“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
– Psalm 34:4
I want to share a piece of information with you today that I believe can shape the way you think about your walk with God. While life’s circumstances are often difficult, just because things aren’t going the way you want them to does not mean that Jesus is indifferent to your plight; He is not withholding Himself and punishing you. You see, God is not always about making your circumstances better, but He is always about making you better! His primary concern is making disciples and that’s what He is doing in your trials. What is a disciple? Someone who strives to be as smart, strong, powerful, loving, forgiving, merciful and wise as Jesus. If this sounds egotistical, I want you to know that it is what our Savior wants for us — He desires that we become disciples who truly follow in His footsteps through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Interestingly, although there are many articles telling us how hard stress is on our bodies, research shows that as long as it doesn’t turn into anxiety, it can actually be good for us because it stretches us and makes us stronger. In fact, sometimes not having enough stress in our lives can cause mental problems, including anxiety and addictions. You see this a lot with wealthy people and celebrities. Since they are able to prevent a lot of bad things from happening because of their money, they become anxious about the future and their ability to deal with a crisis if and when it does occur. This pattern of trying to keep difficulty at bay ultimately causes their world to shrink and close in around them. However, this is not the abundant life that Jesus purchased for you and me on the cross!
Friend, in Christ, your world can and should expand! Since you are a disciple of the One who holds the universe in His Hands, you can face things that worry you head-on. When you do something scary, you will find that anxiety is relieved and empowerment takes its place. Suffering in this life is inevitable, but trying to insulate and avoid further pain can cause a much more pervasive and life-stealing wound. Never be afraid to walk into the fire, knowing that Jesus has gone before you and made a way through. He is refining you in trials and making you better than you could ever be on your own! Isn’t that an amazing thought?
Thank you, Jesus, for refining me in and through the trials of life. I vow not to run from stress but to allow you to stretch and expand my world through it.
Was there a time in your life when God made you better even though He didn’t make your circumstances better?