Have you experienced the most painful and faith-rattling circumstance in your life? A circumstance that left you anxious, desperate, frustrated and disappointed?
2 years ago, I was struggling in my studies. It made me so down like it hit me rock bottom ’cause I felt like God wasn’t answering my prayers. The struggle was hard to bear and it took me quite a while to accept the things that had happened because never in my entire life did I struggled in my academics (well, not until I studied medicine). The pressure’s really real especially when you are currently studying in the country’s #1 medical school. However, I realized that the Lord taught me to be humble and to rely on Him because I was too proud of a person. The situation also taught me a lesson about the scope of the human’s ability to choose acceptance over denial and faith over fear.
Just this week’s reflection, little did I know that what had happened to me was not as destructive as I thought it would be. I have always thought that my problem was worse than everyone else’s. I was very self centered and only cared about myself. I have not thought about the thousands of people who had experienced worse situations than me, just like Joy Mendoza, whom I knew from her personal blog and book. She was an innocent and beautiful lady of God. She had parents who were very active in church and all out to share the gospel, she lived a happy life but unexpectedly their house was ransacked and she was raped by 10 people in her bathroom and bedroom. Naturally, we always ask the Lord, “Why did this have to happen? I am a good person, I have always followed You, God? I have been a good child meanwhile the bad people are living in relative happiness. Why?” We question God’s goodness and fairness. Sometimes we even doubt His existence. How can an all-good and all-powerful God allow good people to suffer and bad people to prosper? We are tempted to think about these negative things.
But, there were 4 pillars of non-negotiable truth that I just learned that would help us all in turning each adversity into victory shared by Peter Tan-Chi:
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Our Father in Heaven is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. And with that, He is in full control of everything; that nothing in the universe occurs without God’s permission. He has the power and knowledge to prevent anything He chooses to prevent, so anything that does happen must be allowed by God. Yes, He could have prevented us from any adversities, tragedies and even problems but He allowed it to happen, then we must trust that it is ultimately for our good.
Therefore, the only way to survive is to turn to the Lord, not away from Him. What option do we have? To give in to the despair or would we choose to look at the possibility that divine orchestration was involved? Let’s just cling to the verse Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.” A sovereign God makes no mistakes. Tragic circumstances are ordained for a reason. While this is difficult to comprehend in the midst of suffering, it doesn’t change the reality that God desires our greatest good.
GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING
1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Like I said earlier, our God is omniscient. He knows the number of strands in your hair, He has counted and even named each stars in the night sky, He can count every grain of sand and before there is a word on our tongues He knows it all. And because He knows everything, He was not caught by surprise when the adversity stroke. We may never understand His wisdom, but we have to simply trust His will.
GOD LOVES US
Thankfully, I found my hidden container with handful of encouraging notes and verses from my youth camp days inside. Here are some of the verses inside that reminded me of the Lord’s love for us. First, God loves us unconditionally. His everlasting love for us was demonstrated at the cross through His Son, Jesus, when He died for our sins and suffered for our sake. He showed His love through action and not just emotional feelings. James 1:17-18 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” He has given you many scriptures that overflow with illustrations of His love, giving us assurance and promise.
God assures you in Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.” This verse not only tells us of His goodness and love, but says that it is for us today, generations later. God is faithful through all generations.
GOD IS GOOD
We must firmly believe that God is good ALL THE TIME. Wait, but what about the bad things that just happened to me? Yes, while the bad things may happen to any of us, bad things don’t have to define who we become or whom we choose to be. We can still choose to believe that God has a divine plan. We can still choose to love and forgive. We can still declare God’s victory in our lives to bless others and glorify God.
The reality is all of us go through trials, difficulties and hardships. Some are temporary illnesses, while others are long term, even incurable. When we cannot understand the why, we must look to the Who. So, despite the unimaginably hurtful circumstance that we may have experienced, our relationship with God, strengthened by God’s sovereignty and Word, should shine like a rainbow after a storm.
Always try to turn every adversity into victory. Remember that there’s a purpose why we were given such adversity; that there’s always beautiful surprises that can bloom from painful seeds.
Are you discouraged by circumstances? Are you broken by sin, by tragedy? Are you trap by chains of shame, unforgiveness and bitterness because of the trauma that you experienced in your life? You know what, Jesus can set you free, Jesus can heal you. All it takes is a prayer to surrender everything to him. Your life, that pain, that trauma and He will set you free. It’s only the Lord who can heal us, who’s going to make us precious. He is The One who makes us whole again.
You can pray with me if you like 🙂
Does this mean I will be problem-free from this day forward? I don’t know. I do not know what trial we may still encounter in our lifetime. But God still affords the same bountiful grace He has supplied. He has given the assurance of His presence with us in times of trouble.