Continued delays can be disheartening, especially when circumstances don’t go your way or your burdens become too heavy to carry.
Most likely, you’ve experienced heartbreaking occasions before—devastating disappointments that have robbed you of the last of your strength and resolve. The days, weeks, months, and sometimes years go by without any answers to your prayers. The illness, financial difficulty, conflict, loneliness, uncertainty, or need persists. You struggle, feeling the overwhelming temptation to give in to utter despair and fall back into destructive habits.
There’s nothing that can plunge you into the darkness of despair like a prolonged season of waiting. But this is when you must determine to wait on the Lord with courage. The quality that enables us to endure suffering, opposition, and the challenges of life with a steadfast and fearless confidence in God’s provision and protection is courage. And it’s your courage that’s stretched and refined in your darkest and most painful times.
Courage is a state of mind that’s absolutely essential for the child of God to triumph. When everything looks bleak and there’s no hope in view, we dauntlessly continue to trust that the Father is in complete control. We don’t give up or quit because we have faith the Lord is still good and has wonderful plans for our lives. We’re willing to face adversity and forgo good opportunities that offer temporary comfort in order to take hold of the very best the Lord has planned for us.
So how do you stay on track with His purposes for your life when everything seems dark and you feel desolate? How can you bravely take hold of the truth that God will take care of you and lead you through? Remember that …
- God is with you. He knows exactly where you are and what you’re facing—and He’s walking with you, providing for and protecting you along the way.
- He has an important purpose for the seasons of adversity you face. In order to make you His useful and effective representative, the Father trains you in the fires of adversity. Why? Because there’s nothing that deepens your understanding, stirs your compassion for others, and shows you what’s truly important the way pain does.
- You’re in a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:12). You have a real enemy who strikes at the core of who you are. How does he do so? Through what you think and believe (2 Cor. 10:4-5). There’s no more effective time for the devil to discourage and torment you than when you’re waiting on God. He knows exactly how to pinpoint the most painful, vulnerable places in your life and lead you to despair. But through Jesus’ example in Matthew 4, you can resist the devil’s disheartening lies with courage and the powerful truth of Scripture.
- You must express thanks to God, regardless of what happens (1 Thess. 5:18). You must give thanks in every situation and delay you face, courageously trusting in the One who will ultimately bring you through.
Take courage—there’s a limit to the delays and sufferings in your life. They will only continue as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purposes in you (Ps. 138:8). If you’ll remain courageous and faithful, trusting God to guide you through the difficult seasons of your life, then He’ll do amazing things in and through you. And He’ll move you from despair to the wonderful place where all of His promises for you are fulfilled.