Running the Race with Perseverance

I was so looking forward to starting uni again, to enjoy my last semester of uni/finishing off my degree. But as soon as I started my 1st day of the semester, everything just went downhill from there. Receiving back to back bad news (man, I kinda understand how Job felt at that time), I didn’t know how I can continue to persevere to serve Him Just within 5 days things just started firing at me, how can I stay resilience? 

I was disappointed, angry and frustrated with God. Like “why all these things were happening all at once? If you wanted bad things to happen to me, can’t you at least spread it out?!”  As soon as I started praying, tears just kept flowing.

I was actually pretty amazed at how quickly God responded. Straight after praying, I saw the devotion that I just bought called My Rock and My Refuge by Tim Keller. I’m thankful that somehow He prompted me to buy this devotion (and saving the last copy for me)  at the Perth Women’s Convention, just 2 days prior receiving this bad news. I started reading it that night and the page that I turned to was on Psalm 10:12-18. It talks about trusting God completely despite not getting our “why?” questions answered. I started tearing up again as I choose to put my hope in Him.  

I got to spend 2 solid weeks on the book of Psalms. Who knew it was filled with lamentations too? (I always thought it was a book full of praises) I had the opportunity to hear Sons of Korah performing some of the Psalms live on stage. Also, Our Daily Bread (ODB) Discover the Word had a series on Psalm 13 which you can check it out here: https://discovertheword.org/series/a-song-of-lament-and-hope-psalm-13/
I really thank God for helping me through that time and comforting me through brothers and sisters in Christ, praying for me and telling me not to lose hope and continue to fight the good fight. I was really touched. (When I served in outreach, I tend to be the one reaching out to people, so it was really nice to have friends reaching out to me) I’m forever grateful for the friends who encouraged me with 1 Peter 4 and sharing the song Better than I with me.

When my friend shared this song with me, as soon as it started singing, I teared up. (sorry for the people walking past, it must have been awkward to watch)

I also remembered during that time, be it a sermon or at a conference, somehow the message about the cross kept coming up. To be honest, I got a bit annoyed, like I know about the cross as I’ve heard it so many times, so why do you keep repeating yourself?

It was a few days later, through 3 different sources Romans 8:32 kept appearing.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

I finally understood what God was trying to say. I teared up again, thanking Him for reaching out to me despite me starting to hardening my heart towards Him.

I also got the chance to watch “All Saints” which was a movie that I can really relate to. Especially in one scene where the pastor felt that God was telling him to start a farm by planting crops on the land around the church and sell it to prevent the church from closing down. But then bad things happened to the crop. Even the pastor’s son asked his father “Why did God send the flood to destroy the crop?” I teared up when I watch that. That was exactly what I was going through at the time. I thought I clearly heard Him to ask me to do something. But how can I do it if I don’t have the resources to carry it out? But one thing God has taught me was to trust Him to do the impossible. For nothing is impossible with Him.

So back to my question that I asked at the start (I probably asked God a million times), God did answered me one day while I was cleaning my room. His glory may be shown through all that has happened. And would like you to share your story for His glory.

The main lessons that God taught me through these trials and I hope it will help you with whatever hardship, trials and suffering you may be going through.

-His grace is enough and when we exchange our weaknesses, He gives us His strength. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

-His glory shines the brightest when it’s the darkest (i.e. when we are at the valley/lowest points in our lives)

-Nothing is impossible nor too hard for Him to handle. And yes, He’s still in control despite how the bleak the circumstances is at the moment.

One thing that really helped me and carried me through was to look back and remember all that the Lord has done for me. I asked myself, has God ever withheld what’s best for me? Definitely not. I felt so thankful and encouraged that whatever He promised us He will bring it to past.

And we are invited to come to God just as we are, bringing our raw emotions to Him and just be honest with whatever is in your heart.

Fight the good fight – not just reading the Word but applying and when necessary used it to fight the doubts & discouragement that came my way.

 

When hard times come, instead of asking why is this happening, ask God what is it that you want me to learn from this experience?

 

Be thankful for times of testing as our faith can be strengthened by the trials we encounter in the valleys of life. As Paul encouraged the Romans:

“But we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:3–5).