Here’s why you’re struggling
All we had were potatoes to eat. Nothing else. During our early years of marriage my husband Kenya and I were struggling hard to make ends meet. We had gotten down to our last bit of food. So we took those potatoes and prepared them in different ways.
We rotated our dishes. We made French fries, home fries, hash browns and baked potatoes. I had never eaten so many potatoes in my life! Times were difficult and very lean, but God got us through that dry season and never once did we go hungry. We didn’t have a whole lot of variety, but praise God our bellies were full. We didn’t complain.
Though that wasn’t a pleasant experience, I’m thankful for it and others like it. You should be thankful for your trials too. God is just getting you ready for something greater. You won’t struggle like this always. All of this is working for your good. It may not make much sense to you right now, but when you see what comes next, you will understand why the Lord allowed you to travel along that not-so-easy route.
In Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV, Moses told the children of Israel why God allowed their wilderness season. He explained, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Jesus used this very same scripture in Matthew 4 when He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus, who was flesh and blood like we are, was hungry. Satan, seeing an opportunity to catch our sinless Savior in a weak and vulnerable state, came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
But Jesus shot right back by quoting, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
I love how He used that Old Testament scripture in the New Testament to defeat the devil who doesn’t have any new tricks up his sleeve. You should use that scripture too. If it was good enough to get Jesus through, it’s good enough to get us through as well.
Allow this verse to put things in perspective for you. God has allowed you to go through a wilderness season, but it’s not in vain. There’s a purpose. He’s teaching you that you don’t live by bread, money, perfect circumstances and all the pleasures of life. On the contrary, it is His word that gives life. In His presence is fullness of joy. In His will, you’ll find richness, abundance and wholeness, despite what may be going on in your world.
That doesn’t mean you’ll always be going through and that He’ll never bring you out. Quite the contrary. Your due season is on the way. You’re coming out indeed. Great blessings are set aside for you.
In the meantime, however, you must remind yourself as much and as often as possible that this season is about you knowing Christ “and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings,” as Paul talks about in Philippians 3:10.
To experience His power, you have to go through a suffering season. To witness the miraculous, you have to be in a position where only divine intervention can turn things around.
Suffering, as unpleasant as it is, prepares you to deal with all that comes along with destiny. In the Promised Land, there will still be giants, amen? Problems and issues will arise. That’s unavoidable. But I guarantee you that, if you go through this, one day, you’ll look back on it and be grateful. You’ll say, because God got me prepared in the hot, dry, desert of affliction, I’m strong enough and mature enough to thrive in my land of promise.
You’re struggling now so you will be capable of victoriously facing and conquering a new level of opposition later. I know the trials have been really rough. And although God doesn’t enjoy seeing you suffer, He allows it to toughen you up and teach you powerful lessons that will sustain you in the future.
In the furnace of affliction, He develops your gifts, talents and abilities. He broadens your understanding of how to navigate your way through life. But please know: it gets better from here.
To remind you that the things you are suffering are well worth it, I’m stirring Romans 8:18 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, remember, after you survive the gory—unpleasant, hard stuff—God will get glory. Keep in mind the promise of 1 Peter 5:10, that says, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
God is preparing you to lay hold of your divine destiny. The dimension He has called you to operate in mandates the level of training and preparation you’ve been enduring. The intensity of the testing is an indicator of the magnitude of your blessing! You’re on your way up from here. As hard as it was and still may be, the Lord knows exactly what He’s doing. He's conditioning and positioning you for greater.
Get ready to receive it.
Now let’s pray.
God none of what I’m going through is easy, but I will not walk away. I will not faint. I will hold fast to Your promises, knowing that You have me on this path. You are leading and guiding me to my place of destiny. I pray for strength, courage, endurance and firm faith to get through this test and step into my next season of breakthrough. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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