This war might be brutal and harsh. This battle might last longer than we have strength to hold on to, making us weary and ready to give up. But we count those blessed who endure, who keep on standing – because most often, strength is not required of us but perseverance and patience, willing to keep standing and keep holding on
Category: In Times of Trials
This present trial, these hard circumstances and messy hearts — they are here but for a moment. This will not last forever. Even more so, they are working for us a glory that is brighter, more amazing and this will last forever. So fix your eyes on the things unseen. Still your heart before Him, my friend, and lay down your heart. Lay down your hurt. Surrender your all to the Maker of your heart, knowing that His are gentle hands and they are holding your heart together. Look at the things which are not seen, listen to the voice of Truth that echoes bright in your heart for that small moment.
“So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:38-40)
These days, I have been reminded of the brave faith of David, who went to the battle to fight Goliath with only a slingshot and no stones — his trust wholly in God and that God would deliver Goliath into his hand and win the fight for David. This brave faith of David won the battle against a whole army, the enemy — because this faith looked to God and God alone to carry him through the valley and into the victory.
And I know, our faith is often far away from anything resembling brave and we think, we long for any amount of courage in the midst of facing the hardships and trials of this life. But this I know, that our gracious Saviour will meet the neediest of souls, and His love will not let go. In this world that has lost all sight of love because the dark shadows rule the night — His love will come through, His will break the chains and set us free.
“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)
My friend, the most beautiful, brave faith is that which trusts God at all times. No matter the struggle, the trial — our God is always greater. So we can pour our hearts before Him, trusting Him with all our desires and thoughts, feelings and fears, worries and despairs. He is strong enough to carry them for us, and to care for us. He is a refuge, a safe place through every struggle, trial, and change.
“Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for You are close beside me.” (Psalm 23:4 NLT)
Maybe you have been walking in the valley of the shadow of death these days, the darkness having taken over and the mountains before you and behind you. Maybe you have been climbing for a while now and yet, the top of the mountain is nowhere in sight and all you know is this valley. Yet, even here, in the valley of the shadow of death we know — these are only shadows. Beloved, these are only shadows. Sometimes the shadows take over, focus our gaze over the darkened spot and we only see the darkest valley ahead of us.
Beloved, know this: your God is close beside you. When the world crumbles under you feet; when the waters rise and your faith seems to sink deep — you are never beyond mercy’s reach. The Almighty, All-Powerful God is right there, close beside you and His right hand holding you up. And He will come through, bright and glorious like the morning sun — and all will be well.
“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning— yes, more than those who watch for the morning.” (Psalm 130:1-2, 5-6)
Lately, I have been often reminded that we are fighting a battle even now, that our soul is constantly at war. But walking through that valley of the shadow of death, we know in our hearts what this Psalmist is trying to convey by saying that our soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. Because when we are surrounded by darkness in the battle, the morning does not seem to come soon enough and we wait for the morning with all that we are, our soul waits for the light that makes us able to see our surroundings, makes us able to see everything clearly once again.
Yet, it is in those dark depths — when we are absolutely broken and empty; when we have nothing to give to the Lord but our pain and sorrow and doubt and fears — that our prayers are the most real. It is in those deep places, those moments when we are weary and worn, that we give all that is in our hearts to the Lord as we cry out to Him in prayer. What a comfort it is to know that even out of the depths our prayers will rise up to the Lord, and that He will hear the cry that is meant for His ears.
Matthew Henry says that “it is our privilege that in the greatest depths we may cry unto God and be heard.” Even in the silent supplications there is a voice that God will hear, even when we can’t find words to express all that is in our hearts. But He knows.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:5,7-8)
Expecting God to come to us in love, we wait for His appearing, whatever situation we are in. And if God makes us wait, let us do it with our whole hearts and souls. Let us pour out our hearts to Him, knowing that He is that safe place for us, that place where we are completely surrounded by safety. God is always worth waiting for, whether it is His will or His timing or whatever else we are waiting for — and later on, we will find that God was working something great in us through that period of waiting. He gives beauty for ashes and He can make something absolutely wonderful out of our brokenness now.