Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trusting God When It's Difficult

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:3-5, KJV).

Do you ever feel like you want to trust God but life is just happening and you don’t understand why it has dealt you what appears to be the worst deck of cards possible? It’s like God, I want to trust You but I need something to happen! Something has to change because I’m tired and I just don’t get it. I’m serving You God, why are You allowing these things to happen to me when I am living for You and loving You? If we can be honest with ourselves, I’m pretty sure we’ve all had one (or maybe multiple) of these moments before where it just seems like nothing is working out. When it seems like life is passing like kidney stones at times, the hardest thing to do is the one thing that we must do and that is to trust God. Truth moment…I was supposed to write this blog almost two weeks ago and I kept putting it off for various reasons. I believe the devil was trying to give me some extra material for trusting God even when it seems difficult as he has been working a serious nerve these last couple of weeks! In the words of a friend, “victory is my birth right!” so boom (thank you Desiree lol). So how do we trust God when it seems like everything and everyone is against us, nothing is working out for our good (or so it appears), and everything that can go wrong is wrong? You trust the season that God has you in. Well that’s easier said than done Angel! When it doesn’t make sense, when it seems like your season is dryer than the Sahara, when nothing appears to be working out for your good, trust God to be who He says He is and cast your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).

            We have a tendency to feel as though we can only come to God with all of our happy, bubbly, easy, breezy, beautiful, covergirl emotions and that we shouldn’t tell God the bad and ugly that we feel. We feel like we can’t share our frustrations, our anger, or our confusion, because we don’t want to complain to Him or we feel that we’re not supposed to. I just want to share a great life tip with you all; just because you don’t vocalize this feeling that does not mean God doesn’t know that’s how you feel. He knows and sees into the innermost parts of your heart. You can’t keep anything from Him! Just like momma always seems to know what’s going on with you, especially when you’ve done something wrong, God sees through you even deeper than that. The problem is that we try to be so PC with God like He doesn’t know what the real deal is. We tell Him we’re content and at peace with things knowing good and well our heart is angry, rolling its eyes, and sucking its teeth. If I can be honest, sometimes I just need to vent and the truth is I really don’t want to hear an encouraging word all the time. Sometimes I don’t want to hear that everything is going to be okay, I know that because I believe in God. But sometimes I just want to be upset and feel what I am feeling so I can get that out instead of pacifying my hurts, my frustrations, and my pains because I need to deal with that stuff. Should we stay in that place forever and be emotionally led by feelings? ABSOLUTELY NOT! However we have to get that stuff out of our hearts and allow God to help us deal with it.

            I was having quiet time one day and I typically start off my quiet time with “okay God I’m going to be honest with You, it’s not like You don’t already know.” So I’m pretty much venting about my frustrations with work, school, life, etc. and then once I consider myself to be done I go on to reading the bible. Well this day, I wrap up my venting session and something on the inside was like uhm so you’re not going to deal with that? I knew exactly what the “that” was but I had been telling myself, I’m at peace with it, I trust You God, I know it’s going to work out but the bottom line was that was a lie. So now I’m looking all crazy in the face like I just vented can we leave it at that??? I’m fine about the other stuff okay God? I’m good. You ever talk to a person and you know you’re in the wrong or better yet you know you’re lying, and they know this too, and when you’re finished talking their only response is “oh, okay.” That was the overwhelming response that I felt was that feeling of the “okay” response. So I started to talk; I started with the usual PC response, “God I don’t know why this is happening but I trust You.” (Response: Okay). “It is what it is; it could be a lot worst so I’m thankful anyways.” (Response: Okay). “I can accept that I may have to deal with this for the rest of my life and that’s okay.” (You get it by now…Response: Okay). Then the flood gates of heaven open my eyes and my eyelids start sweating (That’s my term for crying. I have a complex about crying for some reason. I hate crying unless I’m being slain by the Holy Ghost. Pray for me folks lol). “God why are You allowing this to happen to me? Why do I have to deal with this issue? I’m frustrated God. I don’t want to have to go through this and I don’t understand why it is getting worst instead of better when I’m living for You God. I trust You but I’m frustrated! I don’t get it.” Response: That’s it, get it out, and then I really did have a peace about it.

          I was watching a sermon by Steffany Frizzell not too long ago and she said the most disgusting yet profound thing that made me go wow!!! She said, “sometimes you have to vomit in order to be able to swallow.” I know, my initial reaction was eew too, but then I laughed, and then I went ooohhh when I got the revelation of it. In order for us to receive what God is trying to put into us, we have to make room by purging what’s on the inside of us. We have to get that stuff out in order to take in what He’s giving us. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is that it is so okay not to be okay. One of the best places to be is to be broken at the feet of Jesus so that He can put you back together with a firm and steady foundation that’s unbreakable if you remain with Him. God doesn’t want us to give Him this dressed up representative of ourselves that’s wearing a full coverage foundation attempting to hide all the blemishes of our hearts. He sees straight through that maybelline. God wants us to pour out to Him so that He can teach us how to deal with the tests and trials that we face. Don’t you know that everything that has happened to you and is going to happen to you is for your good? Romans 8:28 wasn’t just thrown into the bible by mistake. It says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (KJV). Everything that you went through and are going through not only happened on purpose but it happened for your purpose! That may be very difficult to grasp when you are going through what appears to be hell on earth but God has a purpose for our go through.

I remember reading a quote that said “be glad that you are going through because if you’re going through that means you aren’t stuck.” That's a great little nugget to keep in mind. Last year I wrote a blog called Year of Development and I hated that year from top to bottom. In January I had a surgery that left me very insecure, in April my Bishop died who was very instrumental to helping me develop a relationship with Christ and was pretty much the father figure in my life, this also happened around the time that my pastor and his wife suffered a lost. We were all dealing with these issues at the same time trying to be strong for one another but it was difficult. We were all living for God and I just could not wrap my head around why He was allowing us to experience this sadness and these losses when we were really living for Him. Over the summer, multiple friendships that were very dear to me completely fell apart, in the fall my family was dealing with a drug issue that had been going on for quite some time and fell apart. It just seemed like it was one thing after another and another and another. I was so frustrated and I remember being a little sassy at one point and saying God, “You have stripped me of everything what else do You want from me???” I want to strip you of you…I knew at that moment that I had absolutely no clue what God was trying to do in me but I knew that wherever He was taking me next, He needed me to be focused on Him. He needed me to be dependent on Him and not myself, things, or other people. That year of development prepared me for Changed Hearts: I AM Woman, it helped me to minister better, it helped me to connect more, but most importantly it helped me to grow in Christ. I wouldn’t trade that season because I needed it. Did I hate it? At the time absolutely! I was so frustrated, I didn’t understand why God was doing this to me but in the end it all worked out for my good.

 It’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to not understand. Bring those cares to God and trust Him through the process. Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (KJV).  Give Him all your cares and frustration and rest in His peace. God does not set us up for failure. Everything that we go through is not to break us but to make us unbreakable through Him. Trust where God has you in this moment. So it doesn’t make sense, people think you’re crazy because you’re still serving God even though He hasn’t healed you yet, even though your family still isn’t saved, even though you’re still at that job that you hate, even though school isn't working out the way you thought it would, even though your finances are jacked up while you're paying tithes, even though you’re loving God and get a flat tire and a speeding ticket in the same day, even though nothing good appears to be coming from your current circumstances. Trust Him anyhow. I love the story of the three hebrew boys in the book of Daniel when they are getting ready to be thrown into the fiery furnace and they say, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, we will NOT serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up" (Daniel 3: 17-18, KJV). God I know that you're capable of changing my situation right now but even if you don't, Lord I will still serve You and I won't turn my back on You. Even if You don't deliver me from this hell that I feel like I'm experiencing right now, God I still know You to be God and my circumstances do not change that. Speak this truth to yourself. God has not left you and He has not forsaken you. Allow Him to be your peace in the midst of your chaos. Don’t hate the process because it’s not created to beat you up. God knows what He’s doing. He’s the author of your life and He is creating your story perfectly. Rest in that truth.  

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders."

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