“Every situation that comes our way has no choice but to bend itself to His will.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond our immediate circumstances. In the midst of a trial, or in the face of some unforseen situation, we often have a hard time grasping the big picture. In times like these, we can even forget that God is still in control. When something tests your faith, how do you respond?
The Father’s Blessings
I have been so blessed by God. He has taken care of me and brought me through some truly trying times. Personal stuggles, relational struggles, divorce, finances, health issues, you name it… God has never once let me down or failed to come through for me in my hour of need.
When you spend so much time on the mountain tops, however, you can sometimes forget what the valleys were like. Then something happens, and BOOM – you find yourself in a valley again. Questions come to mind: Why is this happening? Is there something else I need to learn through this trial? Am I being punished? Lord, what happened!?!
Do I Have Your Attention?
Now, I do NOT believe that God sends bad things our way. No, the scriptures tell us that He loves us and always wants the best for us. But that doesn’t mean that life will constantly be all puppies and rainbows. Jesus assured His disciples that “in this world, you WILL HAVE TROUBLES.” That’s not exactly the kind of promise we like to hear, is it? But then, He followed that statement with this one: “But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” And through Him, we are overcomers, as well.
Admittedly, though, it does seem to be in those times of trouble that we spend the most time talking with God. It’s almost like our attention is elsewhere when everything is going hunky dory, but as soon as things go off the rails, we start crying out to Him. Shouldn’t He have our undivided attention at ALL times? Ought we not be praising God in every circumstance?
Remembering God’s Plans
So when hard times befall us, what is our first reaction? I’ll be honest. More times than not, my immediate response tends to be “Oh CRAP!” Remembering all the times that God came through for me in the past isn’t usually the first place my mind goes. Yeah, I know in my heart that God is still there and He still loves me. But in the moment the proverbial crap hits the fan, that reality is where my vision is focussed.
What we have to remind ourselves is that God has a plan. Every situation that comes our way has no choice but to bend itself to His will. If we love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, the Bible says that “everything works together” for our good. That’s a guarantee straight from God, and we know that His promises are “YES” and “AMEN!”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]
Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is:
I’ve been in rough situations on numerous occasions, and God has never failed me. Most recently, the trial that came my way was made easier by earlier provision. Let me explain…
This past week, I learned rather suddenly that the company I worked for was going to have to lay off about a dozen employees – including myself. As of the end of the week, I became unemployed. Any other time in my life, this would have been cause for immediate concern. My stress level would have shot up quickly, and my anxiety would have been through the roof! But, no. Not this time. Why?
Was it because I hated my job anyway? Nope, I actually LOVED that job and my employers. I will miss them dearly. Okay, so was it because I immediately remembered that God was in control and that He wasn’t about to start letting me down now? Not really. As stated previously, regardless of how strong I may think my faith is, remembering His goodness and His promises isn’t always my brain’s first reaction. So then, how come I wasn’t freaking out and worried about where my next paycheck was going to come from?
Before any of this happened, God had used yet another negative circumstance for my good. About a year ago, I was rear-ended in traffic and had to miss a month of work. I had to see a physical therapist for a few months, and I endured a great amount of pain. Because of this, in the months that followed, I ended up receiving a monetary settlement that was a bit more than I expected. God helped me make some good decisions with that money so that it more than covered my expenses.
As a result, I still had a modest financial cushion saved up. So when this unexpected job loss arose, God had already made sure I was covered. He knew ahead of time what my need was going to be. Through His mercy, He saw fit to spare me the stress and anxiety that normally comes with losing a great job like this one. Though I was certainly disappointed when this happened, I knew He had already taken care of me.
Nothing Catches God By Surprise
Of course, not every trial that comes along is as easy to handle as this one. But that’s kind of the point. Even when we don’t see the tough times coming, God knows all about it. Sometimes, He’ll prepare you beforehand so that you’re ready. Other times, He’ll equip you in that moment. Regardless, we must remember that HE IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL. He loves us, and He will never let us down!
What ever your situation is right now, no matter what it is that you’re going through, you have a Heavenly Father that wants to intervene on your behalf. He desires to take you into His arms and comfort you in the midst of loss, and to provide for you that which you need. Trust in the God who loves, the God who is able, and He will take care of you…always.