The Overflow

living in the overflow of God's goodness through every season

Our Struggles are a Good Thing?

Faith, RelationshipsLacee Worthington1 Comment
Photo Credit: Karen Whisler

Photo Credit: Karen Whisler

I am currently in a waiting season: waiting to get my master's, waiting for a boyfriend, waiting for a full time job, waiting to make enough money to move out, waiting for the current season of Jane the Virgin to come to Netflix or Hulu, just waiting. Some people consider waiting to be a time of happiness, a gift. I consider waiting to be a struggle.

God focuses on patience throughout His Word. We all struggle; some struggles are harder than others. Some struggles lead to depression. Anything you go through could be considered a struggle. After my breakup, I went through a depression state, where I barely ate and if I did eat, I got sick from crying so much. But, you are not alone. God knows that you are going to have pain in your life. In His Word, God tells us how we should deal with our struggles, why we are going through the struggle, and our reward for making it through the struggle.

How to Deal With Our Struggles:

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

Psalm 27:1-3 "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."

Psalm 9:9-10 "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you."

Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

Photo Credit: Karen Whisler

Photo Credit: Karen Whisler

Isaiah 54:17 "'No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the Lord."

Psalm 34:17-18 "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

James 1:12 "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

Look how amazing our God is! He will be there for us in our struggles and will deliver us from them! Any struggle we go through, He will never give us anything that we cannot handle. We shouldn't let the struggle consume us, but instead... let Him consume us. That song, "set a fire down in my soul that I can't contain and I cant control, I need more of you God" [1] is what I think of when I say that we need to let God consume us. Fire consumes anything in its path. Let God do the same.

I also know that it is very hard to turn to God when you are going through something. You just don't see how He could put you through this, but, that's when you need to turn to God the most! Trust me, God wants to know when you have your doubts. He wants to know when you are feeling down. He wants to know everything.

Why are we Going Through Struggles:

1 Peter 5:10 "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you."

1 Peter 1:6-7 "In all this  you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Our Struggles are a Good Thing?

Whoa! God is using our struggles to strengthen us? To refine our faith so we can honor him? To show that we have perseverance and maturity? Wow... I never thought losing my cousin would do that to me or that my breakup would be a good thing. It's a weird thing to think that our struggles are actually a good thing for us, but it's true. My breakup is what is making me more myself than I have ever been. I have been able to find myself. I have been able to improve my self-esteem. I have been able to find a new love for missions. Funny how things work out, right?

Our Reward for Going Through These Harsh Struggles:

Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Okay, so there aren't many verses in this section because I loved this verse so much that I wanted it to be the focus.

Our present sufferings are NOT WORTH comparing to the glory that will eventually be revealed in us. My depressive state over the breakup was NOT WORTH comparing to this new version of myself. I am happier because I have realized that I can be myself and not worry about what people think of me. My self-esteem is higher because I am comfortable in my own skin. I was able to turn my struggle around because whenever I thought of my ex, I turned to God instead.

I found verses that were the answers to my worries. My ex left me when things got tough, but, Romans 5:6 says "You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you." Jesus loved me enough to die for me. Yeah, I know who i should be turning to when I need someone (hint, hint: it's not the boy).

God is there in our times of trouble. He tells us how to deal with them. He tells us why he puts us through those struggles. He tells us what we get for going through those struggles. God loves us. God is maturing us. God is guiding us to him.

Our Struggles are a Good Thing?

Can I tell you a secret? When I was in my past relationship, I was going to church on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, but, I wasn't really listening to the pastor. I wasn't reading my Bible outside of church. I wasn't listening to Christian music. I was hardly praying unless it was something dealing with my relationship. I was not in a good place with God, but, as soon as my breakup happened, I did a 360.

In some ways, I think God ended my relationship to bring me closer to Him. In one way that hurts me, but, it also makes me realize that he really is in control. He realized that I wasn't putting Him first, second or even third in my life. He also knew that the only way to change that was to take my number one away. So He did.

Have you ever realized that God made you go through something because He had something better in mind for you? Tell me about it in the comments. It's always cool to see from an outsider's view, how God helped someone else through their struggles.

References:

1. Jesus Culture with Martin Smith - Set A Fire Lyrics | Metrolyrics. Metrolyrics.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 3 Apr. 2017.