It keeps popping its head up into my life, and it continually takes me by surprise. I don’t know why I have the Pollyannaish expectation in my head that when I’m following the Lord and being obedient to what He has set before me, that everything will go smoothly and there won’t be any difficulties. For some reason, I am always surprised when hardship, and heartache, comes along in wave after wave. If it were not for the Lord, inevitably I would be overtaken.
A friend posted an excerpt from a book recently, and I found myself reminded once again:
“Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope!” Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
“Beloved friends, if life gets extremely difficult, with many tests, don’t be bewildered as though something strange were overwhelming you.” 1 Peter 4:12 TPT
Well, Peter, I am bewildered when I encounter difficulties because I am serving God, I am honoring Him with my finances, my devotion, I try to live a consecrated life, etc. So, doesn’t all that give me God’s blessing? Isn’t His blessing supposed to be ease, everything working in my favor…blessed and highly favored? In my mind, it’s like I’m doing it all right, so satan, you can’t touch me now. Or, maybe on the flip side, I just think I’m doing it all right but somewhere I’ve missed something, or perhaps I’m not God’s favored one anymore.
I don’t want to diminish the possibility of sin and the need for repentance, but in a general sense, all of the above are lies. The blessing of God is His presence. He is the great reward! And, let us not forget that Jesus declared to his disciples (and therefore, to us):
“In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I am chuckling at myself because my reaction to adversity is so anti-biblical, anti what I’ve written the past few weeks (I have a very short memory). When we are following hard after God, we will encounter resistance because we do have an enemy. But, we were made to overcome adversity, to apply the kingdom of God to life’s circumstances. Even as I write that, I know it is true, but I don’t entirely know how to make it manifest. How do I apply that to my broken septic tank…my broken budget, i.e., real life? (see my Instagram, @diadew, for the septic tank story)
As I’ve pondered my difficulties, especially those I’ve encountered over the past four and a half years of living in our country homestead on the land that is as brutal as it is beautiful, I realize I became shell-shocked by the onslaught of difficulty. Yet, the paradox is that I feel the Lord so close to me, whispering to my quivering soul that it is my time to face difficulty because He made me to be strong and courageous, to not fear what comes my way, but with a steadfast heart of faith, meet impossibilities not in my strength and understanding but as one with Him.
None of us deserve or will receive a problem-free life, no matter how “well” we are doing. Jesus didn’t die to give that to us. He died to infuse us with power, authority, and dominion over problems, the ability to pick up the weapons of our warfare and to fight to win.
Here is the bottom line: revelation without application is just a nice thought.
The revelation in and of itself doesn’t have the power to change anything, but it is in the implementation of the revelation that changes things. When the Lord spurred me to “embrace the mess,” He shed light on the fact that He wanted me to explore new territory. He desired to give me instruction and another tool to use in life.
Honestly, after the initial thrill of hearing a direct word from the Lord and writing a few blog posts, I still found myself grappling with many of the same issues as before. But God in His love and goodness stuck with me and helped me to see that the application comes through a shift in my thinking, tearing down the strong tower of unbiblical thinking and aligning my thoughts with His word.
My thinking needs to shift from victim mentality (why is this happening to me, what am I doing wrong) to victor mentality (I am made for adversity). As a believer, empowered by the Spirit of God and armed with the word of God, I am to take an offensive posture by facing adversity with a renewed mind. Having my mind anchored in the promises of God’s word keeps me from being tossed around in shock, dismay, and despair every time challenges come my way.
When I rest in Him, allowing His strength and peace to quiet my soul, I hear Him say, “You are stronger than you think you are, but not in your strength, but as you remain in Me, I fill you and strengthen you, and give you what you need for the demands of the day.”
Trust Him. Lean on Him. Praise. Worship. Stay still. Declare. All these are weapons of warfare, and as you rest in Him, He will teach you how and when to use each one.
I’m rooting for you! I believe you are going to excel and thrive in adversity, because, Friend, you were made for it and you are an overcomer!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37