This is a guest post from Marina Abdel Malak - a FrAnthony.com favorite (who also happens to be celebrating her birthday today as well!). In her previous posts, Marina spoke about her battle with ANOREXIA NERVOSA and how God got her through that tough time. Thanks to God, Marina has overcome her illness and therefore has become an inspiration to many people (including me!). That's why I love Marina's guest posts - they always shine a ray of hope into my day, regardless of the circumstances. You can follow Marina on her blog. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Life is tough, isn’t it? Everyday we faced multiple challenges and obstacles and at times it seems like it's more than we can handle.
At these times, we don’t feel strong and we certainly don't feel courageous. We are tired and we want help!
We pray to God, asking for strength. “God! Strengthen me! Either make this problem go away or solve it! Please! I am tired and frustrated…”
The Bible is full of verses that can motivate or strengthen us at these times, such as Joshua 1:9. This verse is God speaking to Joshua when he was feeling a little down as well.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Go back and read that verse again, but slower this time. What is God saying to you? Focus first on how God reassures us that we shouldn’t be afraid. He is telling us not to worry or fret over the challenges that face us in life.
Let me reframe it this way:
I am with you, My child. I know that you are suffering and you are tired. You may even be angry with Me, and you may feel hopeless. But have I ever failed you? I have never left your side, and I am always with you. Be patient. I am working wonders in your life…even though you don’t see it now. But I have a plan for you, and one day, you will see what I was doing all along.
But you have to TRUST me. Take courage and strength from this. Know that I am here, taking care of you. Do not be scared of people or obstacles in life. I am GOD, and I am more powerful than all of these things. I am in control. But if you try to take things into your hands, you will not feel My power. You need to let me work in your life.
I cannot work if you don’t have faith and if you don’t trust me. Don’t lose hope – you will need that on earth. If you have hope, you will be able to see that I will be with you always. I will open paths that you never saw before. I will give you success. But believe in Me – and don’t think that I have forgotten about you.
As you read that prayer, picture Jesus smiling at you, comforting you as though you were His child. How beautiful is this? Whenever I am in trouble or distress, this is what I imagine. I imagine God taking me on His lap, just as though I was a small child. I picture God telling me that He is in control, but that I need to trust Him. In this life, we will inevitably have problems. But God doesn’t just throw us into this life without any hope or encouragement. God isn’t like that.
God gives us hope at all times. He gives us the safety of knowing that He never leaves our side. But, we often don’t feel God with us because we are too preoccupied with our problems. We focus on the challenges in life and forget that God is still there.
But God is waiting for you. He wants you to sit with Him and talk to Him. Let Him know what you are struggling with – even if you are having trouble praying! God wants you to speak to Him. We need to believe that He never leaves us.
Remember when you were a young child? Remember how you held your parents’ hands as you crossed the street or walked in the mall? Why did they do that? Your parents held your hand to keep you safe. They wanted to ensure that you knew that they were with you and would protect you. They would guide you and make sure you went in the right direction.
God is like that too. He is always holding our hands. But, what happens when we let go? We then begin to walk in the wrong direction, without guidance from Him.
Don’t let go of God’s hand – He never lets go of yours! Trust in God and know that He is always there for you. Be strong and courageous. In other words, as the saying goes, stop telling God about your BIG PROBLEMS and start telling your problems about BIG GOD!
For discussion: think of a time when you were struggling – how did faith in God give you strength and courage?