“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)
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It is honestly hard sometimes to be joyful in hope, harder still to be patient during the rough times. Some days I want to give up. I am tired of trying and just want to hide out somewhere until the dust blows over … this never happens; the problem is always there waiting for me when I come out from hiding.
I remember being seriously afflicted after purchasing a used car for Nathan. It was a pity we didn’t know then what we knew later on. It took more than six weeks to get the vehicle on the road and after one week of Nathan excitedly driving from A to B it went right back into the shop. After holding my head and feeling as though I would cry, we regressed to coordinating drop-offs and pick ups, deciding who went to the gym vs. who stayed at home, and worse yet who kept the car in terms of convenience vs. who hitched a ride.
I can think of a few other life experiences where my affliction seemed to last forever and I’ve realised the best thing we can do during those times is hang on tightly until it all blows over. Why not give up? Because these situations provide an opportunity not only for learning but for growing. This is when we have no other choice but to depend totally on God and less on ourselves; at the end of the day our Father really does know best in spite of His offbeat sense of humour.
For example, God hears my urgent prayers for strength and how does He answer? By sending a difficult challenge – to make me grow even stronger. God hears me plead for patience as a parent and how does He respond? By testing the little patience in hand that much more – via a Nathan moment. God knows without a doubt that a girl can need help being more faithful as she ‘walks the walk’ but how does he assist? By presenting ‘opportunities’ to minister to others – disguised as long inconvenient boring meetings or unreasonable request upon unreasonable request.
But what do you do when you are afflicted?
- Keep the faith: God’s got your back and He will work things out
- Remain hopeful: as in refer to the point immediately above
- Pray, and then pray some more: now is the time to pour your heart out to God; He’s waiting to hear from you
- Turn to the Word: the bible has lots of life examples we can learn from; Joseph and Job were two of the most afflicted men we know and yet they survived aka we can learn a lot from their example
- Prepare to overcome: visualise the day you overcome your affliction; see yourself jumping for joy and hugging everyone around you because you actually made it!
So how do you handle your affliction? Are you calm and collected or wail-y and whiny? Is there anyone to support you or are you on your own? We are all afflicted at one time or another; it’s called LIFE and there’s nothing like a little support on the journey to victory so we can’t wait to have you share your experiences with us – we’re in this together 🙂
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“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts.” Proverbs 17:3 (NIV)
“We are hard pressed one very side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)