To trust God in the light is nothing, to trust Him in the dark - that is faith. C.H. Spurgeon.
We all encounter health problems, grief, broken relationships & stress.
(Thought I do feel like I may have had my life times worth of trials crammed into the last year & a half!)
Over the past year & about a half I've struggled. A lot. Life hasn't been super easy for me/us, it feels like one thing after another. I won't get into specifics but there was so much going on & it continually kept chipping away at my heart & also my faith. There was grief, I got sick, there was hurt, hurt & more hurt and incredible amount of stress & then even more hurt!
Thankfully this year has been a little more pleasant - but to say it's been stress & hurt free would be a lie.
Some of the things I've struggled with have tested my faith greatly. Not that I lost belief in there being a God - but more so just slightly confused at what I was meant to do at certain points, why things were happening to us & why people I loved so dearly hurt me so badly.
But I trust Him.
Ultimately He knows how my life will play out as it's already planned - I just have to trust in what happens & where He guides us.
My faith became a little weak a while back, not because I didn't love God but because pain weakens us. It can be paralysing - life got so hard & hurtful at times I no longer knew what to do.
So I stopped doing most things - including reading my bible - I gave up on many things. The enemy knows that if he can weaken us so we stop growing closer to God that we will be to weak to defeat him.
He wants to fill our heads full of lies & make us believe there is no point reading the bible because our situations are helpless. He will try and convince us that it is our own fault that life is going the way it is and that we don't deserve God's love.
But friends I encourage you to remember that during hard times our strength comes from God - during times that are challenging and hurtful - turn to Him. Satan is determined to weaken us with his attacks to try and stop us knowing God, because then he wins. The enemy uses low tactics and works through ways that hurt us to the core.
Now my life hasn't suddenly become 100x better just because I opened my bible again - but the bible has shown me a handful of verses that have instilled comfort, wisdom & faith back into my heart. Reassuring me that He is there & that He is in control and that I am taking steps in my life that are right for us & that are right by Him.
Something recently that has hurt me is a "smear campaign" going against me. I've lost some family, friends & even blog readers. Now I am not going to defend myself - I refuse to. If someone is so quick to believe down right lies & pure nastiness about me - well then so be it, those people clearly don't know the real me & I am better off without them. So with my character & reputation under attack I had 2 choices - fight back or just give it to God. Now to be honest I did want to defend myself, I was pretty darn mad but I went with the later option - I have dealt with so much in the past year & a bit, that this just was one more hurtful thing to add to the list & I didn't want it - so I handed it straight to Him. I instantly felt weight lifted from my heart - it still hurts when I hear what is being said or realise someone else has turned against me - but I know I'll be ok & the strain on me isn't unbearable - I can almost shrug it off now. I know in my heart what is going on is not a reflection of my character & heart - but instead it shows the type of people those who say the untruths are.
I encourage you that if you are facing a similar trial of people questioning your heart and who you truly are - don't stress. God knows us & true Godly people will be shown the truth by our Lord. Eventually the person doing evil against you will be exposed. Stand strong with those who know & love the true you.
Don't listen to the doubt that Satan tries to force into your mind, you are not what they say, continue to pray, open your bible and focus of Him. Don't let your faith waiver because when it does, that is when the enemy will strike.
Be open to looking beyond your hard circumstance and receiving the peace that Jesus offers us each day. Look for the small blessings & seek the joy everyday. When I am feeling so overwhelmed & hurt or really angry I just pray that those feelings be taken away - it is natural to feel those emotions - but we don't have to dwell on them or carry them alone.
I am now at a place in my life where I feel I am (we are) being guided to make life change - a pretty big one - so we've taken some steps to see if it is God's will. If it is, it'll work out - if it doesn't - that is fine. I feel at peace - yes I still am experiencing hurt, yes I am still sick but I feel more strength & reassurance Everyone deals with hurt & stress in life - this is just my trial for this season.
I pray everyday for wisdom - wisdom to know what to do with the hurt, pain & frustration, more wisdom for motherhood & being a wife & wisdom with understanding God's word.
His wisdom has shown me that we go through things for a reason. He puts us in trials to grow & shape us. We become stronger, wiser & our faith strengthens. Every hard time in our life just is another chance for us to grow - as a person & grow closer to God. And at the end of the day, as hard as this all seems & as much as it all hurts, I remain thankful for this life.
Friends, this post was written because I feel God put it on my heart, I pray this post spoke to you today & perhaps has encouraged you.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
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God will bless you, if you don't give up when your faith is being tested. James 1:12