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Hey friends! I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks. I think it is because I’ve been waiting to write about something specific that has been on my mind and heart and I knew it needed a little more time. I’ve been wanting to share a personal experience but one that I’m sure some of you could relate to on so many different levels. I hope this post encourages you to trust deeply in the One who is greater and sovereign over all despite the things in your life that may be fading away and causing you affliction. I pray that you would rest on the truth that there is purpose for your suffering. Truly, God has a purpose for everything.
Have you ever pondered on why God does certain things in your life that may not be what you envisioned or hoped for? If you’re human, I’m sure in some way or another you’ve thought about it. Have you ever circled in prayer for something specific that didn’t come to fruition? Have you asked yourself why? Or, questioned God? I confess that I’ve gone through very difficult seasons when I’ve asked myself why God didn’t answer my specific prayers. Thankfully these seasons for me have ended in repentance, surrender, and trust. Often times we expect God’s answers to look and feel different. His answers at times don’t appear to be answers to us. They appear to be problems like loss, sorrow, conflict, deep soul wrestling, and always exposes our sin. Most of the time we do not see how these answers correspond to our prayers.
I lost my father last August of 2017 and from the moment we found out about my father’s cancer diagnosis everyone prayed for a miracle. I knew that if God wanted to heal my dad he could. These prayers were often circled around answers God had already given me internal peace about, yet I selfishly wanted my dad to live another 20 years and had the faith to believe that by some miracle he would make it. The cancer caused my dad to deteriorate slowly, but surely. My desire to keep my father alive was not a part of God’s plan. I surrendered my pride and it was painful, but His plan is FAR GREATER than our small perception of it. God has been using my grief to teach me deeply that this feeble life is not greater than the next and that His love for me surpasses my fear. Friends, God uses our suffering for our joy and He is worthy of our praise for it! This might be a strange concept for you, but yes God is worthy of praise in giving us suffering!
You might be tempted to not ask God because you don’t want unpleasant or uncomfortable answers to your prayers. However, don’t be deceived into this short sighted way of thinking. Jesus promises us in John 16: 24 “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Jesus clearly tells us that the path to full joy is difficult in John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Also in Matthew 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.