Saturday, May 3, 2014

Triumph in Our Troubles

He's already reaching... just grasp!
Do you ever get that feeling that you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? So many things have gone wrong in your life that whenever it seems they're all going right... something can't be right? We spend a tremendous amount of time expending energy on our worries and anxieties. Trust me, I know. I have an anxiety disorder that haunts me on a daily basis, particular if I let it have free rein. (Or should I say, 'free reign', as though I'm letting it rule me? Either way works. A runaway horse or a tyrannical monarch come to the same end inside my brain.)

I've found it to be true, however, without fail that each time I have to endure some hardship, inevitable good comes of it. Hard times bring out either the best or the worst in us, and sometimes both. But how you handle it is what makes you who you are. Do you fall apart? Do you back into a corner? Do you let a pervasive attitude of woe take over your life? Do you have hope? And optimistic view? Do you go through cycles of all of these depending on the day? Welcome to reality, then. Nobody can spend their entire life in joy regardless of circumstances, can they?

...can they?

"Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 [AMP]

Have you been through a lot? Yeah, join the club. It's not a contest by any means. We all have our past, our trash, our regrets, our fears, our triggers, our shame, and our horrors. But wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to just feel all of that lifted from our shoulders? To stop carrying the burden of who we feel we are, or who we used to be, or who we're afraid we'll become? The mistakes we've made, the life we feel we have to lead each day just to make it to tomorrow, the choices that have led us to this point... nobody can lay all of that down, turn around, and walk away, can they?

...can they?

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good, not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne." Matthew 11:28-30 [AMP]

Learn from your mistakes. Endure through your hardships. Triumph in your troubles. The word 'repent' simply means 'turn around'. When it feels like it's all too much, so much so that when good things are happening you can't even trust them, it's time to turn around. God's got His hand reaching out for you to hold onto it. All you have to do is grasp and He'll do the rest.

-Stephanie Jean

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