What are God’s promises in the hard times or even the hectic times?
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
You know that feeling when you wish you could get a do-over?
Dear 2016, here’s my white flag. I would like to go back and try again, sort of like the chute right smack in the middle of Chutes and Ladders that takes you right back to start.
I have learned an abundance of lessons from it all, and I know that this is going to work out for my good. I will be a better person, I have already become fathoms more sympathetic, and I will have learned to treasure and pray God’s promises.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
These promises from God are not just for me, they are for all people who call upon his name. They are for believers, both new and old. I remember 2003. In 2003, that was when I learned that in my pride I had begun to think that I have something to do with God’s grace.
As a single person, it had been easier for me to find time to pray and draw close to our Heavenly Father. As a married woman, my routines were thrown off, and hard times came before I could get my spiritual groove back. Alan left for Iraq just three months after we moved into our first house, and I was reeling. All alone in the great state of Texas, I searched for answers, but God felt so far away.
I was depressed at first. It took weeks or months, I don’t remember, for me to realize that God was no further away than he had been before. Only I was further away from him. My daily Bible reading didn’t make me “more worthy” to pray and call on his name. It never had, but I, without knowing it, had believed that it did.
It didn’t. You can call out to God anytime, anywhere, from any situation. God is everywhere. Your good deeds are not what earn you favor with your maker, although he does prefer to see us trying to do good.
I called out to the Lord, and there he was, just as he always had been. I had simply forgotten to rely upon his grace.
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? –Hebrews 13:6
And at that time, he heard my cry, and he reminded me of an important truth: I wasn’t depressed because I was alone. I was depressed because I was in a selfish frame of mind. I resented the Iraq war, for taking my husband away, but that was silly. I married a soldier. What else would you expect? And while I was feeling sorry for myself, I had yet to do anything to serve anyone else but myself.
So at that time, I prayed for help, for forgiveness, and I began to look for ways to serve my friends who were going through the same thing I was. We began to have ladies’ dinner nights. Once we began that, we were not alone or selfish. We were looking out for one another. We had fun that year. The hardship became a joy, really.
I like to think back on years like 2003 when I go through years like 2016. I have this ablation coming up, and I’m not excited about it. Our family is about to tackle another cross-country move. There are seven weeks remaining of home-school.
I’m holding out hope that I’ll do so well on the upcoming heart tests that I won’t even need an ablation. But whether I do or not, God has a plan for me. He promises that.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. –Matthew 10:28-31
Stress abounds. It lurks around every corner. But so does God’s grace. Here are a few of his promises that I am holding close. I hope they will help you too.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8
“Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man (or woman) who trusts in him.” Psalm 32:10
Come near to God and he will come near to you. –James 4:8
And God’s greatest promise of all, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit:
6 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. –John 14:16-18
Ah, that’s right. He will not leave us comfortless. Okay, I’d better get back to work. I hope you all have a blessed day. I hope that you give God a chance to be your comfort too.