“My life really sucks”
I hear that a lot from people that I meet. Many seem to live with endless drama and uncertainty; hanging onto emotional and spiritual sanity by a thread. Some complain about being trapped in the status quo. Others are exhausted, anxious, and feel like they are running out of options. They often feel helpless, with little control over their state of affairs.
Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever wondered if it was time to throw in the towel?
When you reach the end of your rope, you just may find the hem of HIS garment. – Author Unknown
So you‘ve reached the end of the rope and you‘re slipping fast. Some would tell you to hold on to that rope for dear life. Re-claim control of your circumstances. Not me. Here‘s my suggestion. Let go of the rope.
The burden of life‘s uncertainties were never yours to carry. I‘m not saying that letting go of the rope won‘t hurt. Some things in your life may even get worse. But once you let go of the worry and give up the struggle to control everything, God can take over.
Check out this verse from the Bible,
6-7”So, humble yourselves under God‘s strong hand, and in his own good time he will lift you up. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 Phillips)
Isn‘t that awesome? God is always watching everything that concerns you. He will grip you in His strong hand and hold on to you as long as it takes. The French say, La vie est dure mais Dieu es bon si bon. In English it translates, Life is hard but God is good, so good.
But God is more than good. If you will trust Him, in time, He will lift you out from under the mess you‘ve made (or the one you got sucked into). In the interim, you will learn all about endurance.
Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance. – Virgil
Endurance is the capacity to withstand hardship or stress. In the New Testament letter written to the Hebrew Christians, the writer encouraged them by saying,
35-38”Don‘t throw away your trust now it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God‘s will, you are to receive what he has promised. ‘For yet a little while, and he who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’” (Hebrews 10:35-38 Phillips)
When you remain determined in the face of a struggle and trust God to deliver you from your current miseries – that too is endurance. As a Christian, I have learned that no matter what I face in this life, I can confidently wait with patient endurance for God to act. He can do the impossible. I cannot.
20”God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message)
Stressed out people have generally allowed inward or outward pressures to consume them. For some, constant anxiety is a way of life. But the Scriptures admonish us to have a single mind; an undivided resolve. We are to press in and learn God’s unique purpose for our lives. And when troubles come, God wants us to welcome the challenge as an opportunity to test our trust in Him. The New Testament writer James put it this way,
2”…is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, 3 for when the way is rough, your patience (endurance) has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, and don‘t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience (endurance) is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” (James 1:2-4 TLB)
It always comes back to this: Who do you trust? Yourself? The doctrines of the cultural, social, and political elite? Or is your trust in God and His word? Where you place your faith is critical. When you really learn to trust in the Lord, you can let go of your rope and with confidence enter life‘s endurance run.
The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials. – George Muller
1-3”Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we‘d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we‘re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he‘s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message)
Get it? Life is an endurance race. The joy of knowing that you will come out a winner in the end should motivate you to endure every test and trial. No, it isn’t easy – nothing of any real value ever is. One day we will all pass through the veil of death. It is then we will cross that great and glorious finish line into eternal rest. But first, this earth will enter a time of great sorrow and extreme tribulation. So expect bad days, but remember, Jesus made a promise to everyone who endures the trying times,
10“Because you have kept my command to persevere (endure), I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
Do not grow weary in the struggle. Learn to find your rest in the God. Stay focused on the truth that Jesus shared. And always run with patient endurance the race that lies before you. One day, you will reap the harvest of God’s faithfulness – if you do not quit!
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656