This time last year, I remember going on plenty of prayer walks, listening to worship music as I looked forward to the day things would be normal again. I had no idea we would still be dealing with Covid the following Easter.
It’s interesting to think we’re still here, a year later. Still wearing masks, still keeping our distance, still doing all the pandemic things that are so normal to us by now that I won’t bother to list them out.
And it’s not just the pandemic. For some of us, there are other areas of our lives where we feel stuck and unable to make progress. Perhaps your grades haven’t risen above a C; perhaps your blog or business hasn’t taken off as you would have hoped; perhaps you’re dealing with that very same habit or addiction you told yourself you would be done with by now.
I’ve been there.
I’m still there.
I know it’s hard to keep on believing after weeks, months, and even years of struggling with that very same thing. It gets old after a while and you feel like giving up.
But please hear this–there is no tunnel so long or so dark or filled with so many twists and turns that it can dim the Light of the world. Jesus is the Light at the end of your tunnels, and even now, wherever you stand, He wants to illuminate your darkness.
He wants to take your hand and lead you through to victory.
Because Jesus is the victor, friend. It’s already settled that He is going to come out on top. Nothing–I repeat, NOTHING–can change that.
Please keep going. Please keep believing. Please keep seeking after God and expecting Him to do a new thing in your life.
It may look like hope is dead and you are destined to remain in your circumstances. That is what happens when we live with a Good Friday mentality–when we look at how things are instead of how we are promised they will be. But let us be a people who keep our eyes looking forward and our hearts holding onto the Resurrection reality that Jesus has given us.
Jesus has a plan for our lives, and it may require us to remain in the valley a little while longer. Like the Apostle Paul, we may have a “thorn in our flesh” that, for some reason, God doesn’t take away. But because of the crown of thorns He wore–the nails that pierced His hands and feet–the cup that God did not take from Him–we can rest assured that Jesus knows what it is to endure suffering.
We can also rest assured that our trials will end the same way His did–with victory. With a resurrection. With a purpose.
No matter what you are fighting for today, remember that God is fighting for you. You will see a victory.
The enemy will tell you that it’s over–that you have no more hope. But our hope cannot die. Jesus defeated despair once and for all.
Hear me out: there is a time to weep. There is a time to mourn and grieve and wrestle with our doubts. It is healthy to do that. It is not healthy to walk through life numb and indifferent to the pain.
It is okay to have Garden of Gethsemane moments when we cry out to God and ask Him to change His mind. It is okay to be honest with God, because God can handle our honesty. It is okay to have dark nights of despair when all we want is for the difficulty to end.
But we must remember that joy comes in the morning. We must allow Jesus to pick us back up and shine His light into our lives. Like David so often did in writing the Psalms, we must not end with the despair, but rather strengthen ourselves in the Lord and remember His goodness and love. Good Friday must never be the end of our story, because it wasn’t the end of His. “Thy will be done.”
The devil wants to hit the pause button right there–right in the middle of Gethsemane–right in the middle of Calvary–right in the middle of Saturday when all is silent–and then taunt us with the remote. But guess what? We live in the age of voice command. The devil may be pressing buttons like crazy, but all we have to do is pray harder and say, “Okay, God, the battle is Yours!”
The enemy will do everything he can to make you miserable, but please don’t give him that pleasure. If you are feeling stuck and discouraged, may you be encouraged by this: the enemy will always attack God’s strongest warriors.
Just today, my friend said something to me that made me stop and think. She said, “Your faith is so strong it scares the devil.”
How’s that for a pep talk?
But seriously… your faith scares the devil because he knows he has lost. His only hope is to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey with people–blindfold them, spin them around, and laugh as they wander around and miss the mark. But I’m pretty sure the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem already had a tail–and He didn’t blindfold His disciples before sending them to retrieve it.
Side note: it probably didn’t make sense to them why they were being sent after a stranger’s donkey, but their obedience fulfilled prophecy and advanced His Kingdom regardless.
Keep living in obedience, even when it’s hard.
Keep believing in the joy that comes in the morning, even when the night is long.
Keep fighting for breakthrough, friend. God will make sense of it all in His timing, and you’ll be so glad you stuck around for the victory.
Never place a period where God has placed a comma.Gracie Allen
In Christ now and always,