“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
God uses all circumstances for the good of those that love Him. When it says “all”, that means the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is one of the most difficult things to do, but I have to trust that whatever happens in good times and bad, God has a purpose for that circumstance.
In the bad times… He could be stretching my faith and using my circumstances to inspire others who might be going through the same thing. He might be teaching me to rely entirely upon Him. There are many reasons for going through difficulties.
There is something we all – including myself – need to remember. Some things might be more than we can handle. And I used to believe the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But then one day – I forget where that was – I read something that said how silly that is. He will give us big, challenging, looks-like-more-than-we-can-handle obstacles, because God doesn’t want US to handle it on our own. He wants us to learn to give it up to HIM so He can handle it for us. God is willing to guide us hand-in-hand through mountain-top and valley experiences. First, we have to be willing to give up that struggle to Him. As silly as it sounds, I think we “like” holding on to our troubles. Like we think we can handle it without God. Sometimes God brings us to a point where we absolutely crumble, because for so long we held on to what God intended to handle Himself. I have learned time and time again that you must allow God to take it – you have to make yourself give it over to Him. While He is willing and able to take it from us, He wants us to be willing to give it to Him. And this is not a one-time deal. You don’t just give God that struggle or difficult circumstance and expect that to be it. It is a daily decision to leave it in the Lord’s hands. Results will not always (in fact, rarely ever) be instantaneous. It takes time. But know that God is working, molding us, and healing us from whatever struggle we may be going through.
While we need His strength and guidance through life’s toughest battles, we also need Him through the victories.
In the good times… We need to understand that nothing happens because we are so good, so wonderful and awesome. Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” It is all because of God’s love for us and His gifts He has given us. Nothing we do is because of our own ability or talents. While it is true, we each have unique gifts and certain things we are talented in, we have to remember to ask ourselves, “Who gave me those gifts? Why am I talented in this area?” It is because of our heavenly Father, how much He loves and cares for His children, and how He desires to bless others through us. Everything leads back to God. He is the reason we are alive to experience these victories, and also the reason we have victories in our lives. When we experience a victory, we have to point back to God and say, “It was all because of my wonderful, awesome, magnificent God!” because it certainly is all because of Him, His grace, and His mercy.
The Lord will give us things to do, but He wants us to pray to Him and ask, “How would you have me to do this?” and ask for continual guidance through whatever direction He provides in order to perform that specific task.
With everything you face in life – both good and bad – lift your hands up high and praise your Maker! That’s the only way you will get through the valleys victoriously.