The outcome of our decisions either produces excellent results or bitter consequences. One thing is sure, it does not feel good to face disappointments and failure. Still, we require the hardships of experience, which are a natural part of life. We learn from our mistakes and the unavoidable things beyond our control. Changing our perception gives us opportunities for increased knowledge, courage, and to say good-bye to the destructive tendency of self-reliance.
When I attended nursing school, we had to learn theory plus demonstrate our expertise in the clinical arena. Whether our GPA reflected a 4.0 or not, proven competency was mandated by the Board of Nursing to deliver patient care. Our first clinical experience was with mannequins as patients, and many failed to render safe patient care in the simulated hospital environment. Yes, we faced the grading system of “Pass or Fail” with the limitation of two failures, and then the student was dismissed from the nursing program.
We have a Heavenly Father that lovingly extends grace and mercies [without limits] to us every day. Many become discouraged when failures and disappointments overwhelm their lives. Imagine a life possessing astute academic knowledge and using the learned behaviors of only rational and logical thought processes, which would prevent disappointments and fiery trials. You may think, “Yeah, that sounds great.” However, we would function on the level of programmed robots. Praise God that He did not create an army of robots. Human beings were given the highest cognitive abilities that no other living creatures possess. We do not act on instinct but have the free will to make good or bad decisions and the ability to fully recover from our hardships [if we serve God].
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.
The greater the challenge, the more excellent the opportunity to develop our cognitive abilities and receive spiritual growth.
Daily decisions are required for the progression of life, which is dynamic–constantly changing. God is fully aware of every challenge we will face throughout our lifespan. Humanity was not created with a spirit of doing as little as possible. The human mind has unlimited learning potential. And the body is masterfully created in God’s image. We have heard many stories of individuals overcoming against all odds.
Yes, our Father desires us to achieve the highest growth and development spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Still, our accomplishments must align with dependency on Him. Straying outside of His will guarantees that we receive reminders: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange was happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12
Prayer keeps us connected to God, increasing our spiritual awareness to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit. We always need God’s intervention. God can keep us from falling into the pit of adverse circumstances. Especially when natural disasters, job loss, or the death of a loved one happen without warning. How often have we thought of ourselves as innocent victims? Have we secretly thought, “Why would God allow this to happen?”
God answers the question, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
We can have reassurance that God allows us to experience circumstances beyond our control to develop steadfast Faith, Trust, and Obedience. We are hard-pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. The Holy Spirit is within us and will always provide daily comfort and guidance when facing adversity. Yet, we must pray and ask for help.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Overcoming obstacles always require human effort. To “Be still” while God is bringing us through the process of building faith and trust or resolving our mistakes does not equate to us doing nothing. In our deepest agony, we must praise and worship God despite our feelings. It is the perfect time for fasting, praying, and studying the Scriptures.
Yes, we need to memorize Galatians 5:22-23 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. God is LOVE. Do not be deceived by the enemy to view God as a punisher! Hold on to God’s promise: “The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
When faced with a dilemma or loss, we most likely develop strategies based on prior experience or ask friends and family for advice and comfort. God has given us loved ones to provide emotional support. Still, we must approach God first. When family and friends have time constraints due to their responsibilities, God is available 24/7. Secondly, will we wait patiently until we receive His answer or endure the lengthy journey of emotional healing?
Persevere with your petitions! When experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one, our prayers for comfort are immediately answered by the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter. God’s promise: The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:18-19
Acceptance that spiritual growth can only occur from hardships allows us to change our perspective of God. Yes, it is difficult to understand, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 when our hardships appear to crush our very existence. Still, God is faithful.
Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
We cannot manipulate or prevent the harsh circumstances, but circumstances must not impede or cease the progression of our spiritual, mental, and emotional growth and development. God is giving us resilience and fortifying our minds to receive the victory that only belongs to overcomers! We are to assertively use our God-given intellectual energies to anticipate our reward of Eternal Life. Rejoice in knowing that learning from experience always reaps positive blessings of strength, confidence, and courage when God is involved.
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21
Human Effort + Divine Intervention = A Victorious Outcome!
Prayer: God, we ask for your divine intervention to resolve our hardships and comfort for our broken hearts. Please give us the strength to endure our trials and forgive us for excluding you from our lives by failing to put You first. We pray for guidance. Thank you for your never-ending love, grace, and mercies. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers, and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries