Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Discouraged but Hopeful

James 1:2-4, 12
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

I am discouraged lately, but hopeful that God will complete his work in me.

It seems like one trial after another is hitting me lately.

Rest assured.

I pout not.

God has a plan.

Several months ago we lost a baby. The due date was going to be Thanksgiving day. That will be a sad day for us. Oh, how we wanted that baby, but we can rejoice because God is sovereign over life and death. God has a plan.

I've had to follow God's direction lately and make hard decisions, because relationships with friends are more important. It doesn't matter what I think is right or should be right, what matters is that I sacrifice all of me for the cause of Christ, and sometimes that means doing hard things, even if relationships aren't restored immediately. I feel I've given up something I love for the restoration of fellowship with friends, and now I have neither one. God has a plan.

I've recently had to go through a situation that has humbled, humiliated, hurt and awakened me to the importance of laying down any rights I may feel I have. I have no rights. God is in control and He knows my heart, so instead of confrontation and possibly contention, peace should reign supreme in my words and actions. I may not ever see this resolved. In light of eternity, it doesn't matter. God has a plan.

The days lately have been long and lonely..... saying goodbye to Shaun early early and not seeing him until late at night. Many nights lately, after midnight. He is so stressed. When he hurts I hurt. Gosh, if you only knew how I miss him. God has a plan.

My older sister just had a baby and I long so badly to be close to her so that we can journey through these early days of motherhood together. I long to be with her. God has a plan.

This weekend I will lose my baby sister to her husband-to-be. She's moving to Starkville, Mississippi. Oh, how I will miss her company. God has a plan.

I've been fighting for joy in circumstances that call for me to fight; because God want's me to fight. I know He has a plan. I do not understand. Believe me when I say, I do not understand right now.

I do know that these trials are filled with purpose.

I'm thankful for the many blessings I see, even in the middle of the trial. God has given me a wonderful two-year-old, an incredible family, sweet friends at church, a hard-working and loving husband, and two sisters that are so special to me.

I am thankful in these hard times. God has been good to me. Too good to me. I know he is in control and I don't have to always understand. In fact, I may never understand His ways. I pray that through these trials, my heart for Christ and His glory will be made stronger. I pray He will continue to give me strength to see the good, be thankful, and pray through the discouragements.

God, I pray you will reign supreme. My prayer is that you will teach me more than I could ever imagine through these trials. I pray You will give me peace that passes understanding. Show me your truth. Teach me your ways. Oh, how I long to know that I am in your will at all times so that I may rest. I want to rest in your unfailing love. You are good to me. More good to me than I will ever deserve. Thank you for life and breath and all the wonderful opportunities I have to learn in these trials. You are my God and I will trust in you. In Jesus name. Amen.

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