How to Thrive Through the Struggle: Hope in God.

Does anybody else out there feel like life’s struggles have exploded off the charts recently? Little things, big things, medium things, relationship things, money things, health things, work things, all kinds of things - shaking, breaking, turning upside down and inside out - all-of-a-sudden and when you least expect it? Lord have mercy! Help us, Jesus!
What in the world is going on? Well, Beloved Friends, God only knows for sure, but here’s an end-times prophecy = It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better (See the book of Revelation, chapters 5 – 20), because God’s ultimate plan is to make all things new and set all things right. But before he can do that, he’s going to have to stir some things up to get all the cobwebs out of the corners and out from under all the sofas and flush out what needs to be cleaned up and cleared away. There’s a mighty restoration project going on behind the scenes, and it’s kicking up a lot of dust.
Paul saw this coming when he wrote in Hebrews 12:26-27, “When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain” (NLT).
Now hang on, nobody panic. It’s all going to be ok for everyone who is in Christ Jesus. And for everyone who’s not here yet, come on in and come as you are, because there is plenty of room in the kingdom of God for everyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The point of needing a savior is that nobody but God is perfect. He will make a way for you. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 ESV). God is good. We can trust him.
We who are in Christ have hope and help in unstable times. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:9-10 NIV).
And I love how the Message translation puts it: “God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.”
And you’re never sorry that you opened the door of your heart when Jesus knocks: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 ESV).
The world is coming apart at the seams because it is like an old garment, and God is making a way to finally make all things new (Mark 2:21; Revelation 21:3-5). But this restoration project takes time, and for a little while we are still in the midst of the shaking and sometimes we feel battered by everything that’s happening in the world today. Because let’s be real, it seems out of control, it’s depressing, it’s annoying, it can be dangerous and scary, and it just feels too darn hard to deal with. (Can I get a witness?)
But listen Beloveds, God knew it would be this way, and that it would feel like this. This is why he sent his Son, and why Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to abide with us forever. We are not alone. And God never intended for us to face the struggles of life alone, because in Christ, God has given us hope.
Our Comforter, the Holy Spirit, instructed the prophet Jeremiah to write this for us: “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 GW).
God didn’t bring us this far to only bring us this far. God has already made a plan to give us a future filled with hope. And that future doesn’t stop at the borders of this life but extends through the veil into an eternity filled with peace and joy in his presence. God is upholding us with his powerful right hand, and he intends to see to it that he receives all the glory due his name by demonstrating his love for his children, the beauty of his grace and the purity of his righteousness. Even when we stumble, he will not let us fall, and even when we are afraid, he never lets go of our hands to lead us out of the darkness and into his glorious light. And Beloved Ones, you can believe it, and you can rest in it, because God promised it and he cannot lie.
As Paul wrote to the Hebrews that God confirmed by an oath that cannot be broken, to we who are the heirs of the promise, “…so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:18-20 ESV), as our Savior, High Priest and Advocate.
So Beloveds, even when the world is falling apart, even when it’s difficult and everything seems crazy, and especially when it’s so hard that we feel like giving up – let not your hearts be troubled, because God has got this. And not only has God got this, but God has got you. And me. And each one of us, who have been redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, who is the most powerful being in the universe. God is Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. We can trust God and confidently place our hope in him in these troubled times. He will lead us through every struggle and into his promise of a future filled with the joyful realization of good things to come.
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