When we face difficult times, we always have a choice.
Will we run to our Father’s arms, which are always there, for comfort and strength? Or will we rely on our own understanding?
About three and a half months into my husband’s out-of-state job, I realized I had been internalizing my resentment about being alone.
On the weekends, we focused on being together, but during the week I focused on keeping busy with ministry and activity. Inside, I felt depressed and tired. These feelings were an old default that I had become used to in former seasons of my life. I didn’t like that I was returning to that place, but it was familiar and easy. Then, one morning while I was spending time with Jesus, I heard Him whisper to my heart, inviting me to pour out what I had been holding back.
As I described to Him my feelings of weariness and loneliness, I sensed Him saying:
“Vikki, I know you are trying to be strong, but you don’t have to do this by yourself. I want to give you a breakthrough in the area of discouragement. The enemy wants to rob you and bring loss into your life. He has tried this many times since your childhood, and he knows it has worked. The truth is that you are an overcomer because I live on the inside of you. Step into this reality, choose to draw a line in the sand, and say no to discouragement for good. I want you to press into the abundant life that only I can give. Abundant life is My part. Your part is to receive, embrace, enjoy, give it back to me, receive more, give it away, and receive more by stewarding expectancy and hope.”
This was exactly what I needed to hear. According to John,
“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
When we are born again, we receive the ability to overcome in all circumstances in life. We are no longer under the power of the enemy or the oppression that fills the world apart from Christ. This is our reality as new creations. However, to live in this reality as overcomers, we need to practice turning to Christ in the midst of difficulty. We need to rewire our hearts and minds to the truth of God’s Word instead of believing the lies of our circumstances.
In effect, we are creating a new default pattern. This is the process the apostle Paul calls “renewing our minds” (see Rom. 12:2).
In the situation with my husband Richard’s job, I had a choice. I could steward discouragement, or I could steward life through expectancy and hope. I chose the latter and decided from that day onward to be an overcomer. In the years since then, I have learned more and more to steward hope in my life and to ignore hopelessness and discouragement.
And I have seen the fruit of this choice over and over. The year when Richard was unemployed was very difficult for us financially. Yet we chose to trust God’s promises and to run to Him with our struggles. And God transformed our difficulty into an upgrade. Not only did He provide for us in a variety of ways, but He enabled Richard to follow his dream and start his own company.
Also, He helped us to see that season as an opportunity to strengthen our marriage and reconnect with each other in a way that would not have been possible if Richard had been working full time.
From this we learned, like never before, that when we return to our Father’s unseen arms, we receive an infusion of His hope for our lives. He is never discouraged or hopeless. No situation is beyond His redemption. The question is, will we agree with His perspective, or will we empower a false and negative perspective on our lives?
This is an excerpt from my new book Loved Like Jesus.
I wrote it because I want you to experience the deep love that your heavenly Father has for you. Living from this reality as a much loved son or daughter, you can rest in a confident connection with Him and experience abundant living and lasting freedom.
Order my book today for yourself and an extra copy for a friend, your pastor and/or your small group.
Thanking Him for you,