"But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity." Job 36:15
God allows suffering so he can rescue us. Suffering causes us to incline our ears to our God. What can happen when we pay attention to God in our trials?
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." Romans 5:3-4
Suffering develops endurance, endurance leads to character and character gives way to hope. Awesome! So how do we want to act while suffering or in the midst of challenging situations?
"Do not long for the cover of night, for that is when people will be destroyed. Be on guard! Turn back from evil, for God sent this suffering to keep you from a life of evil." Job 36:20-21
Have you ever "longed for the cover of night" or kept a deep, dark secret in your life?
Women struggle with depression, anxiety, perfectionism, eating disorders, anger, jealousy, people pleasing and gossip to name a few. I've struggled and hidden much but I also know the truth. Life is so much brighter lived in the light. Sometimes the darkness that threatens to destroy us is an abuser or a family dysfunction. Same truth. Walking in the light leads to a very bright future.
If this is you right now and you're hurting, decide you want the light, talk to someone. If you need help, get it. Ask for it. Beg for it if that's what it takes to be free. If you need accountability, ask for it. Call a friend, a pastor, your husband, a doctor or find a bloggy friend. Let someone speak into your life and listen and get help! We were not meant to walk alone.
"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16
The first step towards the light is the hardest. Once you get a small taste of walking with the Light of the World, you won't ever want to go back into darker days. Trust me.
In one particularly difficult situation in my life, I was forced to choose between light and darkness. Choosing the light meant my friends would become divided. I would probably lose some. I knew the right thing to do but did not want to do it. I did not want to believe that God would ask me to because I loved my life and my friends. I wanted things to stay as they were. I was scared. I was hurt. I felt guilty. I felt betrayed. I desperately needed the light. As I prayed and cried out in anguish, God spoke to me. "How much light do you want in your life?"
Even foggy, dreary days full of clouds and rain have light. The sun comes up each day. Only on perfectly clear days does the sun show itself fully and shine brightly. The sun is there, it's not as visible. Well, if you know me, you know I want the brightest Son shining so everyone can see Him in my life. No matter what the cost.
I don't want to stay in the shadows. I want wonderful light. What about you?
"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9