November 5, 2013
What Can God Do with Difficult Circumstances?
"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2 (ESV)
This past year, people I love have had to grapple with some very difficult things—home foreclosures, loss of businesses, empty cupboards, and dry gas tanks. Family and friends have endured marital affairs, children sentenced to jail, another year of unemployment, cars breaking down, churches falling apart.
In the midst of such hardships, it's easy to doubt God can redeem the pain, recover what's lost, heal all that's broken. Can He truly fit the pieces of our suffering into a hopeful future?
If we rely on what our circumstances imply, we may believe the Lord isn't able to make something good come from our hardships. Or that He won't. But the truth is, God can and does change our circumstances.
Whether or not God alters our current situation, His power to give a future and hope never changes! We know this based on His Word that stays the same. That's why it's important to take action when difficulties weave doubt in to our faith in God's authority. How do we do this?
For me, refocusing on the truth found in Job 42:1-2 makes a big difference, "Then Job answered the LORD and said: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted."
Reading accounts of God's faithfulness bolsters us up when all that is around us is crumbling down. When we focus on what God did for others, it reminds us He is able to work on our behalf as well. Take a look at God's redeeming plans for some of His people throughout the Bible...
While Joseph was a slave and prisoner, God was planning for him to be second in command over Egypt. (Genesis 39:19-21 and 41:41)
When Ruth was a homeless, childless widow, God was creating a home in Boaz's heart for her to be his wife. God also knew she'd one day be a mother and years later a great, great, great-grandmother to Jesus. (Ruth 1:4-5 and 4:13-17)
No matter what the dire, dreary circumstances, God turned each into a hopeful future.
God can reverse, restore, revive, and renew. Be on the lookout for His plans that are already in motion right now, even in the midst of your difficult time. Trust Him. He can take any circumstance and use it for your good and His glory.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness shown to every generation, and for recording these stories where You turned dreary pasts into hopeful futures. I ask that You do the same for mine. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Scripture has many more redemption stories! Discover them for yourself in the pages of the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, filled with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.
Hop over to Samantha Evilsizer's blog for examples of prayers from Scripture that are related to difficult circumstances.
Reflect and Respond:
Today, take a moment to find and reflect on the Lord's faithfulness to you during hard circumstances.
Write those instances down and spend time giving thanks to Him.
Genesis 50:19b-20a, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." (NIV)
Psalm 40:5 "Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare." (NIV)
© 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.