I still recall the words of a man years ago who had just loss all his family’s belongings in a house fire. He said, “Pastor, I sure would rather be on the other side of things. That is reaching down to help you up.” Over time, I’ve come to understand exactly what this wiser man meant. It’s always tougher when you’re the one down, feeling overwhelmed and not sure what might happen next. We all prefer to feel strong and in control.
Recently, my back was injured ministering to a grieving family. I’m writing this article after being bedridden for several days and counting. Only God knows how long it will take to heal. It’s definitely not a position I’m used to playing. I’ve been reminded how much your mind goes wild when all you can do is look up at the ceiling. Quite frankly, I feel like “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” I now deeply apologize for all the times I made fun of that commercial.
I’ve ministered to hundreds who have found themselves in unexpected moments and desperately needed to hear words of life. The words I share with you are words I will first digest myself as I find myself down, but not out. Whether you’re a preacher, teacher, mom, dad, or child you will have moments you need to hear the following words of truth.
#1: THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Scripture is clear, life is full of seasons. Some we wish we didn’t have to endure. Good or bad each season will pass. Difficult seasons can feel like eternity, but time has proven it is still just a season. Sometimes from our view, it’s nearly impossible to see beyond where we are, what we’re going through, and how we’ll ever make it beyond this point. Have no fear, God has a plan, and part of that plan is to use even this season to grow you, strengthen you, and ready you for the next. It doesn’t have to make sense to be totally used by God.
#2: GOD HAS NOT & WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU. Normally the first thought in your mind is “Lord, What have I done to deserve this?” God’s word is clear that hard times come to us all the good, the bad, the rich, the poor, the righteous and sinful. Some things are the consequences of poor decisions and bad choices. Many things occur so that God may continue to prove his unfailing love and faithfulness. One of the greatest promises given to us by God is that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Regardless of our shortcomings, circumstances, and who abandons us in our greatest time of need. God is with us, for us, and will fight for us.
#3: NOTHING TAKES GOD BY SURPRISE. Ever wonder if what you’re going through is simply an accident? From God’s viewpoint, accidents don’t exist. There is nothing that takes God by surprise. He sees the present and He can already foresee the future. God is never taken off guard, nor can His plans be derailed. God has plans to use even our toughest moments to take us places otherwise impossible. Our circumstances may be ever changing, but our God is never changing.
No matter where life finds you today, tonight, or in the future I pray these words sink deep into your heart. We all battle our own humanity, shake our heads at times, and wonder if God knows what is going on down here. Thank God, He has not and will not ever leave, nor forsake you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11