Sometimes the Lord hides us and protects us. He takes us away from situations so that we can get stronger. It feels so good to hide in the shadow of the Almighty and know that He is with us but, there will be a day when we have to stand and fight. There will be times when we are ushered back into the presence of the very thing that we were taken away from. In those times we have to remember not to be afraid. Don’t fear the things from yesterday because you were strengthened during your time with the Lord and He has not left you. You aren’t the person you were yesterday. You’re stronger. You are wiser. You’re braver and you have what it takes to make it. You don’t cower in fear and you don’t run and hide. Your time for hiding is over. You remember that this is a new day and you are a new creation. The old you was afraid and the old you couldn’t make it but how can you go back to what no longer exists? “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT).
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to the ways of the world but instead we should be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
Every single day we are bombarded with the things of the world. We are bombarded with images on televisions and messages in the media that contradict the word of God. We hear about horrible things happening all around us that cause us to grieve. It’s so easy to get trapped in the sorrow and hopelessness of the world.
If we allow this “stuff” to outweigh the word of truth then life will seem too hard to bear. The things that we hear and see settle in our spirits and if we don’t have something down there to combat the world’s tainted view of life we will eventually begin to conform. Our lives will seem empty and our hearts will feel a void. We’ll struggle with blurring lines of right and wrong and eventually “our truth” won’t be far from the “world’s truth.” We become like an old instrument that is out of tune. Our spirits aren’t strong and vibrant anymore and the weight of life will beat us down.
Oh to be full of the life of Christ! It doesn’t come because we “will” for it to exist in our lives. Since we know that we are constantly besieged with the world’s views we have to intentionally fill our spirits with the word of truth. God’s word is our two edged sword and it is strong enough to combat the fiery darts of the enemy.
When feelings of loneliness arise just remember:
“…he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
When you feel ugly or inadequate remember:
“Thank you for making me wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 NLT
When you feel defeated and burned out remember:
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Isaiah 40:29 NLT
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:14 The Message
What are you feeding your spirit today?
Sometimes God gives us dreams in order to give us hope. It doesn’t mean that the dream will be fulfilled tomorrow. It means that He knows the struggles that we will face but He also knows the victory that is on the other side if we can just stay focused on our goal. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.” God gave that word to His people after they had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon. He told the people to “pray, live and be fruitful” (Jer.29).
Remember Joseph? Joseph was given a dream that his brothers would one day bow down to him. He was so excited about the dream that he couldn’t stop talking about it. Before that dream was fulfilled he was sold into slavery by his brothers, wrongfully accused, thrown into jail, and he even watched the dreams of others being fulfilled. When he finally landed in a position of power and authority he had been taken through the fire. He had developed all of the characteristics of a good leader. He learned to be patient. Waiting on God tends to have that effect. Joseph became a humble man as a result of his storms and when the time was right he served as the king’s right hand man. “Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities” (Luke 12:48 The Message).
You want to know why God tells us that He knows the plans he has for us? It’s a reminder to us that He has not forgotten. When life hits hard it is easy to feel like He’s pulled an Elvis and left the building but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes in order to get to the promise and truly appreciate what He has in store for us we need circumstances to shake us up a little. Those trials build character. Does God make bad things happen to us? Absolutely not! God is a good God. Somebody sing, “Yes He is!” Does He allow things to happen? Yes He does. It’s not to make us crumble and fall apart and it’s not for us to crash and burn. During those times of brokenness we have to trust in His plan even more. Only God can take the broken pieces and transform them into beauty. He has plans for you, so hold on to your dreams!
In brokenness Lord, bring me to my knees.
Give me a song to sing, from a heart that grieves.
In brokenness Lord, create a better me
a humble me, a disciplined me.
In brokenness Lord, make me something new
something beautiful that glorifies you.