Hard times come and hit us all. Things can be great one second and the next you don’t know where you got off track. Mark this one down as a lesson I’ve learned. Whether it be,
• Family hurts
• Injured pride
• ETC. (You name it)
But when that happens what do you do? When you’ve gotten off track spiritually or emotionally how do you refocus back to a safe place, what even is a safe place?
All these questions flood my mind and it often makes me want to hit the breaks and not even think about it and just try and avoid the whole thing. But instead of staying in that comfortable place I’m going to tackle some of these questions head on in this blog and in my life.
For starters, the backbone and focus that God has taught me for this topic is, when we press in to Christ in the midst of pain and confusion it paves the way for us to press on.
When hard times come what is your reaction, what do you do? I often lose my focus, I’ll be doing so well for so long keeping my eyes on the prize and one of those things on that list hit me and all the sudden I’m focused intently on all the wrong things. Wrong things being peoples opinion of me, Lies that fill my head and distract me from Gods promises, and Oh, the big one, my focus becomes consumed by my FEELINGS.
Honestly, I feel like feelings get a bad rep… the people walking around saying that, “feelings are the DEVIL”, I have to let you in on a little secret though…. They’re not. I know if you’ve grown up in a Christian background like me, you probably at one point had it drilled into that feelings = BAD.
So, here’s the thing, the devil loves to distort your view of things and cause you to live out of that false view. Feelings often mislead you, they’re fickle, you can’t rely on them, ALL FACTS. But none of that makes feelings in and of themselves bad. God created them! An example would be the feeling in our hand that warns us if were touching something too hot, in the same way our emotional feelings help tell us what is going on inside. If we rely on our feelings alone we may live in a false unsatisfied reality but if we ignore them completely other problems arise. I see so many people today living by that motto that feelings are bad and completely shutting off their feelings, not only does that cause a state of numbness and cuts you off from those around you, but it can also caused you to miss out big time on some issues from within. God gives us feelings for a reason and sometimes we miss interpret them. But here is what I truly believe we need to do with our feelings especially in these hard times. Take the feelings you have, go to God and spend time asking Him about it, like why you’re feeling this way, and what He wants you to take from it. Then let it go (easier said than done). God is the creator of our feelings, so stop trying to figure it out yourself. Not only will you understand much more, but you will also grow more in your relationship with your creator.
There are plenty of times in my life where I didn’t follow that guidance, times where I didn’t press in to God during those hard times. In those moments I turned to plenty of other things, places, and people. And I truly just ended up more confused about my situation. Not only that but I carried around my hurt and allow it to way me down until I’d bring it to Jesus. There were plenty of times I’d mask it as something else or I’d make up excuses for why I have every right to carry around my hurt and the bitterness that comes with it. Regardless it weighed me down and kept me captive in a cycle of brokenness that I didn’t even know I could be free from. When I brought my feelings, issues, hurts to Him, He would change my perspective. How many times do we see this in the Bible? Take the Psalms for example, when David cries out on how oppressed he is and pleads with God to destroy his enemies, but then all the sudden something changes and he starts praising God. His situation didn’t change but when we PRESS IN TO HIM our focus changes from our eyes on the problem to our eyes on a Savior.
Then we got my friends over here, the worry queens! I’m actually kind of a pro at worrying, I can get all up in my head and let worries chew at my mind all day, stealing sweet moments in my life right away from me. I don’t think it’d be an exaggeration to say I missed out on almost half of my life because I was too busy worrying to live it. This an area I’ve improved much but definitely have yet to master, and I know many can relate to this constant worry, because honestly there will ALWAYS be something to worry about if you’re looking for it. Where does worrying stem from? I’ll answer this one for you, it’s just a different term for fear, also another way of say God I don’t trust that you’re really taking care of this situation. So what do I often do with that fear? Well of course like any “normal” person I try to take control, fear makes me believe an area in my life is out of control, therefore I want to grab that control as tightly as humanly possible. That most always leads me to a very stupid place. What does God say about fear… well He says one thing about fear throughout the Bible that is most repeated statement. Do not fear. Maybe that means it’s important. He says it in a number of situations, plenty of times when men of the Bible are faced with great trials. Because God knows that humanly our first response in the face of hard times is to fear. God meets us in that fear and doesn’t condemn us for fearing but calls us out saying “Do not fear, for I AM WITH YOU” He asks us not to press into fear but into Him.
The Bottom Line is that, In the midst of our trials it is easiest to stay put in a state of defeat, but God is calling us, to press on. Pressing on isn’t something you just do. There are millions of ways we can muster up to try and MOVE, but for us to press on through the trial the way God is calling us, has very little to do with moving through the challenge and everything to do with pressing IN to God IN the face of trials. He loves us and wants us to come to him with our brokenness and pain but also in our times of happiness and praise to rely and press into Him and his word every day.