When life disappoints: Longing for Christ

An Urgent Plea for Help in Trouble

“1 Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
5 O God, You know my foolishness;
And my sins are not hidden from You.
6 Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God
of hosts, be ashamed because of me;
Let not those who seek You be confounded
because of me, O God of Israel.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to You,
O Lord, in the acceptable time;
O God, in the multitude of Your mercy,
Hear me in the truth of Your salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire,
And let me not sink;
Let me be delivered from those who hate me,
And out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the floodwater overflow me,
Nor let the deep swallow me up;
And let not the pit shut its mouth on me,
16 Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness
is good;
Turn to me according to the multitude of
Your tender mercies.
17 And do not hide Your face from Your
servant,
For I am in trouble;
Hear speedily.” Psalms 69:1-3, 5-6,13-17

Times of trouble and deep discomfort have a beautiful way of making us *truly* long for heaven. To give you a little bit of background, I have been working at the job I am working at for 6 months now, and it’s been such a blast to say the least! I deeply enjoyed going to work and I liked everything at work. And then 2 weeks ago everything seemed to have changed. I tried to pinpoint what went wrong and I couldn’t put my finger on it! And since then, I have been feeling just sad at work. But these past two weeks regardless of how sad they have been got me reflecting on heaven and reminding me to fix my eyes on Jesus.

When things go wrong

Philippians 1:19-26 To Live is Christ

“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that you rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by coming to you again.”

Good times have a way of blinding us to the reality that this life is passing away. It’s easy to forget that we are passing through this life when life is all rosy and everything is going the way it “supposed to go.” “For we are strangers before You, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as shadow, and there is none abiding.” 1 Chronicles 29:15
Do you remember that you are a sojourner on this earth when “all is good” in your life? Because I know I don’t see myself as stranger passing through this earth when everything is going great!

When Paul was penning these beautiful words that leave us in awe, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” he was sitting in a prison in Rome and in chains (Philippians 1:14). Discomfort wakens us to this truth: Everything our hearts long for and real beauty are found in Jesus. No earthly “perfect” moments will ever satisfy our hearts. NEVER. The sooner we realize that, the freer and the more conscious will we be to live as sojourners of this earth. The sad truth is I have heavily leaned on Christ for the past 2 weeks more than I have for the past 6 months at work when everything was rosy and “perfect.”

I remember couple days ago whispering to God, “God thank you so much for the discomfort You have created for me. Thank You for using these moments of trouble to lift my eyes to what’s important and eternal!”

Without a shadow of a doubt I can boldly say that I understand James 1:2-4

Profiting from trials

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Let those words sink in: God gives us trials to make us perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Lord, please never stop breaking my heart if that’s what produces perfection and completeness, lacking nothing! I know, I will forget that I prayed these words. Always faithfully remind me that the breaking of my heart is the way You soften me to long for You and to love You with ALL that I am.
Trials are for my good. Trials are for my eternal good. Thank You for ALWAYS pursuing me, for ALWAYS wanting my heart.

“Given the option while facing his trials, I’m confident Joseph would have walked off the stage of God’s story. In the middle of Job’s story – with ten children dead, his body covered in boils, apparently abandoned by God – ask him if he wants out. I know his answer because in Job 3:11 he said, “why did I not die at birth.”

But that’s all over now. On the coming new earth, sit by Job and Joseph and Jesus at a lavish banquet. Ask them, “was it really worth it?

“Absolutely,” Job says. Joseph nods emphatically. No need to wonder how Jesus will respond.

One day, we too will see in their larger context, with an eternal perspective, God’s severe mercies, some of which we never understood, and others we resented. We’ll wonder why we prayed to be more life Jesus but then begged God to remove what he sent to answer those prayers.” Randy Alcorn

Lord, I don’t want to pray away Your Holiness and blessings that are dressed as trials.

It’s all well for us to say: we want to be the fragrance of Christ, we want the world to smell Jesus, but what we are really asking for is, God will You crush us?” Levi Lusko

To be like You, I have to be crushed. May I never lose sight of this truth ever again Lord. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for trouble, for moments that have went “wrong”, for the pain and sadness that I have felt for the past two weeks. Thank You for the tears that reminds me that You alone are my joy! You ALONE are my peace. “Perfect situations” are not my peace. You Jesus are my peace both in trials and blessings. Both in laughter and pain. You alone is my rock in death and in life. You Alone is my ALL IN ALL. If it wasn’t for pain, would I have drawn close to You? I met You through pain of my own in 2012. Why would I resent now, the very same thing that introduced me to You?

“I am not afraid anymore
I won’t run away anymore
I’m not afraid anymore
I’m holding on to you

We say Yes God
We accept the invitation to Your love
We say yes God
You and You alone can have it all…” We say Yes, Housefires

Lord, in Your strength I will sing a new song “I am not afraid anymore of trials, I won’t run away anymore, I will let trials have its perfect work. I will have joy in trial because I will always have You. I am not afraid anymore, I won’t run away anymore cause I have got You. I have got Your love. I have got Your Presence. What else would I need? What else would You need soul? Look up, Jesus is ALL you ever needed. Jesus, is the perfect love you long for. Jesus is the answer to your wonderings. He is fixer of your broken heart. If you ever have to run, run towards His arms.

Thank God things went wrong… Thank you God for trials…

James 5:7-12 Be Patient and Persevering

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.”

Lord, the below lyrics of the song “Gracefully broken” by Matt Redman and Tasha Cobbs Leonard are my prayer! Until the day I see You Father, I want to be crushed and gracefully broken, because it’s *only then* that I reflect You the way You always intend.

Take all I have in these hands
And multiply, God, all that I am
And find my heart on the altar again
Set me on fire, set me on fire
Oh, take all I have in these hands
And multiply, God, all that I am
And find my heart on the altar again
Set me on fire, set me on fire
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
My heart stands in awe of Your name
Your mighty love stands strong to the end
You will fulfill Your purpose for me
You won’t forsake me, You will be with me
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Pouring out my life again
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Oh, gracefully
All to Jesus now
All to Jesus now
Holding nothing back
Holding nothing back
I surrender
I surrender
I surrender
I surrender
Here I am, God
Arms wide open (here I am, here I am)
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Here I am, God
With my arms wide open (with my arms wide open)
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken, oh
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free, yeah
Your power and work in me (work in me)
I’m broken gracefully (broken gracefully)
(I’m strong when I am weak)
I will be free (I will be free)
Your power and work in me
Are gonna work in me (I’m broken gracefully)
I’m strong, I’m strong
I will be free
Your power and work in me (your work in me)
I’m broken gracefully (I’m so broken)
I’m strong when I am weak (I’m strong)
I will be free
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully (I’m broken gracefully)
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken

Lord, I am not naive, I am fully aware that these words my heart is praying are easier said than lived out. Lord, I am NOT praying them in my strength, I am praying them in Your strength. The strength of Jesus that conquered death. The strength of Jesus that defeated my sin. The strength of Jesus that commends oceans and winds. The strength of Jesus that rescues me from me. The strength of Jesus that triumphed through the lives of our forefathers. The strength of Jesus that shines through my rebellion. The strength of Jesus that will always see me through…
Lord, it’s ONLY through the strength of Jesus that I am proclaiming that I will always welcome trials, that I will always have joy even when my heart is broken… Lord, thank You for the Cross. May I never stop being in awe of the Cross that gave me a new life. A new heart. A new me. In the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit I pray and I believe, Amen!

She smiled and believed that God was writing a new song not only in her heart but over her life. She could believe and even rejoice in the beauty of a song with broken notes that was meant for her.

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