“When we yield to discouragement, it is usually because we give too much thought to the past or to the future. ~Therese of Lisieux
Today I told myself that I would write a post about disappointments. I wanted to write how I handle them and my perspective about the situations that I face.
I mean, who doesn’t face disappointing situations…
Yet, I am not exactly sure how this post will come together because I am no longer just writing about disappointments, but I am also writing about being overwhelmed and our perspective of God in the midst of it.
These times are what I call “The Times Of Stretching.”
I just read a post and an email about the emotions and thoughts that we all experience sometimes. The authors posed a question. Does God put more on us that we can bear. If you want to check out the post that I’m referring to, you can do so here.
Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed and discouraged…worried or depressed?
I want to say that I believe that we have all felt this way before. I believe that in the midst of a situation or trial, the weight of a thing can feel so heavy that we don’t think that we can carry it. Yet, just because we feel a certain way doesn’t mean that it is that way.
What do I mean? Trust me, I understand that it may sound like I’m speaking jibberish, but follow me for a minute…
When we are going through any type of trial or testing, we are very uncomfortable.
It’s like having a baby…there is pain, but we are able to bear it and for those of us that don’t believe that we are strong enough to bear the pain in the end, there is a medication to help up get through it…
Life is this way as well. In the midst of a trial or a situation, we can feel like the situation will never end. Or when it finally does, we will be dead somewhere because we weren’t strong enough to make it through.
The thing is…God doesn’t expect us to do any of this without Him. He knew what we would endure and what we are made of. He placed certain things in us that only come out when we are tested and tried by fire.
Have you ever thought of the process that a beautiful piece of jewelry goes through before the beauty is revealed?
Beneath the surface of these rocks is something very beautiful, but the beauty is not exposed simply by gently holding the rock in you hand.
People search for rocks that have golden nuggets within them. Yes, they are of high value, but one of the reasons why is because of the unexpected beauty found inside of a thing that seemed to be dead and useless. Have you ever felt that way? I have…
We are no different…situation, circumstances, and trials… they make us stronger. The the trial brings about perserverance. The perserverance brings about character
…for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. ~Romans 5:3-5
Now the question still stands…
Does God put more on us than we can bear?
No, he does not. He has already given us all that we need to endure the situation. There are qualities in us and the power of the Holy Spirit, coupled together to strengthen us. The question is, are we willing to go through the trial or tribulation.
No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13
Now although a way of escape has been made, we still have to choose to take it.
You know, most of the time the test, trial, and tribulation has more to do with the Word and power of God in us, than they have to do with us…
We receive the benefits of bearing, overcoming, and enduring a trial, but the trial was there to test the Word in us…
What happens if we don’t choose to take the way of escape that has been provided for us at the appropriate time?
Well, we have now taken more upon ourselves than we can bear.
God was standing in front of us with a huge sign saying “Take the exit on the right.” Yet we chose to continue to veer to the left. This is where we begin to blame God for our short comings, over plate filling, and disappointments.
I do not say this as someone who has not experienced this…Trust me! I know this from experience.
It is imperative that we pay attention and get off at the right exit.
But when we don’t, we begin to experience doubt, condemnation, discouragement, and disappointment. We forget that God always has our best interest at heart and we begin to blame Him for our wrong turn. ( Did you know that sin is to simply miss the mark?)
We have all done that and I dare to say that we do it daily…that’s why we have and need a Savior.
(Again I digress)
So what are we supposed to do when we have digressed from the path and veered off just a tad bit. It is at this point that we may begin to feel a bit of anger or discouragement within ourselves. Here’s what I’ve learned from my experience and how I’ve learned to handle it…
- Allow yourself to feel the way that you feel…briefly (DON’T STAY THERE)
- Assess the situation…thoroughly (Ask questions like… Why? Did I contribute to it? Can I do anything better next time? How can I move on?
- Pray for wisdom.
- Accept your part
- Ask God to forgive you & Forgive yourself and others
- Make a list of the things you can do to move forward (pray when you are worried, afraid, tempted, troubled, hurting, angry, bitter, ect)
- Change your mind about it. ( You have power over your own mind and you have the ability to change it. Search the word for what God says about the situation and conform your thoughts to that…this requires believing the word, HONESTLY)
- Remember God can and will work it out for your good.
- Commit to your plan
- Remember that Romans 10:11 says that no one that puts their trust and faith in Him will ever be put to shame.
- Do what you can
- Let God do the rest
These times aren’t always easy. In fact they are some of the hardest times in our lives. Yet, looking back on them, we will see it differently than we feel it now.
The goal is to trust God through the stretching, remember that He is on your side, and be resilient.