“Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me?” [Isaiah 40:27]
How often do you struggle with your faith in face of challenges? Perhaps this is your situation right now. Things were going so well for you and then out of the blues, the tables turned. Disappointments, frustration, and anger became your next-door neighbors. Everything has gone so haywire that you cannot even remember the last time you felt joyful, which makes you question the part of the Bible that tells you the Joy of the Lord is your strength. You’re always weary, thinking about when God will get you out of this ugly place and then going ahead to create a backup plan just in case God doesn’t respond since it appears that He has lost track of you. You are not alone. I have been there myself, struggling with my faith in God while trying to fake smiles to everyone who asks me how I’m faring spiritually. Let’s take a walk together down the Bible times, shall we?
Can you honestly say that your situation was worse than Job’s? You remember him, don’t you? The rich man who lost everything in just one day just because the devil wanted to prove a point. He lost all his children, his possessions, his servants, all but one thing, his faith in God. There was every reason to curse God. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I were in his place. He had faithfully served God, dedicated all he had to God and yet God felt he had the right to take it all back. Isn’t that a good enough reason to lose faith in God and veer off into the arms of the devil? His wife who was supposed to be his helpmeet, his confidant showed her true colors in the midst of pressure. She personally advised him to curse God and die but somehow even with nothing left to look forward to and with the pain of the sores on his body, Job stood tall in faith. He refused to let the devil take away his faith in God as well. His friends came with the same advice, under the guise of offering him comfort but he still stood, deeply rooted in his love for Christ. Can that much be said about you? The true test of one’s faith is not when everything is going well but when things are so messed up that you have every reason to spit on God’s Word and go away.
THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH
When God spoke through Nehemiah saying, the Joy of the Lord is your strength, he meant every Word he said. God is not a man that he should lie. He knows your situation. He knew you’d walk this path when he created you yet he created you anyway. He made His joy available to you through His Word. Sometimes, we don’t get an instant answer when we face challenges but that does not in anyway mean God has lost track of you. It is not a reason for you to panic either rather it is a reason to rejoice. That sounds weird, right? That’s the way the Father is. He uses the foolish things to confirm the wise. Those challenges you are experiencing right now does not mean that you did something wrong and now God is punishing you. That is not true in any way. They are there to help you grow your faith in God. Do not attempt to try to walk things out on your own or try shortcuts. There is beauty in test and trials. Let it do its work. Keep praying and getting closer to God. God will comfort, encourage, refresh and cheer you up but he cannot do that when you are so focused on the happenings around you that you forget to seek Him.
Let me tell you something you may not know, for growth to take place, there has to be great discomfort. Look at a woman’s hair for instance. When it is being braided, it looks really scattered and unpleasant but when the stylist is done, you do not need to be told about how beautiful the hair is or how beautiful she looks. The face and the hair will speak for themselves. That’s the same principle that operates in the Kingdom of God. Job was an eyesore to all who saw him but by the time the testing period of his faith was over, he came out triumphant. He received more than he had earlier and his friends learned great lessons from his attitude in that situation. He did not need to announce his victory because it was so evident that it made its way into the Bible. I do not know what exactly it is that you are going through but the fact that you’re reading this means that you need to be comforted. You’ve come to the right place. The difference between the old covenant and the new era; the dispensation of grace is that you have God living and breathing in you; the Holy Spirit so you are not and will never alone. You have the luxury of walking into God’s presence with just a word. Let’s use this wisely, shall we? Go to the Word of God. That’s how God communicates. Look at His promises. They are still true even in this very moment. Keep speaking it and professing it over your life. Times may get so hard that you are in tears and panic constantly with your faith wavering. Don’t bother about that. Focus on Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him, the Word. It’s easy to focus on your situation especially when all you hear and see is negative but ask God for wisdom. That’s the first thing to do in this period. It’s all in James 1. God is a rewarder of they that seek him diligently seek him. Seek God even when you feel weary. Pray in all manner of entreaties. God doesn’t and can never forsake His own. This should give you great comfort. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with in this trying times and never treasure their words over the Word of God.
I’ll leave you with these words: “For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!” [Hebrews 13:5b]. His grace is all you need. Choose to depend on Him regardless of your situation. He will surely see you through. Be of good cheer. Say to yourself: The Joy of the Lord is my strength!!!
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