Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Healing Grace: Hard Times

For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing. Ephesians 2:8-9 Voice

 We've been studying about the gracious healing power of God. We've seen in our past studies that God is a good God. We've seen that God isn't ordaining our despair or destruction. As I write today I sensed impressed to focus on God's goodness when we are experiencing hard times and difficult situations and even tragic circumstances.

 Often when one mentions the goodness of God and His healing mercies inevitably questions arise. Fellow believers and even unbelievers beg the question if God is so good why am I experiencing such difficult and trying circumstances? Because so many have seen catastrophes played out on a global scale and some have even experienced cataclysmic events in their life, often there is serious objections and apprehension in proclaiming God's all the time goodness and healing Grace.

God Hasn't Forgotten or Abandoned You

 God is good and He hasn't forgotten you. First, when dealing with adversity we must understand we can find hope and comfort and encouragement in the Word of God. In His Word, we can see God's attitude and answer to our situation.
33 I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order. John 16:33 Voice

 In Christ, we have peace and wholeness. Note He distinguishes Himself from the perils and calamities in the World. This proves once again, God isn't the author of these events. His Word comforts because it reveals He isn't the author of our circumstance.
God is our shelter and our strength When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide?No fear, no pacing, no biting fingernails. When the earth spins out of control, we are sure and fearless. When mountains crumble and the waters run wild, we are sure and fearless. Even in heavy winds and huge waves, or as mountains shake, we are sure and fearless. Psalm 46:1-3 Voice

 His Word comforts and exhorts because it reveals just how big our God is and by trusting in Him we have nothing to fear. The Word comforts because it reveals that God is our help. He can turn our situations around. He can turn a trial into a triumph! That may sound cliche but it is true nonetheless. 

 When dealing with adversity, the second thing we must understand is that we can always run to God. Often, when difficulty arises so many run away from God. This is due, more times than not, to the wrong image religious tradition has created about our Father God. God is a strong tower. He is our refuge, (here). He is who we can always find help in times of difficulty. 

 Yes, but what if I caused my own difficulty, you may ask. What if this sickness or disease was brought about through neglect, or poor choices or blatant sin? What if this financial strain is of my own doing? Obviously, we all foul up, or miss it, or blow it. Making poor decisions can have adverse and negative consequences in the natural. Does this mean God is so displeased with me that He won't hear or answer my cry for help or healing or deliverance? 
 Religious tradition would argue, you made your own bed so lie in it. Though poor choices can bring about negative circumstances, they don't negate God's love and tender mercies. 
If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 AMP
 Even when we are faithless He remains faithful. When adversity strikes, run to God. Even if you are the cause, God can change things around and turn it to your good and bring glory to His name. 

 Finally, when dealing with adversity rest in who God is. Rest in His faithfulness and goodness. In these tough times, God is our peace. He brings a peace that surpasses natural understanding. His loving mercy brings peace and comfort to troubled souls. His peace is supernatural, it will bring strength and boldness and carry us through the difficulties we face.

 God is our hope. Hebrews says God's hope is the anchor for our soul. When confusion abounds and despair and turmoil tries to flood our minds and it all seems lost His hope is the anchor. His hope brings clarity for confusion, encouragement for despair and calmness for turmoil. 

 God is our comfort. He is our ever present help. He never promised a challenge-free life on Earth but He did promise that He would never leave or forsake us. This is one of the most powerful promises that bring triumphant victory in all circumstances. No matter what we are going through He is right there with us. 

 In summation, whenever adversity strikes, no matter the root cause, we can find our help and hope and comfort in God. He is a faithful God. He is the restorer of broken down lives and circumstances. 

 In difficulty, recall just how good and faithful He has already been. Even in times when we know we didn't earn or deserve it, He showed up with love and mercy and restoration. In this goodness and mercy we can place our faith and we can trust that He will turn it to good whatever we are going through. 

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