A text message received on a Monday morning was not intended to disturb my peace for so long. But it did. It announced the unwelcome arrival of a crisis I hadn’t encountered before. In the span of hours one text triggered a series of apprehensive calls, a collection of anxious emails and a string of crisis-management meetings. Unbeknown to me, one set of circumstances had consumed my mind, heightened my fears and drained my energy. I wondered: “Will I ever get through this, really?”
Surely, this is not the first time that you or I have uttered the same question. Today it may be a result of a crisis, on another occassion it might be an illness, a sad loss of a loved one, a relational breakdown, a business collapse, a loss of a job, unbearable misunderstandings, unfair accusations, or an uncertain future. Whatever it may be, at one point or another we all ask that familiar question: “Will I ever get through this, really?”
The good news is, that the Bible assures us that God has a way to get us through whatever problems, challenges, or tragedies we may encounter. The apostle Paul was imprisoned because of his faith, he was removed from his people, and he was unfairly targeted by other ‘preachers’. Yet, Paul revealed 4 keys that ensure that we get through whatever challenges we are facing, AND come out better off on the other side. (Philippians 1:19-22)
Paul knew that he could endure significant challenges, experience God’s deliverance and fulfil God’s mission “through the prayers” of ordinary people. Praying with AND for each other is God’s appointed way for overcoming life’s toughest challenges.
Paul accessed divine help through God’s Spirit. No matter where you are, no matter what you may be going through, no matter how you may feel — God’s Spirit resides within you to provide divine help, comfort and direction. God understands your disappointment, He feels your pain, He is committed to not just offer help for your journey, but to be with you every step of the way.
Paul acknowledged that he had no power to control the outcome of his predicament, yet he trusted the power of God that could turn things around for his advantage. Simply, Paul was saying NO MATTER how out of my control things may be, I do trust in a mighty God who cares for me. He has an incredible capacity to turn things around in our favour. He can turn our sorrow into joy, our mourning into dancing, our brokenness into a mosaic, our fears into courage, and our weakness into strength.
Paul understood that his challenges could not hinder the fulfilment of God’s purpose in his life. He says: now as always Christ will be exalted in my body. As always- whether I’m free or imprisoned, whether I’m strong or weak, whether I’m encouraged or discouraged, whether I’m enjoying life or enduring life- ONE THING won’t change, my purpose in life.
Living for an eternal purpose has the power to channel our energy into something of extraordinarily significance. No matter what we are going through, living for Jesus will give us fresh perspective, new energy and a divine reason to live.
Imagine what it would be like if throughout your journey you trusted God’s power to turn things around for you! Imagine if despite your circumstances which may tempt you to feel defeated, hard done by or devastated, you could live in peace and confidence, declaring that God will turn things around for your advantage. Imagine if you could live with intent, motivation and determination as you look past your circumstances and focus on your eternal purpose.
May be, just may be, the life that you lead in the midst of challenges is the greatest reflection of the capacity of your awesome God.