We’ve all had days (and maybe even years) when life just doesn’t seem to be going our way!
I’ve had long seasons of life where I felt like nothing was working and everything was out of whack, and I’ve had frustrating days where I just can’t seem to get anything accomplished. This morning was one of those times…
I was getting all three of our boys ready for school which is a massive undertaking and makes me respect my wife even more because she is normally the one doing it! Amidst the screaming infant and complaining gradeschoolers, there was a mess in the kitchen, a dirty diaper on the floor, toothpaste on the sink and stress in the air. When we FINALLY got out the door, Connor had forgotten something and had to run back in. The door was open just long enough for (I’m not making this up) a bird to fly in the house.
Now, I’ve got to figure out a way to get the bird out of the house and all the kids loaded up as fast as I can. I eventually got the bird out (unharmed) and the kids loaded and just before I pulled out onto the main road, a garbage truck cut me off and started driving about five miles per hour and stopping at every other house. I wasn’t sure whether to scream or laugh at the irony of it.
In the grand scheme of things, a stressful morning doesn’t impact life or eternity all that much, but in those longer seasons of joblessness, sickness, financial stress, marriage strain and other ongoing life events, the stress and frustration can seem overwhelming. Below are four things I’ve learned to remember in those challenging seasons of life that have helped me and I pray they help you as well!
Struggles in life are inevitable, but destruction is optional. Remembering these four principles can make all the difference.
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1. Remember that your Character should always be stronger than your Circumstances.
We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we choose to respond. In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
2. Remember that your Struggles always lead to Strength.
Every difficulty in your life, whether big or small, is something God will use to produce more strength, faith and perseverance in you if you let Him! All your pain has a purpose.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
3. Remember that God’s timing is always perfect.
God’s plans are almost always different from our plans, but His plans are always perfect! Have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing your own.
“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
4. Remember that God will never leave your side.
You may feel like you’re going through this struggle all alone, but from the moment you ask Jesus to bring you into God’s family, He will be by your side to the end so never lose hope!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
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