are weak and need some support and direction. God uses people to keep our arms up and show His love to us in a very real way!
Please don’t isolate yourself any longer. If you don’t have any friends, start reaching out. Join a women’s Bible study or get involved in a small group for women at your church. It will take some time to establish deep friendships, but start today by taking small steps forward, it will enrich your life in ways you never imagined!
Please allow me to give a shout-out here today to my friends who love me warts and all! You know who you are and I thank God for you, every day of my life!
In His amazing love!
Resources for you
Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food
Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?
Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more