At the End of Your Rope? Just Praise!
Paul wrote, “We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since He's the God who raises the dead! And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part” 2 Cor 1:8-11(The Message).
Are you at the end of yourself and all human help? If so, the God of resurrection power can rescue you. This is the place where every Covenant Keeper should live daily. What a wonderful place to be – at the end of your rope! This is where you bump into God.
Yet, if you listen to most Christians in the midst of their suffering, you hear: “I’ll make it somehow. I’m hanging in there. I just live one day at a time.” Most of us, since childhood, have been spoon-fed the concept of self-sufficiency: “Take it like a man! Men don’t cry!”
THE ONLY WAY OUT
How many times have you tried to work out all your troubles? Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. I believe God wants us to fight the good fight of faith, but the Lord has a way of allowing us to be “pressed out of measure.” Nothing you try works. Nothing you have read seems to help. No counsel from others makes any sense. Suddenly, you are forced into a crisis that obliterates all your trust in yourself. You have no hope, except to give up all human hope. You are forced to trust God and you see that the only way out is to trust!
1 Cor 10:13 in The Message says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He'll never let you be pushed past your limit; He'll always be there to help you come through it.”
How does He help you come through it? It is coming to the end of your own strength and turning absolutely to God! It is saying, as Paul did, “I do not trust in myself anymore!”
TRUSTING HIM TOTALLY
The way of escape is simple, childlike faith in God. It is trusting Him totally to see you through it all, resigning yourself and saying, “God, I put everything on You! I will praise You no matter my circumstance.”
People who have endured suffering and proven God to be faithful are strong, mature and patient. They have the gentleness of Christ. I love to be around such people. They encourage my spirit.
You will come through your trial and be of great help to others if you will trust God through it. You will see it happen on your job, in your family, in your church. People will be attracted to you because they know what you have gone through and power of God alone.
Many Covenant Keepers who suffer never learn anything from it. As a result, they never know God as their Comforter or Consoler. To hear them talk, you would think God was hard, spiteful, uncaring. They ask, “Why me?” Then they doubt God’s love and begin to turn away from Him. They moan, groan and murmur, and all their joy fades. Soon they grow bitter and hard.
David, even in the worst hour of his sufferings, blessed the name of the Lord. He knew the Father was full of mercy and the source of all comfort. He did not question God or become bitter; in fact, he praised Him in the midst of it all!
Sometimes the best teachers in any church are not the ones in the pulpit. Rather, they are sitting in the pews right next to you or those at your Covenant Keepers meeting; people who have suffered and yet still worship the Lord.
The language of those who learn through suffering is praise!
Written by Carolyn Johnson