Faith during Hard Times

butgod

I would like to consider myself a person of Faith.  However, lately that has been put to the test.  We all go through tough times in our lives, times of heartache, confusion, grief, challenges, sadness, depression and we may even wonder if God is really there.  It’s easy to have faith when everything is going the way that we think that it should, but the moment that changes is a test of how much we truly trust God’s plan over our own.  Sometimes His plan doesn’t look or seem good to us, but it is.  He loves His children and promises us all a bright future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11)  He is our strength, our peace, our provider, our comforter, our refuge, and so much more.  He is EVERYTHING that we need.  The only way to truly get to know Him is by reading His word and asking Him to reveal Himself to us.  He will in such amazing ways!  This doesn’t mean that the challenges in our lives will stop.  A lot of times, as we are growing in our faith, we may actually have even more challenges.  In James, chapter 1 we learn how the challenges strengthen our faith, and once we work through the emotions that naturally come up during these times, patience will be developed inside of us.  This is a process and does not happen immediately, but over time.  The same way that we grow physically, we grow spiritually.  At first, we are like babies and our needs are so many, but as time goes on and we begin to grow, then God helps us learn that we have all that we need inside of us.  How? Because His Son, Jesus died to give us life.  This life is the spiritual growth inside of our heart that allows us to experience joy in the midst of pain, peace in a world of chaos, love when we feel alone and abandoned, wisdom when there doesn’t seem to be a way out, patience to joyfully walk through the “desert” to get to our “promise land”.  Knowing this is great but it doesn’t change a thing until we believe it and live it each day in each moment.  It’s a choice, seems to be an easy one, but that’s not necessarily so.  I’ve found it to be extremely difficult at times, but always worth it.  God has a plan for us, we just need the heart to see it.  We have to rid ourselves of anything that is not of Him and ask Him inside of our hearts to fill us up with all that He is.  This is not a one time choice.  But one that we must make regularly.  Making the choice to have faith in God rather than worrying and doubting helps us mature spiritually and as we do, we learn what “life” really is and eventually are able to even say “thank you” to God for the times in our lives that we used to complain about.  And then our heart changes to become more and more like His.  This is the greatest gift of all.

Wounded World in Need of Love

worldylove

I can’t even turn on the news anymore.  It breaks my heart to see what we’ve become, as a society.  Why?  In the end, when we live as if it doesn’t matter we are the ones that aren’t truly living.  Looking back through my journals I found a poem that I wrote on April 5,2010:

Tears fall from my eyes, my heart flooded with pain
Thoughts of this wounded world parading through my mind
How come we’re treated so differently, when we’re pretty much the same?
Does it really matter where we live?  What we have? Or who we are inside?
Does it matter how much money we have or the type of clothes that we wear?
Or the car that we drive?  Or how popular we are?
Does anybody see the pain?  Does anybody care?
Or is it just easier to ignore the truth, and go have a drink at the bar?
A place where there are again so many searching for
happiness, acceptance, feeling of importance, a shield from the storm
those without the “one true love” are always searching for more
Growing tired of escaping, or worse, excepting this reality as “the norm”
It’s a thing called life, things happen, it’s no big deal
Does it have to be this way?  Why do we except this reality?
Some are alone, some abused, some don’t know where they’ll get their next meal
Why aren’t we all doing something?  Why doesn’t everyone see?
This broken world happened because we’ve closed our eyes and looked the other way
While hearts are being broken, dreams shattered, people breathing but don’t have life
Why do we judge instead of love and not speaking to others because we don’t know what to say?
Aren’t we all on the same planet merely striving to get by?
What if everything you have, everyone you love, was taken away from you?
No one even gave you enough respect as a person to smile and say hello?
Would you continue to see the world the same or would this change your view?
With no family, no friends, no money, where would you go?
Everybody has a story to tell, so why can’t we all relate?

If we would all open our hearts to the one who gave us life, then maybe we could learn how to function as a society again.  There’s enough food in the world so that no one should ever be hungry, yet we throw food away every day and then complain often of what we do have.  While we are complaining someone is starving and usually from what I’ve experienced, they’re living more than we are and we could learn something from those that we look at and judge because of the way that they look.  The story of the heart is what’s important and once we learn to open ours to Jesus and share His love, the world will be a better place.  We may begin to see a little Heaven on earth and escape the Hell that we have all created.