You already know life is not without trials – and you may encounter more than a few as you seek to serve Jesus with your gifts and talents and live out the idea, thought, task or dream He’s given you. Here’s what you need to know to navigate through rough waters:
1. Trust Jesus
It sounds simple, but when a storm hits, the most important thing you can do is turn to Jesus and trust Him for all things. He is always by your side, through every circumstance, and wants only the best for you. The details you’re facing might seem all-consuming, never-ending, or even puzzling. Remember, our concept of time is not God’s concept of time, and the circumstances you’re facing are not an accident. Our view of our lives and the world around us is very limited, but God, the Creator of the Universe, is not surprised by anything. God knows the intimate details of our lives and holds our future in His hands.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30
2. Rely on God’s Strength
When you’re faced with a crisis, and you’ve plummeted into the vortex of the hurricane, you might think, “What am I going to do now?” This is where the rubber (your faith) meets the road…that point when God will give you strength beyond measure to rely on Him when it seems impossible…to believe that He has a plan…to refuse to let the enemy take you down and rip your faith to shreds. This is not done in your own strength but in the strength God gives in the midst of unimaginable circumstances. It may be difficult to understand, but even though you might feel completely powerless and lost, God can work through you, hold you up, and get you through the circumstances you’re facing, no matter how awful it might seem.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
3. Retreat and seek God
If you’re an impulsive or problem-solving person, your first instinct might be to lay out a plan and immediately begin acting on it. Don’t act out of emotion – take time to strategically retreat and seek God’s answers for your situation. If you are a cautious or uncertain person, you may be afraid to act at all – take time to pray and seek God not only for answers, but also for the strength to act according to His will.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
4. Be open to God’s new plan
Each storm in life changes us, shapes us, molds us, and refines us. How will this crisis change you? What is God trying to say to you? Sometimes the lessons are painful, but it’s God’s desire that we continue to grow in faith, knowledge and love, bearing fruit for His Kingdom. Just as the gardener prunes his fruit trees, God will prune us through various circumstances so that we can grow in faith, and so that others will see Jesus.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” – John 15:2
† what next?
You might ask yourself, “What happens when God lays out a new plan?” The most simple answer is: you grab a hold of the new boat He’s steered you to, paddle around while you understand your new calling, and then get ready to put your toe into the water and walk…and step forward will be here to encourage you along your journey.