When we go through hard times and there is nothing and no one that can help, our intimacy and relationship to God is the only thing that can get us through. When you have been experiencing some rough times – some Good questions to ask yourself are: What are you going to do when your Bible is too heavy for you to carry? What are you going to do when you are not physically capable of using your laptop or computer? What are you going to do when you try to pray but can’t? What are you going to do if you’ve lost your voice too?(Not saying that I have) What are you going to do when you are by yourself and everything around you just seems to be falling apart and you can’t so much lift your hands up or use your voice? What are you going to do during those times when God is silent or you haven’t “reached” that level of intimacy to bring you close to maturity. Have you ever thought about these things? These things are good things to think about. What does it all depend upon?
Some say it’s obedience and it’s about you reap what you sow, but actually I think in Job, Job got more depressed when other people were saying things like that. What really matters and what God is looking at more than faith, I would guess is your attitude. Your attitude while suffering really is a good signal of how mature you are in Christ. Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider these sufferings of the present time nothing compared to the glory that is about to be revealed.” If you are able to keep a joyful attitude when suffering then that means you have something that is of value to God. Sometimes the thing is not whether you are happy or sad, but what goes on in your thought life and how you lift up your heart to Him and just come to that point of surrender in knowing that you cannot do it without Him. Even Jesus when He was on the Cross probably was not rejoicing and singing and shouting, but He maintained the Word confession out loud, and He surrendered to the sin that He took upon His flesh when He was on the Cross. We all say we want a deeper relationship with God and a more intimate relationship with God, but do you know what it actually means to take on the nature of Christ? It means to partake in the sufferings of Christ. Although it is good that God does not give you more than you can bear, and though sorrow may last through the night and joy comes in the morning, we all have to suffer at some point and our attitude while suffering is important.
There are some kinds of attitudes that are healthy to have while in sufferings:
1) An attitude of praise – If you are able to not curse God or blame God during the circumstance but to lift Him up and not allow the enemy’s tactics to discourage you and to bring you into self-pity then that is a good attitude to have. I’ve done a blog post on Praise – I forgot what it’s called. It might be called, “Singing in the Valley”
2) An attitude of communion – If we allow ourselves to acknowledge the fact that Christ has suffered too, and that no one has suffered to the point that Christ has as it says in Hebrews 12, then we will know that no matter what happens we do not have to be discouraged because Christ has already overcome the world, and we know that He has suffered as well. There’s a verse – I think it’s in Phillipians where Paul says that he thanks God to know the power of His resurrection, and to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings. That must be a difficult thing to understand for some people. I am not saying that you have to suffer that it is a requirement to fellowship with Him, but to say that if you are suffering rejoice because Christ suffered likewise.
3) An attitude of rejoicing – When you are suffering, good chances are that you are being chastened or being disciplined by God, and even though it says that no disciplining is joyful but is grievous and painful, but the result is peacable fruits of righteousness for those that have been trained by it – We can still choose to rejoice. We can continually have our hearts lifted up because – we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4
4) An attitude of surrender – knowing that you are too small to fix all your problems is a great thing. Knowing that there is someone greater and larger that takes care of everything. It’s good to be obedient to the little that God has called you to do, but even when you have been disobedient and are trying to take control of your life and figure everything out for yourself then that God cannot operate in changing your free will, so you have to come and humble yourself before Him. Job did that in the last chapter of Job, where He just surrendered to God and repented. Surrender is a form of repentence – it is laying your will down and making a commitment to change. It is also the ability to realize how Great our God is.
5) An attitude of not complaining – no matter what circumstances you are going through, the less you complain, and murmur, the better it is. But you can always talk to God and reason with Him. Jesus is your mediator. When Job was suffering he cried out for a mediator between God and man. Aren’t we glad that we have one?
6) An attitude of Prayer – If at all you can pray, and prayer just means communicate to God in some form (I know some people say you have to utter out loud or speak in tongues), but in some cases you just need in your heart to communicate your heart’s desire to God and have that level of faith step in and take over.
7) An attitude of Be Still and Know – “When you have done all that you can do stand” – It says in Ephesians 6. When we can just rest knowing that God still loves us and cares for us and that our prayers are being heard and answered then maybe that’s all we need. We don’t need to beat ourselves up for what we have done because God knows and He is there to help you. Sometimes He just wants you to go and spend time with Him and seek Him.
Sometimes it’s not about all the rebuking the devil that you do, but it’s about your attitude. I don’t even want to get into all that’s going on right now, but I know God is faithful even when everything falls apart. The key thing to remember when everything falls apart is that God works out all things together for good to those who love Him. There’s going to be a blessing out of this situation that you might be going through – that is the peaceable fruits of righteousness.