My dear friends, whatever you may be enduring this day, no matter how unbearable it may seem, cling to the promises of Jesus. It is in His words alone that we may find strength and grace, peace and joy during our time on this earth. Some days you may be so worn out, so bowed down with cares, so wrought with worries and anxieties that you wonder if you can possibly endure another moment. By the grace of God, you can do more than endure. You can rejoice and be satisfied! When life gets difficult (and we know that it will), hold fast to His words. I continue to learn every day how absolutely necessary it is to have His Word written on my heart and in my mind. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” I love this verse! Blessed is the one who remains steadfast in suffering. Oh dear heart, this is so true. When we let His Word rule in our hearts, we are able to be happy even in the midst of suffering.
Personally, I have known only a little of what trials and sufferings can be. But it has been enough to make me cry out and beg the Lord for grace. I share my struggles with you in the hope that you may be encouraged to trust in the manifold wisdom and kindness of God in your life.
For many years now, I have experienced chronic physical pain. And I can attest to the weariness, anxiety, and frustration that can so often come as a result. Honestly, some days I am very discouraged and struggle to keep my eyes toward heaven. But the Lord is able to lift up my head and help me look to Jesus, even through tears. And I know beyond any doubt that He hears my cries and prayers (Micah 7:7). He is the God of heaven and earth, and He hears me. What an incredible and beautiful promise! But He doesn’t just hear us…
He will never forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I cling to these words each and every day. Let me encourage you to believe this truth with all your heart. For those of you who have been abandoned by loved ones, I understand your sorrow. I am right there with you, crying and grieving. But let me encourage you as a sister in Christ to not let this keep you from pursuing Jesus! Rather, let His promise to never forsake you drive you to be a blessing and comfort to others. Let it drive you to pursue Jesus Christ and live for His glory and honor.
He offers rest. Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We can find rest. It is so easy for me to forget that the rest I so desperately need is in Jesus Christ—not myself. I am in college (studying to be an ESL teacher), teach piano, and try to keep up with normal daily things. And I will be the first to admit to you that anxiety has been a large part of my life, one that I am not proud of. But my Lord is with me each day, helping me to overcome my fears and worries. May we always remember that true and lasting rest is found in Jesus Christ.
He is sovereign! Psalm 135:5-6, “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” I remember when I first came to believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in my life, when I realized that nothing happens outside His perfect plan (Lamentations 3:37-38). We often don’t know why certain things happen. But we can have faith in the certainty that our God is working out His perfect plan in our lives and it is glorifying Him (Romans 8:28). The freedom and peace that comes from trusting in His sovereignty is incredible and a cause for rejoicing!
He gives strength. Isaiah 40:28-31“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” The Lord doesn’t just give us strength, He IS our strength! These verses have brought me no end of comfort and blessing over the years. I think of them often and remember that through His strength I can endure under heavy burdens, persevere through suffering, and run the heavenly race with joy. There are so many times in our life here on earth that we will need the Lord’s strength. And what wonderful, mighty strength it is!
I would dearly love to share more with you of how His promises have shaped my life, but I fear my post is long enough already. May these verses strengthen you and cheer your heart today:
He loves us (Is. 54:10; John 15:9-13, 16:27; Rom. 8:35-39). He is near to us (Ps. 34:18, 145:18; Is. 55:6). He delivers us (Ps. 34:17-19; Col. 1:13-14). He is our refuge (Nahum 1:7; Ps. 46:1-3, 18:2; Pr. 18:10). He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27, 34; 1 John 2:1). He gives us peace (John 14:27, 16:33; Philip. 4:6-7; Is. 26:3-4). He forgives us (Ps. 86:5; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:17-19). He is our joy—I LOVE this one! (John 15:11; Ps. 16:11, 21:6, 40:16, 43:4). He has given us a heavenly inheritance (Rom. 8:12-17; Luke 12:32; 1 Pet. 1:3-5). He grants us grace (Heb. 4:16; Eph. 2:8-9). He satisfies our souls (Ps. 107:9; Matthew 5:6). He comforts us (Matthew 5:4; John 14:16). He gives us guidance (Ps. 32:8, 37:23-24; Pr. 3:5-6). He has chosen us (John 15:16, 19; 1 Pet. 2:9; Eph. 1:4-5). He is refining us (Jam. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). He gives us hope (Ps. 38:15, 39:7; Rom. 15:13). He keeps us safe (Is. 43:1-3; Matthew 7:24-25).
I encourage you, my dear friends, to meditate on the promises that the Lord has written to you. Believe them with all your heart, for they are His Words. And His Words are Truth. Decorate your home with these truths and promises. Keep them in your purse or backpack, stick them to your mirror or fridge, hang them on your windows. Keep a journal of all the promises you find! Be constantly feeding Scripture to your mind. When your body is aching and your heart is broken, your soul will be rejoicing because of Jesus Christ.
Dear sister (or perhaps brother) in Christ, hold fast to the Hope of Jesus. For He is able to bring you peace and satisfaction, even in your greatest pain. He will offer you strength in your most desperate moments. He will fill you with unquenchable satisfaction and joy, even in your darkest hours. He will give you hope. He will be your Promise.