Each one of us, every day wakes up and faces our own set of challenges. And while right now it seems like this whole YEAR is just piling up more and more on to each one of us, we each also struggle with personal problems and circumstances on top of all of this mess.
And that can become overwhelming.
I shared last week how I removed facebook from my phone because the problems and drama I was reading up and down my feed were beginning to wear me down. Problems that don’t directly affect me or my little world were actually affecting my attitudes, my anxiety and how I treated those people around me who I care deeply about.
But what happens to the problems that can’t be simply removed from our lives? The ones that we can’t escape no matter how much we’d love to get away?
I was reading Romans 8 this week and found that this particular chapter actually answered this question for me in painstakingly detailed instructions. Each verse as I read answered another facet to this complex question for me.
Today’s devotional looks a little different in that there are a lot more yellow words, less “Angie” words. Please don’t skip over the yellow words, even if they are familiar (oops, am I the only one that does that!!! ) I want you to really read what God is saying and realize how you can live with a new purpose, not bogged down by the heavy things that bring you down.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. “
God tells us here in Romans that creation itself finds itself in frustration , not by its own choice, waiting to be delivered into the freedom and Glory of God. So we aren’t alone, and we know that.
Friend, this is easy to say, but can be difficult to live out, so just lean in, listen and consider what I’m about to say:
There is no problem too big for God. There is no circumstance out of His grasp. There is no depth to the love He has for you.
So you trust Him. Even when it feels like you are sinking in quicksand…you trust Him. You fix your eyes on Him and push forward, accepting the challenges because you know He is with you and won’t leave you, no matter how hard it may get. Because this world isn’t “it”. He has promised so much more to us, but we endure these things here in anticipation of knowing that this is the road we must take to get there. We live with hope.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
How do we do this? We move forward knowing that God’s will and His plan are always right, no matter how wrong it may feel for us in our earthly struggles.
This doesn’t come naturally for us in a world full of pain and injustice, but God has proven time and time again that in the end, He wins. Because He is all-knowing, completely sovereign over all things, He is love. He is more powerful than any ruler or army that tries to stand against Him. He will fight your battles with you. And you are not alone in your struggles.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
What makes this difficult to grasp for most of us is the fact we don’t always get a movie ending. Meaning, we don’t always get to see hardships resolve in the timely manner we’d like, and sometimes we will have struggles on earth that will last a lifetime. We will lose people who leave our world emptier than when they were here, and that can’t be resolved with a happy ending in a way that we’d like.
But even in these hopeless situations, even when the ending doesn’t look as neat and tidy as we’d like it to, God is still working on your behalf. Even when the world looks as crazy and scary as 2020 looks right now, God knows what happens next and will use all of this crazy to His glory. And each tear you cry He is growing and forming you closer and closer to Him!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
So we take each step with the knowledge of who fights on our side. And our God is stronger and more capable than we can ever be.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31 (NIV)
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No matter what circumstances life tries to throw at you, just remember that this isn’t it. That you are backed by God Himself in all of your tears, fears and pain. No matter how much you doubt, no matter how much you feel sorry for yourself in your circumstances, no matter how little you feel your faith may be, nothing will ever change the way He feels about you.
And there is nothing I can say to close this post out better than how Paul explains it, so I will leave you with these comforting words to carry you through whatever is troubling you right now:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I love to write. Writing helps me process what I’m reading in God’s Word, and also helps me sort out how I’m feeling about things. It’s therapeutic for me to put an ACTUAL pen to ACTUAL paper ♥️
I began designing journals for myself because I wanted them to be the perfect size to fit in my travelers notebook. But it was really hard for me to find journals that had a solid Christ-following theme and message, most I found were just inspirational or even self-help. (I don’t need more motivation in my world… I need more Jesus! ☺️)
So if you are like me and love to process through pen and paper, I’d love for you to check out my books and journals!
PS: They make great gifts, too…wink-wink!