I can’t believe 2018 is just about over. This year went by pretty fast. As I reflect on this year and everything that has taken place, all I can do is be grateful to God for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Overall this year has been a pretty good year for me. Everything that I wanted to happen didn’t happen, but major prayers were answered, I experienced growth in some areas and healing in other areas. God has been good, and He has been with my husband and I every step of the way. 2016 was a very rough year for me where I had to press past a lot of difficult situations and went through some very intense fire. So 2018 has been a year of continued healing and restoration from 2017 and it’s been a year of God reminding me over and over that His promises are yes and amen even after a very trying season.
Looking back now, I’ve learned so much about God’s ability to sustain AND restore after a difficult season. I feel so refreshed and grateful to have walked through those difficult seasons and now to see the other side of it and to see God’s ability to keep me through it. These are some of the things I’ve learned this year from things I’ve walked through. Some of the points are similar, but they are actual lessons I’ve learned that I want to elaborate on.
This year may have been a great year for you or it may have been a rough year. You may be wondering if things will ever get better or if God has forgotten about the words He has spoken over your life. My prayer is that this encourages you to keep pressing forward in your walk with the Lord and to know that He has a purpose and plan for everything that He takes you through.
1. Joy comes in the morning and this too shall pass.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Get that in your spirit! This too shall pass!! I recently read a quote online that said, “every storm has an expiration date.” Every storm that you are going through right now has an expiration date from God. He’s allowing this storm for a divine purpose and when it’s finished doing what He wants it to do in your life, He will tell it to cease. There have been times that I’ve gone through things and felt so hopeless that it would never end. Deep down I knew it would eventually end but when I looked around me it really looked like things would always be the same. Don’t let hopelessness capture your mind, capture those thoughts with HOPE from the word of God. Things won’t always be the way that they are right now, seasons change. Psalm 30:5 says “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Be encouraged, the night will not last forever. Meditate and stand on God’s word during this time. Don’t wallow in depression and hopelessness. Don’t give the enemy that foothold. You have a choice to be hopeful and joyful or be bitter and hopeless. We serve a God of HOPE. Surrender to the process, let God do what He’s trying to do in you through the situation (no matter how hard it is), have hope, and wait on God to change the season.
2. God can keep you through your hardest seasons.
Life is full of sorrows, ups and downs, good days and bad days. Whether you’re a believer or an unbeliever, we all go through things in life. It’s human nature to try to find rest and comfort in things when you’re going through hard times. People turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, money, tv, bad relationships, etc. to try and find some sense of relief in hard times. I’ve learned this year (and last), that all you really need is Jesus. He will literally walk you through and see you through your toughest seasons. You don’t need to look elsewhere for comfort and hope. Keep your eyes on Jesus! He wants to sustain you and teach you personally that He can be your Comfort in your greatest sorrow. There were times I’ve wondered if God was even with me because things looked so bleak. There were times I’ve wondered if I’d be able to make it through certain things. There were times where I went through one storm after the next, after the next with little relief or break. There were times I’ve wondered if my life would just be one difficult situation after the next. BUT GOD!!!! He sustained me! He kept me! When you’re surrounded by darkness it’s hard to see any light, but God is your light in your darkest situations, even when you can’t see Him. Do not put your hope, trust, or strength in anything or anyone other than Jesus. He will see you through. He can and will keep you if you let Him.
3. There’s nothing that God allows you to go through that is meant to destroy you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely felt like certain situations were going to take me out. I’ve felt depression knocking at my door, hopelessness has tried to swallow me up, and despair and sorrow have tried to overtake me in my process. Let’s be honest, the Christian walk comes with some great trials to test your faith. God allowed me to go through many storms in the past few years, but He never intended for those storms to destroy me. There is no storm that God will bring into your life that is meant to take you out! The storm is meant to make you stronger and draw you closer to the Lord, not to destroy you. The only thing God wants to destroy is your flesh. He loves us too much to let our flesh live so He has to take us through things to kill it off. Everything that God does in our lives is motivated by love! Yes, God loves you even though He is allowing this storm. The enemy tries to destroy us by getting us to give up while we are in it, but God gives strength to the weak. There’s something about having hindsight to a situation that helps you understand its purpose. While you’re in it you don’t know the outcome, but when you come out you can rejoice and really understand why you had to go through it. I can’t help but rejoice in the fact that the thing that I thought would destroy me failed! Seasons I didn’t think I’d make it through, I came out of just fine and even better than when I went into it! The fire that I thought would totally consume me, I came out of like pure gold! I came out stronger in my faith, wiser, with more love, joy, and peace. What the enemy may have meant for my evil, God turned it around for my good! So I declare over you that that situation will not take you out, instead, it will make you stronger in God! You will make it through and you WILL testify of the goodness of God!
4. God can change your situation SUDDENLY, in a very short period of time.
When it’s time, it’s time! This year God answered a major prayer of mine SUDDENLY! Something that we faced for almost 4 years, God turned around in a matter of days, gave us favor and made all the provisions for. I always thought it would take lots of planning and preparation on our part, but God literally moved unexpectedly and out of nowhere! Don’t limit God! What may take your human hands weeks and months to do, God can do in a moment! Like I said in point # 1, every storm has an expiration date! When God says it’s time, He doesn’t need your help, He just needs your obedience. Looking back now, I see that God’s timing was so perfect. I kicked and screamed for a long time for this thing to happen waaaayyy sooner, but there were many things that He was teaching me, building in me, purging out of me, and doing in my spirit. I promise you it did not feel good at all! But I had to be in that place until He was finished with what He was doing in me. Don’t be quick to move out of the place that God has you. Don’t be quick to put together your own escape plan because you may end up walking into a much worse situation unknowingly. And you may mess up the plan that He has regarding that thing and hinder your own growth and deliverance process. Be still and know that He is God! Be still and know that He doesn’t need your help.
5. There’s nothing that God can’t heal you from.
Have you ever been hurt by someone or been through a painful situation and felt like you could never fully heal from it? I’ve learned this year that through God it is possible to heal. We will go through many things in life and in our walk that may leave us wounded and broken, and it may not necessarily be because you did something wrong or got around the wrong type of people. Sometimes God will allow it to test your love. Will you still love people even when they hurt you deeply? Regardless of what they’ve done or what has happened, God’s doesn’t desire for us to stay wounded. Or maybe you’ve gone through a situation that left you disappointed and afraid to hope again. God wants you to be healed from it so you can move forward. God has had to deal with me several times this year about letting go of pain from past situations. Holding onto and constantly replaying the pain of yesterday prevents you from receiving and enjoying the new things that God is doing today. So as I chose to let it go, I discovered that the pain that felt so strong could be easily washed away by the love and comfort of The Father. I had to release it and believe that He had more for me. Sometimes we don’t get healed because we don’t release the pain. God CAN heal you and He wants to heal you, let it go.
6. There is JOY in the wait.
There are several things that God has promised that I’m waiting for Him to do. Some of those things I honestly expected to happen by now but haven’t. And some of those things I expected to happen this year but haven’t. There are times where I’m tempted to lose hope or become sad and depressed because these things haven’t happened yet. God has instilled in me all the more this year to have joy in the wait, to CHOOSE joy in the wait. I can either be sad, fearful, and full of regret or be expectant and focus on the good that is going on around me. There is soooo much to be grateful for! There is so much to be joyful about! I’m still alive, I’m in good health, I have a roof over my head, my husband’s and I’s needs are being met, and we’re able to put food on the table and so much more. But the most important thing is we are children of God who are filled with His precious Holy Spirit! What a privilege to be called His own and to be taken care of by God Himself! What is there to complain about? Do we have everything we want? No. Are we able to go to the store and purchase anything our heart desires? Nope! We got bills and a budget lol! But while we wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises, WE CHOOSE JOY! It is so possible to have joy while you wait. And not only that, it’s possible to wholeheartedly rejoice with and for others when they receive the things you’re waiting on God for. It should give you hope for your own process. And honestly, I believe God tests us to see how we respond when someone else gets what we’ve been waiting for. This year I’ve learned that God is faithful to give you joy while you wait and to help you to be content in your wait. The longer the wait, the greater the joy you will experience when the promise finally comes to past, so don’t just wait, joyfully wait!
7. God sustains you in the wait.
When I think about how long it’s taking for certain promises to be fulfilled, I realize that God has sustained me all this time. We all have a timeline in our mind of when we want or expect certain things to happen. And if those things don’t happen when we expect them to, we think we might just lose our minds. But as I look back I realize that I’m just fine, God has kept me and satisfied me with Himself all this time. I honestly have no idea when certain things will happen. When I think about the uncertainty, it can easily cause me to start panicking a little. But then I have to remind myself that if God has kept me all this time, He will keep me for however long it takes. Promises fulfilled or unfulfilled don’t sustain us, God does. He is our satisfaction, He is our great reward. His very presence in my life alone helps me to endure whatever life brings my way. He is water for the thirsty and food for those who hunger. HE is our daily bread! He gives us everything we need for each passing day. And as 2018 is coming to an end I know He will continue to sustain me as I wait. And when those promises come to past, I can testify all the more that no matter how long it takes, God will give you what you need while you wait on Him.
8. Through every season, God is good.
I can honestly say that 2018 has taught me this lesson. Through EVERY season God is good. It’s easy to say that, but it’s another thing to walk through it. It’s human nature to run from “bad” or difficult seasons. But it’s God’s nature to take us through different types of seasons to shape and mold us into who He has called us to be. And it’s His nature to remain good and CONSTANT through the changes of life. In the storm, God so good. In the fire, God is good. In the valley, God is good. On the mountaintop, God is good. In the pit, God is good. In the palace, God is good. Looking back through all the seasons I’ve been through, I can testify that the Almighty God has ALWAYS been good! My attitude during difficult times haven’t always been good and my faithfulness hasn’t always been consistent but God has consistently walked with me through it all. He has literally been my constant. So as this year closes and a new year begins, I may not know how 2019 will be or what it will bring, but I’m certain of this one thing: GOD WILL STILL BE GOOD! Don’t let how you feel about your process change your outlook on God. The same God that you praised when He was pouring out blessings is the same God you should praise when He withholds from you. He will never stop loving you and He will never stop being good to you.
I’m so grateful for all of you who have read my blogs through the years and been encouraged by them. I pray that no matter what 2019 brings your way that you know that God is with you and you are not alone. I pray that we all grow in leaps and bound in our relationships with the Lord this year and that we allow Him to take us to a deeper place of worship.
All of your goals and your expectations for 2019 may not be met but as long as you are in the will of God, you’re in the best place you could possibly be.
Love you all and I hope you have a blessed and prosperous New Year! ♥️