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GROWING PAINS

“Look for the silver lining.” We’ve all heard this phrase I’m sure. For those of you who may not have, look for the good in the bad.

Everyday life can be difficult, sometimes even miserable. Some of us ache physically, some of us ache emotionally or mentally, and some of us ache spiritually. Somehow we lose our joy and get caught up in the ebb and flow of life. Sometimes being around someone who is unhappy, angry or depressed can bring you down. Their hopelessness becomes your hopelessness, if you let it.

It’s a hard battle to fight. It’s not a battle you can fight alone. Two scriptures that come straight to my mind that I would like to share with you are from Exodus 14:14 (NIV) The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still. The second one comes fromDeuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. My friends, let me tell you something. Jesus died so that you could be free! He died so that the depressed, angry, unhappy person could be free!

But why does God let His children go through these things? Look for the silver lining! Do we want to go through these difficult and challenging times? No! It can be painful! But God promises to never leave or forsake us. Which means, whatever valley you’re trudging though, He is making a way for you to get out. Not only is He making a way out, but He is going to turn it around and use it for your good. For your good and His glory. Not only that, but God gives us free will to make choices. If life were good all the time, do you think that we would realize how much we really need Him?

Let me share some scripture with you and the revelation I believe God gave me over this scripture.

Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the LORD forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Let’s look at the first sentence. Since God CHOSE you to be the HOLY PEOPLE He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. How does this line up with finding the silver lining? I felt like God was telling me that the difficult seasons we go through, because we go through it, we learn, we grow, we have understanding of the things we’ve gone through. He’s walking through it with us to teach us something…to bring transformation, to bring trust in Him to your faith and walk with Him. We use these learning moments for future opportunities to minister to others who have gone through the same things as us.

Let’s look at the second sentence.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.

When we go through our difficult season it allows us to have understanding so that we can be clothed in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. He gives us wisdom and understanding so we can identify those “faults” and forgive our offender. Why? God used our circumstances to transform us. We can allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts as the scripture reads. Peace from offense, being hurt, or whatever the case may be. Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive. But my friend, let me tell you, you’re unforgiveness hurts you more than the person you are struggling to forgive. Matthew 6:14-15: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Seeing through the eyes of God we have a deeper understanding and more compassion, which this world sorely needs.

And then we give thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and use what we’ve learned to teach and counsel one another . Verse 16 and 17 says…

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Will this be easy? No. I, myself have had some rough days and felt like I failed. But let me share two things with you that come to mind.

1. God is not a God of condemnation.

2. Even on our worst day, God still loves us. He still loves you!

Thank you, Jesus!

© 2021 Leslie Wittenmyer ~ All rights reserved

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