As i was struggling with my sins a few nights ago and I felt helpless to ward it because I'd been having to battle this certain struggle for a time now, God reminded me of this simple truth.
wow.... I had almost wanted to go to bed, not willing to fight, and desiring to simply close my eyes and ignore this feeling that had come upon me. But as I was saying a short prayer, the lord simply reminded me what faith is.
and truly, isn’t faith simply trusting god despite whatever hardships and pain and struggles that we go through? and so then is giving praise not the highest form of faith when one is being put through the fire of trials and circumstance? Doesn’t thanking god for the struggles that we face demonstrate a strong trust in Him--in his perfect and pleasing will, in His path laid out for us, in His ability to deliver us from our sufferings?
And so when god spoke this to my heart, I was overcome and I started thanking God for my situation, for truly God placed this struggle in my life for my good. Thank you lord, that you gave me the privilegdge to struggle through this, because I know you will deliver me because you are mighty to save. Thank you Lord for giving me this burden because when I fully overcome this by your grace, I can then help others who struggle with this sin as well. Thank you Lord, for putting trials and suffering in my life because I know that they only draw me closer to you, to depend on you more. Thank you lord, thank you...
As i began to thank the lord, the burden on my heart started to lessen. and so I asked God,
Lord, please give me a verse that I can read so that I can hold on to your promise. Lord I want to hold onto your truths...
He then led me to Luke 11--
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"-(Luke 11:7-13)
And as I was reading this, the lord spoke to me and said,
joyce, when have you ever asked, and never received?
when have you ever sought me, and never found?
At this realization I began to tear, for the Lord started bringing to my memory of all the many answered wonderful prayers, all the miracles he’s done, and the matchless, unconditional love and grace he’s poured over and over and over again onto my life. And everytime I sought, I have always found. Evrerytime Ive asked... god really has given... even though I really don’t deserve it.
Lord... I really cant recall a time where you left me, remained silent, dealt with me with impatience, or did not provide for me everything that i needed and asked for...
you have even given me so much more than I have asked, so much more than i even deserve! and lord... I believe you are faithful to see me through and deliver me, because you have always been more than faithful to me, and you will remain faithful til the end.
today god confirmed to me again through a verse that truly thanksgiving is the best way to break any stronghold in my life, and even in the lives of others.
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."(romans 5:3-5)
wow... to think upon this paradox--we rejoice when we suffer. when we actually do this, the problem isnt a problem anymore, but is instead transformed into something that can bring more glory and more honour, something that is welcomed and accepted, not spurned and despised. The suffering is actually beautiful now in light of this, because when we share in Christ's suffering, we share all the more in His surpassing glory.
Truly, it is a blessing to suffer, for it is the only way to go from Glory to higher Glory –by overcoming one trial to another. The bigger the trials, the greater the glory.