Thursday, 1 February 2018

Hanging by a Thread

It's January February and majority of the world started the year with zest and zeal for life. Based on our predictions, the year should be looking right because we've made our plans and started the year on a good foot. All the mistakes of 2017 won't be made this time because we've had personal retreats and worked on the necessary. That's fine and good, but there is a group of people who has carried over some unaccomplished goals, unfinished business and some pain from 2017 and are not experiencing 2018 as something new. The new year is laden with discomfort because it validates a new season but still holds onto the bitter taste of dreams unfulfilled we beat our chests and swore would be reality by now. We started the year with fasts of various kinds-7-day, 14-day, 21-day, 30-day etc. If only God could see us through the last day of the fast, certainly, things would turn around for good (so we thought).

What do you do when life takes you from the hills and dumps you in the valleys? When tears are the only taste your tongue knows and heaviness of heart makes itself at home in you, where do you find solace? How do you handle the reality of placing your best foot forward, living right (privately and publicly) and doing ALL the right things you've heard to do as a Christian but end up mocked by life in the end? God when will this end? How long God? Why do the wicked keep progressing but I remain stagnant without a glimmer of hope? One thing I've come to know is God doesn't move based on our feelings. You can cry buckets and sweat bullets and break things and punch walls but it doesn't make the dry season end any quicker. Life has its complexities and uncertainties. Also, God is still good even in the valleys of life. "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2"

We sometimes have a mental picture of how we expect our lives to be, forgetting that God is God-not us. The flesh has gotten so much control over us that if something slightly irritates the flesh, we immediately launch a war against God because somehow He's failing (as if that's possible). Challenge yourself to get to the place where you find little pockets of God's blessings even in the midst of the storm. Develop your character to the point that when you don't have a job, you acknowledge that somehow you aren't going to bed hungry. When that relationship ends, find yourself thanking God for bringing you out of the relationship without being beaten in the process and one step closer to your spouse. When you get a headache, thank God you don't have cancer and a broken spine. Find the silver lining or create the silver lining for yourself. Sometimes your deliverance is in your mouth.

*Never lose your focus: It's easy to praise God when all is well, but our faith is threatened in the midst of trials. Learn to worship God in the good times, but most especially in the tough times. The time it's hardest to worship is the time it's needed most. Set up guards around your heart that filter what you think about, speak about, believe and do. Keep your eyes on God and be reminded that seasons don't last. Exchange your weakness for His strength.

*Don't turn to evil: The temptation will come to keep God on a shelf and put your hands to evil especially if the suffering has lasted a while. Resist it. Decline every invitation that invites you to step out of character. It's never worth it. Patiently wait on God and His promises over you.

*Search for the lessons: God never wastes experiences. He will allow us pass through some things so that we can learn some things. We spend so much time focusing on what we are passing through that we miss valuable lessons along the way. Some lessons cannot be learnt except we go through fire. Ask God what He wants you to learn and in humility, learn. When Job lost it all, rather than following conventional wisdom, He fell to the ground and worshipped God. Like Job, let your attitude be, "but He knows where I am going, and when He tests me I will come out as pure gold. -Job 23:10"

Whatever happens, let pressure bring out the best in you.

You've got this!
Love you...Mean-it.
Favor A.

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