“I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me.” (Psalm 120:1)

Do you ever feel like the Lord isn’t answering you? Maybe that’s because His answer is not one you wanted or were willing to hear. It’s hard to trust that the Lord has His reasons for the trials we face, and that He can use it for His glory. It’s hard to be in the midst of a trial and have no idea when or even if it will end. It’s hard to watch a loved one suffer through a trial and not be able to “help” them. It’s just plain HARD!

But take heart... here are some encouraging words and promises from the Scriptures:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm121:1-2)

What better help is there than that from the Lord? When you are waiting for your answer from God, do you turn to Him for help or are you trying to “fix it” on your own?

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71)

Ever think that God gave you your trial or “problem” for you to learn more about Him? How much do we really learn about God’s mercy and grace when everything in our life is going “smoothly”? Do you take time to be quiet before the Lord, get to know Him, and listen to what He is trying to teach you?

“I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119:75)

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that God was “faithful” to afflict me. Why would He want the children He loves to suffer pain and endure hardship? Have you ever seen how beautiful the roses grow after the bush has been pruned? How “beautiful” will you be on the other side of your trial, or in the midst of it if you continue to let God “prune” you and trust that He is faithful in the process?

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” (Psalm 139:1)

No one knows me better than the Lord. He knows what I need. He knows what I need to grow physically. He knows what I need to grow spiritually. He knows what needs to happen to bring glory to His name. YOU are part of God’s glory and what you are going through IS part of His plan.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

I rely on God’s strength each and every day. Chronic illness has left me weak, painful and unable to do the things I once could. God has shown me how He is there. God has never failed to carry me in His hand like He has promised. I would have never known the wonder of God goodness and mercy in this way had he not been “faithful to afflict me.” Can you rest yourself in God’s hand knowing He will hold you up?

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

Everything I have, including the life in my body, belongs to God. Who am I to say what He does with His belongings? Am I smarter God?

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

I have seen many blessings come from trusting in the Lord. Did I want to go to physical therapy for months and months learning to walk again? Not really. But I got to know some beautiful people from my church who volunteered to drive me, whom I would have probably never spent time with otherwise. I have seen Him infuse me with strength to complete a task that I thought I couldn’t finish. (Like enduring a week of Vacation Bible School only to come home on the last day and collapse and have literally NO strength left!) It may be hard to see the blessings in the midst of a trial... but if you look hard enough, they will be there.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19)

Again, the promise that the Lord is our strength... He will enable us to accomplish what HE desires... and nothing else.

Still looking for answers as to WHY you are enduring this trial? Look no further than the scriptures... it will give you a glimpse of the Lord’s plan. We can never know all the reasons why something happens... but we can know bits and pieces, and rest assured that it’s all for His glory.

April 2, 2008

Lisa Gopp