Last week I heard a powerful testimony from a man of God who shared how after a series of great difficulties and challenges (sudden blindness, multiple surgeries, and dying and being brought back to life) he asked the question most of us would never admit to asking.
"God, why is this happening to me? I thought you loved me!".
He recalled how during a heartfelt prayer, he had reminded God how he had served Him from a young age and had been in ministry for more than 40 years. He reminded God of his obedience and sacrifice throughout the years, and how he’d suffered through sickness and loss. He wanted to understand, how could a God who loved him and whom he loved back, continue to allow painful trials and tribulations to overtake his life? I too, have wondered this...and asked this same question.
What touched me was God's response to the preacher..."Stop telling me what you've been through and start praising me for what YOU SURVIVED!" A paradigm shift...a moment of my mind being renewed and my life transformed.
What would life be like if instead of reliving and retelling all of my stories of hurt, pain, betrayal and loss; I chose to worship the God that brought me through each of those situations BETTER, STRONGER, WISER!?”
What if I began to experience my trials and tribulations as opportunities for God to show Himself mighty and strong and not as experiences to be feared or dreaded? James 1:2-3 tells us, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
A chance to grow...A chance not only to survive, but a chance to thrive! God knows just what we need to fulfill his purpose and plan for our lives. We can’t always see the glory in the gory things that happen to us, but God can. Going through a difficult challenge or circumstance? Count it all joy! Praise God! YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!