A Word of Hope: Standing Strong in God Through Challenging Circumstances - Part 2 in a series
by Lisa Hall, International Prayer Coordinator
Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the meaning of my life? I think all of us at some point in our lives have asked these same questions. It is central in every human heart to desire to be significant, to belong and to have purpose and value. The great news is that we don’t have to wonder about the answers. God has shared them in the Bible, and they center on what he says about himself and us, his children.
In an amazing account, Moses pleads with God to teach the Israelites his ways so that they could know God and follow him. God appears before Moses and declares, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Ex. 34:6-7). And later he adds that he will punish “those who hate me but [show] love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Deut. 5:9-10).
God proclaims himself to be a God of compassion, mercy and love but is clear that he is also a God of justice and will not tolerate idolatry. He is a covenant God who desires an exclusive and intimate relationship with you!
This declaration from God about his character is a great encouragement to us. Our amazing God also declares that he does not change (Isa. 40:8). He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:8). This knowledge gives us strength, comfort, stability and assurance that the God who created us is consistent, dependable and just. We can count on him.
We need to get our facts right. Don’t accept what others have told you about God. Go to the source and find out what he says about himself. What we believe has a profound impact on our lives. Our beliefs influence our feelings, which determine our actions, which steer the course of our lives. Do you have an accurate view of God?
Do you also have an accurate view of yourself? If we want to make sure that what we believe is true, we can go to the Word of the one who created us. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are buried with him in his death and raised to a new life in Christ. We are forgiven and given new life. God desires to bring healing to every part of our lives, but walking in the life he has for us starts with believing the truth. In Ephesians we discover that God has adopted us (1:5), redeemed us (1:7), chosen us (1:11) and sealed us with the promised Holy Spirit (1:13). We are saved by his grace through faith and created to do good works (2:8-9). Our value and worth does not come from what we do or how we look. It is based completely on “whose” we are – God’s precious beloved children.
How do we stand strong in God through challenging circumstances? We build our lives on these core beliefs – understanding who God is and who God says we are. If we believe what God says and live with his truth as our foundation, when the storms of life come, in the end, we will still be standing (Matt. 7:24-27). How would your life change if you saw God and yourself in the same way that He does?