Times felt so hard and it seemed as if there was no end to my struggles.
I was battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and insecurities.
I was still praying, still reading scriptures, and still going to church.
But, I had let my situation weaken my faith and get the best of me.
My problems had become my god.
One day, I felt like I could take no more. But, I decided to do the opposite of give up.
So, instead of getting discouraged, I just started praising God.
Right there, in the midst of my trial, I told God, “Lord, I abandon myself to you. I give this situation to you. There’s no path I can take that’s greater than what you have for me. I praise you God. You are greater than my struggle.”
Later on, the Lord led me to this scripture:
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” (Romans 5:3-5, Amplified version)
Look at the bold/underlined words.
In this scripture, God is instructing as to how we gain hope in Him.
Oftentimes we pray, read the Word, and try to believe God’s promises. But, we still find ourselves discouraged, lost, and depressed because we haven’t accomplished the first step: hope.
I can go to church and read 50 scriptures all day, but if my hope is grounded in something else other than God, I won’t believe or act on what I’m reading.
So, if you’re going through a rough time, but you don’t know how to have joy, you have to go back to the first step. You have to let God teach you that He is your joy.
How do you do that?
Well, the scripture says that:
Hardship produces —>>endurance…and endurance produces–>>character…and character produces–>>Hope of eternal salvation, aka: hope in HIM.
It wasn’t just through going to church and praying that I learned to have lasting, peaceful, joy. It was also through my hardship!
Hardship is the beginning process that leads towards hope in God.
Once you learn to trust God through trials, you learn that only He can complete you.
How can you truly understand for yourself that God is greater than your problems until you have a problem to go through?
Three steps towards praising God through your situation:
1) Change your Perspective– If you’re in Christ, God can use your hardship to bring you joy. Think of it as a benefit to your growth in Him.
2) Apply– Take this scripture and apply it to your mindset and life.
3) Don’t Hesitate– As soon as the problem comes, immediately start praising God. Thank Him for all the things He has done.
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