• Articles

    Life sucks? Here are 3 reasons why you need to stick with God right now

    This post is a shout out to all of you who are going through something really hard right now.  

    First of all, l’m sorry that you or someone close to you is in pain and my heart goes out to you.  

    It’s always a blow when you get confronted with a difficult situation. However, God does not expect you to bear through times of hardship alone. He wants us to turn to Him, because He is the only one who can get us out of our difficulties. Not the bank, not another human being, and certainly not a stroke of good luck.  

    What you are going through is important to God, and He wants you to come out of this trial stronger and trusting Him all the more.  

    God doesn’t do things by coincidence. He doesn’t favor some people and not others (Acts 10:34). God loves us all the same.  

    God loves YOU! 

    Yes you! 

    The following are three reasons why you need to stick close to God when life isn’t treating you right. 

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    1. God knows you and has a great plan for your life 

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    Jeremiah 1:5 (NRSV)

    Who knows you better than He who created you? Not only does God know us the best, He loves us with a perfect love, a love infused with His grace, mercy, and selflessness.  

    You were made unique.  Know that you are precious to God and are ordained to do great things. 

    These pitfalls you’re experiencing will at some point be over.  God knows what is going on in your life right now. He knows that you are in pain.  

    Nothing that happens to you comes as a surprise to Him. 

             “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

    Jeremiah 29:11 

    Instead of focusing on your problems, remember that God has a marvelous plan for each of us. He wants you to live a bountiful and fruitful life and will help you through tough times to make that a reality for you. 

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    2. Jesus has tremendous compassion for our suffering 

    Jesus knows firsthand how difficult life can be. His time on earth was punctuated with trials, disapproval, death plots, and suffering. 

    Jesus feels our emotions. He hurts when we are hurting.  

    In John Chapter 11, Jesus’ close friend Lazarus dies from sickness. Jesus shows great empathy for Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ two sisters, as they mourn their brother’s demise: 

         “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” 

    John 11.33

    Though Jesus knows He is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, His sorrow upon seeing the sister’s and other mourners grief is evident:  

              “Jesus wept.” 

    John 11:35 (NIV)

    This is one of the shortest, most powerful verses in the Bible. Jesus’ tears demonstrate the extent of His compassion for our suffering.  

    Jesus is with us, sharing our pain. When you are at your lowest, call out to Him. Jesus is right there, always beside you. 

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    3. Sometimes God makes you wait for your breakthrough

    We’ve all been in a situation that we want to see change for the better.  

    You could be experiencing financial difficulty. Or you’re in a job you don’t like. Maybe you have been trying to get pregnant but to no avail. You could also be sick and desire to be healed. 

    You may have been asking God for a while now to help you, but you still haven’t seen things turn around.  

    So, why isn’t God doing anything to improve your circumstances? 

    We may ask God for His help with a strong sense of urgency, but God’s timing is different to our own. It is not unusual for God to want us to wait for our breakthrough.  

    Why? 

    •  To build our faith 
    •  So that we learn to trust Him  
    •  God sees the whole picture, whereas we don’t 
    •  God is more interested in changing us than our circumstances 
    • God will sometimes say no today, in order to give you a  better yes tomorrow. 

    Don’t lose hope. Your time of victory is coming! 

             “For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
        it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
    If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
        it will surely come, it will not delay. “

    Habakkuk 2:3

    God knows the hand you’re dealt with. He also knows that you can handle it, because He has equipped you with His love and His strength to go through it. 

    “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

    Philippians 4:13

    Don’t get disheartened because you don’t see any change in your life today. Trust Him and wait. 

    God ALWAYS comes through on His promises! 

    God’s love and power is indeed a great comfort and source of strength for us.  

    Still, you may ask yourself – Why does God let bad things happen to us?  

    That is admittedly a difficult topic. I am not a counsellor, nor am l a psychologist, therefore l am hesitant to venture a response that might not provide the answer you are looking for, nor give you the comfort you seek.  

    However, I can give you an account of a difficult situation l’ve been through.  

    l lost a beloved member of my family four years ago to cancer. I don’t know why it happened, but l know that God is a good God. Only He knows the whole situation and what He has truly spared us from. l still bear the scars of suffering and loss today – but God has taken me on a slow but patient journey of healing. And He can do it with you too.  

    God has not abandoned you to your suffering. He has not forgotten you either. He sees everything, from its origins to its solution, whereas we only see the immediate threat. 

    Live the miracle of seeing God work out everything for your good, to His glory; believe that He is always with you, starting from today. 

    My heartfelt prayers go out to you my brothers and sisters and may God’s peace and mercy be upon you. 

    Blessings, 

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    Are you in a difficult situation and need someone to pray for you? Then write us an email with the Heading “Pray Request” or leave a comment below and we will gladly pray for you here at Jacob’s Ladder Blog!

  • Devotionals

    The Worry Habit

    Written by Linda Washington

    Thought for the day: Worry is a habit we can overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    Romans 12:2 (NRSV) 

    I’m a worrier. Whenever I feel sad, afraid, or overwhelmed, anxious thoughts tumble over and over in my mind, like clothes in a dryer. Even after praying, I still worry over problems. 

    Recently, worry escalated when my niece began to have epileptic seizures out of the blue. I felt cold all over when my brother texted me these words: unresponsive . . . at hospital. Thankfully, he’d been home when she had a seizure. He’d called 911 and off they went to the hospital. 

    She was released when the doctors couldn’t find any reason for the seizure. Everything was good, right? I didn’t have to worry about her any more, right? Wrong. A week later, she had another seizure, which required a hospital stay.  

    As you can imagine my worry meter was off the charts. Even after my niece received excellent care at the hospital and was released, I still worried to the point of sleeplessness.  

    After praying about it, I realized that my constant state of worry showed my belief that problems were bigger than God’s ability to handle them. I needed to be transformed. This brings to mind Paul’s advice in Romans 12:2: “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Sounds impossible, especially if I have to do it on my own. But I don’t. God can help me to change.  

    Recently, I took the first steps toward that change:

    (1) Admitting that I wrongfully chose worry over trust in God; 

    (2) Asking God to forgive me and help me change. That’s part of being a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) – putting wrongful habits to death. I want to be a prayer warrior, instead of a worrier. 

    Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. I need to “persevere in prayer” as Paul suggests in Romans 12:12, seeking God for help whenever I’m tempted to worry. I also need the truth of God’s promises to “hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9), instead of to worried thoughts. They also remind me to “rejoice in hope” and be “patient in affliction” (Romans 12:12). 

    Prayer:

    Lord, forgive me for the time I wasted worrying. You are bigger than the biggest problem I will ever face. I’m grateful that I can always count on you. You are my helper, the One who will never forsake me, as Hebrews 13:5-6 tells me.  

    Delve deeper:

    Got a worry habit? Allow God to transform you “by the renewing of your mind.” Instead of letting worried thoughts tumble over and over, consider Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8: “[W]hatever is true, whatever is honorable . . . think about these things.”  

    About the author:

    Linda Washington received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has worn many hats: textbook editor, senior project writer, manuscript reviewer for several publishers, ghostwriter, and a freelance developmental editor. She has authored or co-authored fiction and nonfiction books for kids, teens, and adults.