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!