This year has not been easy. Between March & August, it felt like I was fighting one battle after another. My faith was tested on every side. But when I look back, I realise that I learned three life-changing lessons.
1. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
God taught me to watch my thoughts like a hawk. He helped me to hear when my thinking was dragging me down and showed me how to pull myself back from sadness into gratitude. I’ve preached and written about this since.
2. FEAR VERSUS FAITH
The Lord showed me how to resist fear and throw it out of my heart. He led me to shift my attention from what might go wrong, and to instead focus on His faithfulness. He taught me how to daily build my faith by keeping my eyes on His promises.
3. THE SELF-PITY TRAP
God helped me to understand how dangerous self-pity is and He revealed how it had subtly worked its way into my life. He then showed me how to kick it out. As a result, I started writing a new book on this topic.
Why am I telling you this? I want you to know that you always learn much more during tough times than you do when all is well. I believe I have grown this year through my struggles and you are growing through yours too.
PAIN AND PRESSURE
1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved friends, if life gets extremely difficult, with many tests, don’t be bewildered as though something strange were overwhelming you.”
It is normal to suffer. It does not mean that God has left you. It probably means that He is preparing you for your promises. He wants you and me to become mature and strong.
James 1:2-4 in the Message says: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests & challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
Wow, we are supposed to celebrate when life is tough! I might not be there yet, but I certainly see the important role of difficulty & pressure in making us into people God can use.
God had a big job for Joseph to do and He gave him dreams of a powerful future when he was just 17 years of age. However, Joseph did not yet have the maturity or love to fulfill this destiny.
Joseph went through many years of pain and pressure. Then one day, someone knocked on his door. In just 24 hours, Joseph went from prisoner to prime minister! Through times of suffering, God had been preparing him for his purpose.
PREPARED FOR PURPOSE
Don’t be discouraged if you are experiencing difficulties and delays. The Lord is preparing you for your purpose! The same God who made the way for Joseph, will do it for you.
One vital way to get yourself ready for your destiny is to ask God to take you (and keep you) on a healing journey. We have two life changing events coming up. At Fixing the Foundations (UK) and Healed for Life (FL, UK & MD), God will do more than you could ask or imagine. Book now!
Thank You Jo have had the same and it was only today that the holy spirit reminded me on what I was doing in thinking, I had got back into the rut of thinking what if this what if that, so with god’s help remembering his words, and some if those you posted months back , i.e saying I’m tired I’m tired renembered what you said , you can say I’m feeling tired but I can do all things through Christ strength thanks again for reminder, the importance of speaking god’s word into the situations
I have been experiencing a lot of death in my life lately and I am feeling very despondent. I feel abandoned by the Lord even though I know He still loves me. Many days I wake up without the will to live. I just want to be with Jesus here on earth is to difficult. I will never end my life because I want to be with Jesus when I die. But all this death has stolen my joy.
I am so sorry to hear that you have been through such a difficult time. I am praying for complete recovery. I pray that God makes a way for you to come to Healed for Life
I don’t know if reply is only for Jo replying so I do hope I’m not offending anyone in replying but just read your post..
Bless you I experienced too , all of it very close in timings. I found for myself first don’t be hard on yourself, especially as Christians we get upset if it takes a while. That’s what I like about Jo it’s a journey. Greiving after much loss is natural it’s our body mind responding to loss. There are days when you can feel the sadness I prayed to God and was able to be honest with him just simple prayer every day saying Jesus I’m struggling with this pain can you help. The other thing I found if possible is if you have some special friends who you can just be honest with and be yourself and maybe have a coffee. It helps if you can get out when your able, it’s ok to cry God loves you sooo much he understands at this time it’s about taking care of yourself and it time it will get better, and maybe doing something you enjoy doing. Pray the lord will give you his joy and strength, it takes time so be very kind to yourself and pray Jesus help you comfort you through this time, it dose take time Jesus never leaves us he can see you and understands so little steps at a time is good much love blessings to you Chrissy
Thank you, Jo: your writing is so timely, but then I am no longer surprised as I have come to truly appreciate that it IS God’s words; messages delivered via you.
I would loved to come to the event in fl
You can book via https://www.jonaughton.com/healed-for-life/ It would be wonderful to have you with us!