1. His ways are higher than my ways.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8,9
I don't know what plans the Lord has for my life and sometimes I don't understand why I'm having to endure this. But, He may be preparing me for something bigger that has yet to come. I don't know what is to come, but I trust and believe that God does. I trust that He has my best interest at heart, because His word tells me so.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
He is my refuge and strength, and that's why I can get through this with the joy and love that I have. It is all Him, not me.
2. It's not always about you!
Goodness Sarah, don't be so selfish. When I find myself feeling sorry for myself, my focus is not on God, and I'm miserable.
Philippians 2:4 "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
In John 11:1-44 we find that a man named Lazarus, Jesus' dear friend, becomes very sick. Jesus heard about this and stayed away for four days! Why do you think He did that? Jesus let Lazarus die and deliberately did not return until four days later! Mary and Martha, his sisters were devastated, and Jesus even cried. How do you think Lazarus felt this whole time he was sick? We know that Jesus was a dear friend of Lazarus. Do you think Lazarus questioned why Jesus did not come to his rescue? Jesus had already been going around healing people in His Name. He certainly must have known that Jesus was going around healing all kinds of sicknesses. Do you think Lazarus focused on himself and became a miserable sick man; or do you think he focused on his Savior and He would receive eternal life and rise with Christ? Lazarus was used by God to show others that Jesus was their Lord and Savior. He rolled the stone away and prayed to God the Father and Lazarus was alive!! If He can raise a dead man back to earth, He most certainly can raise him to heaven. I find myself in the place of Lazarus. I can see up to this point how God has used my story to bring others closer to Himself. My blog has been a huge witness to the glory of God and His love for His people. So, Sarah don't focus on yourself, focus on God and what He will do for others through your story and sickness. It's not about you! This blog wouldn't be what it is if I wasn't going through these hardships.
3. He is simply worthy of our praise.
Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
God created you; He created me. He is simply worthy to be praised. Regardless of the hardships on earth, God is good and holy. The hardships are a result of what man and the devil brought into this world... SIN. And because of that sin, God has separated Himself from man. But God in His goodness and grace, sent His one and only Son to make a pathway to Himself. Jesus being sinless, died a death that was meant to be our penalty. He paid the price for our sins, and now we are reunited with God if we believe in His Son as our Savior. So that, my friends is eternal, and earth is temporary. This leads me to my next point.
Romans 8:18 "My sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed to us.
4. His will is for a heavenly kingdom, not an earthy one.
When Jesus came to earth, God's people could not get out of the earthly mindset. Jesus explained to the disciples that He would suffer at the hands of the elders, the priests and teachers of the law (God's own people), and He would be killed. Then He would be raised on the third day (paraphrased from Matthew 16). Peter rebuked Him saying, "Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23) Peter could not see past his earthly concern, the sadness he felt thinking of his closest friend and teacher dying. But Jesus was not building an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly one. This was the hardest thing for the disciples to grasp until after Jesus rose from the dead. Isn't it funny how Satan can use things that seem good to us? But they actually are intended to inhibit God's will for your life. If we can see past earth and set our minds on the things of heaven, then we will lead much different lives. All of a sudden the things that seemed so big to us shrink and give us peace even in the midst of turmoil.
Colossians 3:1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
6. I've never had more peace in the midst of this suffering.
When you feel bad almost everyday, you really have to rely on the Holy Spirit to pull you through. I can't tell you how many times I have begged God to release the pain, or give me strength or take away the nausea, or chills, tremors, burning sensations, tingling, numbness, etc. I could go and on, but I will spare you. I've asked God on many occasions, "Is my time here on earth coming to an end?" The funny thing is, most people think I look healthy. As an outsider, you can't see weakness or pain. You only know what I tell you. You can tell my eyes hurt on the days I wear my sunglasses into church or the store. But ultimately, I look well. This is called an invisible disability. My point is, yet again I have to rely on the Holy Spirit. When others can't see your illness, they expect you to be on point, and not to quit. And quite frankly, I hold that standard for myself as long as I can. Would you believe me if I told you, that I have more joy and peace now than I ever have had in my life? I wouldn't trade that for even a healthy body! Being close to God sustains me and gives me this peace that surpassing any kind of earthly understanding.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuine of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
You see, it's easy to praise God when things are going great and as YOU plan. But as soon as the storm hits and the boat is shaken to almost sinking, will you still praise Him? Can you see past the storm and see your Savior walking on the water towards you? The choice is yours, but you will either allow a tormented soul or a peaceful and joyful one. It's only through Christ that you will gain this strength and courage to push through with joy. This is a supernatural occurrence my friends. So if you try to overcome the storm with your own merit, it will never be. You have to submit yourself to the Lord and His will and rely on His strength and courage. Please be encouraged that YOU CAN have peace in the midst of the most devastating, tragic events in your life.
Matthew 10:34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
You may say, "Well that sounds contradicting." We must not forget that Jesus IS the Prince of Peace. If you hide yourself in Him, then you will personally have peace despite any circumstance. Jesus brought war against the devil and anything that sets itself up against God.
Matthew 7:13 "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way."
Hell is the easy way out. Do not be fooled by the easy path.
John 14:27 "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid."
Jesus gives us peace; this peace is only from God.
You have to choose Christ to gain peace.