Rising Above Circumstance

sunrise1I love to watch the sun rise.  Here where we live on the Redwood Coast, because of the oh so prevailing fog,  seeing the sunrise is a rather grand treat than an everyday occurrence. Even though some days we can’t see the sun, we know it’s still there.  Even though it’s covered by the dense clouds and fog, it’s still giving off warmth and light needed for the day. That is a given that we can trust.

This analogy got me thinking. When we go through days or even seasons of darkness, are we still trusting in our all-powerful creator?  Sometimes God leaves us in our circumstances for a reason.  Maybe he is trying to rid us of something or to help us change our perspective on the situation. Are we still trusting in his sovereignty and goodness even when we can’t see the direct light?

Sometimes circumstance in our lives sap our strength.  They leave us in a state of being stuck or cause bewilderment.  Sometimes the circumstances in our lives are brought on by our own acts of disobedience, sometimes but not necessarily always.  The thing we need to ask ourselves is this, “Will we let our circumstances dictate our overall God-given purpose?” And in this given circumstance, “What is the correct response God desires from us?”

First of all we need to check our hearts.  God knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.  He knows our motives.  Sometimes he will leave us in certain circumstances because he is wanting to change our hearts.  He wants us to walk in obedience and purity of heart before him.  We need to learn to rise above our circumstances.  We need to ask ourselves, “Will we accept this lot we’ve been given and use this time to serve God through it?”  Or, “Will we only trust him and serve him when circumstances are in our favor?”

I encourage you to read 1 Thessalonians 5, which helps me to navigate through the fog when it is blocking out the sunshine in my life.  We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5 . . . For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.  No wonder when in darkness and grey, we crave the light.  In verse 8 it goes on to say . . . But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.  And then in verse 16 it says . . . Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

To me this is a clear reminder that whether we like our circumstances or not, we need to be thankful in them (however hard this may be) because it comes down to this, “Are we trusting in the Sovereignty of our good God?” God wants us to be alert and clearheaded.  Romans 8:28 says . . . And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. When we don’t let circumstances cloud our judgement, we can trust that he is working for our good in and through our current circumstances.

I always ask myself in every circumstance, “What is God trying to show or teach me?” Is there something he wants me to change? And when God doesn’t change the circumstances in my life, “Will I trust him to serve him where I am presently?”  Sometimes God will change the circumstances and sometimes he won’t.  But the question is, “Will I serve Him whole-heartily in the “Now?” (my present situation).

When we feel we are drowning in life’s ocean of circumstance, we need to cling to Christ, our “life-preserver.”  The promises in his word bring life and help us to rise above the circumstances.  We are told to walk in the light as he is in the light (1 John 1:7).  God’s word sheds light on our circumstances and helps us to have an eternal perspective.  God’s word gives us hope, and we are told hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5).

Father God thank you for your word.  Thank you for the promises we can cling to when waves of doubt and destruction come crashing in.  Help us to rise above the circumstances in our lives that seek to ensnare us.  Help us to always cling to you and to walk in obedience to your word.  Thank you that you are an amazing God.  Thank you for your amazing love for us. We seek to honor you in all circumstances. To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN

I was listening to a song on my car ride home from work today.  It is a song that you might be familiar with by Jason Grey.  It is entitled, “Nothing is Wasted.” I trust and see that in every sad, hurtful, trying or painful circumstance (in the past or present), that when surrendered to God, can be used for his Glory and that nothing in this life is wasted.  He takes the broken things and makes them beautiful.  This song really ministers to my heart, the lyrics are as follows:

Nothing Is Wasted by Jason Grey

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine

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