Have you ever felt like you take two steps forward only to take three steps back? You want to believe, but your reality does not reflect your faith. Deep down. you know that there is a purpose in your pain, but it’s taking everything in you to keep believing that things are going to get better. You are committed to fighting the good fight of faith and believing God for greater things. The bottom line is that you’re human and sometimes your heart is heavy despite your hope for tomorrow.
You’ve been hoping, believing, and waiting for your breakthrough. From your perspective, nothing has really changed. It may be that your bank account has not increased, your relationships are about the same, and you’re still dealing with the same ailment that you’ve had for years. Let’s thank God that God sees better things for you than what you can see for yourself. God has a purpose in the pain that is beyond what you can see in the natural realm. His perspective goes deeper than the surface and into your heart.
So, the question is, “Why would God allow you to appear to be stagnant?” You have been taught principles of success that include being financially increased, experiencing supernatural favor and developing healthier relationships. You have read books, put the principles in place in your life to the best of your ability, and you are still not where you feel you “should” be. At times like this, you must remember that your “shoulds, coulds, or woulds” will not get you to where you want to be any faster. If you believe that “God can do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think,” you must accept things as they come. You must simply accept things by saying the short version of the Serenity Prayer which is, “It is what it is, but God is still in control.”
As you accept things, seek God to understand what He is trying to teach you in your situation. God allows trials and tribulations to continue for several reasons, and they generally fall in one of these categories:
- Spiritual Growth & Maturity
- Glorification of God
- Divine Order.
As a believer, your chief aim is to grow in Christ, but sometimes it takes pain to grow. When your spiritual muscles of faith, patience, and love are expanding, it doesn’t always feel good. It’s similar to when you are working out your body, and it’s sore after the work out. It’s sore because the muscles have been pulled and stretched in ways that are unusual. Your body tells you that it hurts, and you should stop. But your mind tells you that the soreness is only temporary as your fat turns to muscle. So you keep going. The pain in your life is stretching your faith and will allow you to lift more spiritual weight in the future. Even though this trial may feel like a set back, it’s building you up for your step up to the next level. In the next level, you will be able to handle more with a greater sense of peace.
As you mature, God enjoys using your life to inspire others. He receives glory when others see that you overcame your circumstances not by your own strength, but by the power of God. At times, God allows others to see you to go through a trial or a “set back” with grace so that other believers or aspiring followers can be inspired to keep going when they want to quit. Your test is in the process of becoming a testimony of God’s faithfulness for someone who is at the brink of giving up. Job is an example of this because He was a mature man of God who endured trials and tribulations beyond his control. God used him for his glory and He gave him double for his trouble in the end. Yes, Job had moments of anger and frustration; but He ultimately accepted the sovereignty of God. If God is using your life to glorify His name, let your brother Job be your inspiration.
Inspiration is not always enough to keep going when you want to quit. Sometimes you just want a practical reason for not being where you think you “should” be when you think you should be there. So a simple answer is that God is not a God of chaos. He is a God of decency and order (1 Cor. 14:4). Therefore, you cannot expect God to bless a mess. Now, He will transform a mess into a message, but transformation is a process. Therefore, you must be willing to go through the process to reap the benefits and rewards of a breakthrough. There are no elevators to the place called Success, so wipe the sweat off your forehead as you take the stairs. Don’t try to take two at a time because it will eventually slow you down. Take it one step at a time and one day at a time. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
In the meantime, coach yourself when you want to quit. Tell yourself, “Stay in the game!” when you want to sit on the bench. In your journal, or on a sheet of paper ask yourself the following self-coaching questions:
- What area of my life needs the most growth. How am I growing in this area?
- As I reflect on a recent set back, how did my response glorify God?
- Where on my journey to success, did I attempt to skip the stairs and take the elevator?
When you answer these questions, leave a comment on the blog or go to our Facebook page. If these questions taught you something, please share.
As you go through your process of spiritual growth and development remember that,
“There’s more in you!”
Detra D. Wilson, M.S.E.
Certified Christian Life Coach