The Rocky Road

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, when nothing seems to go right?  Have you had one of those times when even though good choices are being made, things keep going wrong?  When that happens I can’t help but ask God, “What’s going on? Are you mad at me?”  But, I know that is not correct thinking.  God doesn’t work that way.  Bad things happen for a variety of reasons, but our Father being angry with us is not one of them.  Trials come to all people, whether we are walking in His ways or not.  What is important is how we react to the challenges in our lives.  If nothing ever went wrong, we would never need the protection of our Savior.  If the road were always smooth, we wouldn’t look to Him for guidance.  If we never endured consequences, we would never learn from our mistakes and if we relied only on ourselves, we would become exhausted and end up in a worse place than before.

The past couple of weeks have been challenging. To put it mildly, the road has been rocky.  Work has been strenuous and my body has been tired.  My husband and I sold a car that was not economical only to have its replacement, the “new to us” car break down!  After that, we learned that the the part we needed to fix it would not be available for an unknown amount of time, if ever!  And, if that weren’t enough, an issue from the past came back to haunt us financially.  Strangely enough, right before each of these events, we had made a new, positive decision for Christ!   My husband and I each decided to join a new Bible study.  I collaborated with a Christian sister to develop a new page connected to my blog on prayer (coming soon).  I signed up to volunteer for a local ministry.  Together, we continued to make good decisions regarding our finances with the mind set to be able to give more back to God.  I joked with my husband that it seemed as if “something” was trying to hold us back from following the path God was leading us on.  But, in reality, it is no joking matter.  The enemy will try anything to distract a Christian from making a difference for Christ. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

When trials come our way, it is crucial to look to God for guidance.  He is the one who will see us through.  If we allow ourselves to be distracted and defeated by the bumps along the road, our eyes will be taken off our Lord and Guide, giving our enemy the chance to try to divert us from the path God has chosen for us.  “…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).

We also need to remember that no matter what troubles come our way, or how deeply we are grieved, our Father will bring something good from them, somehow, someway.  We may not always see the positive in any given situation, but we can trust God to deliver.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

So, let us stay strong in the Lord and keep our eyes on Him.  He will help us as we travel rocky roads full of difficulty.  God has shown me this in the past, and He is showing this to me today.  As I surrender my worries, my troubles and my challenges to Him, He is faithful.  Though we have been facing some oddly difficult situations, we are keeping our eyes on Him.  As a result, He has blessed us with a peace and a comfort that strengthens us on our walk with Him.  

Living for Him,






Please join me over at Reflections of His Grace for Grace CafeI'm also linking up with Brag on God Fridays and Spiritual Sundays - all wonderful places for inspiration and encouragement.  Have a blessed day!

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18 comments

  1. When we aren't doing things for Christ, the enemy will leave us alone, but he will do everything in his power to prevent us from being effective in God's kingdom work.

    On the other hand, God will often test our faith (James 1:3).

    Keep up the good work...you will be strengthened through this.

    Blessings,
    Joan

    PS - thanks for linking up today!

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  2. That's beautiful and true. We have a Savior who longs for us to look to Him for guidance. I've been spending too much time looking at the bumps and the valleys in between. But I know how much He desires for me to respond to His knocking by opening the door and then entering His Presence. There, He can speak to me as I feast on Him. Thank you for your sound word. We need our Savior, desperately.

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  3. As I was reading your post, I was reminded of a phrase I've often heard Jennifer Rothschild http://www.jenniferrothschild.com/ say:
    It may not always be well with our circumstances, but with Jesus in our life, it can always be well with our soul.
    Keep on walking in His ways, resting in His love and standing on His faithfulness-
    ~Stacy

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  4. Thank goodness we don't have to rely on our own strength to make the right decisions! I think that God sometimes puts us in a situation in which we are in over our heads in order to teach us so that He can break us of our self-reliance. We need to have “out stretched arms” and not be so dependent on our own strength and managing our own strategy.

    Great post Joan!
    Denise

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  5. Your first paragraphs described how I felt the first few days that we were on our disaster relief assignment in Minot, ND! (Joy4Today blog)

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  6. Wonderful encouragement! Thank you.

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  7. Those are powerful scriptures! Great post!
    Carrie

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  8. Wonderful post.. seems God keeps speaking the same message to me in every form He sees necessary. Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Misty

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  9. really encouraging post....hoping this next bit will be a turn for only good things for you guys.....

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  10. I am so sorry, Joan. Satan is never happy when we make decisions for God. You inspire me. I'll be praying for good to come from what Satan meant for evil.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  11. I know what you mean. I just started studying and writing a bible study for our women for jan and Feb. For the first time in my life I cannot concentrate and my mind is totally blank. It is Satan trying to get in the way. But I can't help but fear as I have so little time to get it all ready. Thank you for the reminder to keep our eyes focused on Him.

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  12. It is a blessing just know he is with me during the not so good times as well as the wonderful times.
    Blessings,
    Ginger

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  13. I am taking comfort in your post today, after a week of things breaking down here at home too and financial and health challenges. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the only way!!! God bless you for sharing.

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  14. This is so true, Joan. Thank you for sharing your heart and your insight with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  15. This sounds similar to my life a few weeks ago. I think you are right about the enemy trying to prevent you (and me) from moving forward with God. He wants to take us down...and out! Sometimes it's not one BIG thing but a bunch of little things that wear away at us...breaking us down and wearing us out. I asked some close Christian friends to be praying for me during that time and I focused my thoughts on encouraging verses that reminded me that God is my Protector, Deliverer, Strong Tower, Shield, and Strength. I sang songs of praise - out loud, and praised Jesus' name. Our enemy does not like hearing that!

    I'm not sure things will get better, because I believe we are getting closer to Jesus' return. But I do believe we will take it better as we press in to Him. Keep standing firm.
    Charlotte

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  16. Gee Whiz! Now the car! It's a good thing that you two have been out exploring, walking, hiking....enjoying the days of summer. That, and joining the new studies....all good for strengthening one's soul. Here's my bible verse encouragement:

    "I am expecting the Lord to rescue me again, so that once again I will see His goodness to me here in the land of the living. Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, softhearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you." Psalms 27: 13-14

    Love ya, sis.

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  17. Aaaaa-men.

    Your post is such an encouragement Joan. In this life, we WILL have trouble -- not might, but WILL. But take heart! Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

    I'd much rather go through my trials with Christ at my side, than without Him.

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  18. Joan, I think that people look to see how we respond to trials when they know we are Christians. At least, that has been my experience. And the Bible says we shouldn't be surprised by trials. I have to admit though that I would greatly welcome a time of rest and relief. LOL. I hear what you're saying and I want to encourage you to not give up. I love that you are adding a prayer component to your blog and how you and your hubby are joining a Bible study.

    Much love,
    Debbie

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