I am so thankful for all that God has given me yet I grumble and complain about how hard things are or about other things. I feel like its so easy to be discontent in the world today. This world tells us that love, money, physical beauty, and whatever else there is will make us happy. That these things will fill that void that we all feel at times.
And then there is God, a God who many don't believe in, a God who has given us His only son that we might be saved, a God who has given us a road map to living life, along with our purpose here on earth. THIS is what we should be focusing on. THIS is the only thing that will ever fill that void. THIS is what will bring us contentment in each and every circumstance.
While I do believe this, I still struggle. I get caught up in thinking how I shouldn't be struggling as I do, especially being a Christian. Aren't I supposed to be a new creation as 2 Corinthians 5:17 speaks about? Yes I am but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to struggle. John 16:33 talks about how we WILL have pain and suffering here on earth but then goes on to say, "take heart for I have overcome the world." It's difficult not to concentrate on your circumstances and the things of this world. This world is a wretched place. Of course there are times of joy and happiness, but those things don't last forever. When Jesus says "I have overcome the world" He is telling us that all of what we are experiencing and feeling is temporary and that we should be concentrating on Him, on what He has done, and what is to come. In Romans 8:18 Paul tells us how our current sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. How amazing is that. I cannot even begin to imagine what that's going to be like.
So, with all this said, what should I be doing differently as a believer when I am discouraged, depressed, angry, or when something tragic occurs? I should be running to the one who never changes, to the one who will never leave or forsake me, to the one who personally understands what it means to suffer, to concentrate on THE ONE and what He's done.
I was at one of my mothers groups the other day explaining some of my struggles as well as what I am doing to try to feel better and "fix" my situation, when a fellow mom brought something to light for me. She said that maybe I am just supposed to sit in my current situation for a while, or maybe this will be something that is lifelong, and that even though I don't understand it, God will use it for His purposes.
God is often seen through our difficulties and suffering because that's when we admit that we can't do this on our own and have a need for Him. I am brought to my knees at times and as painful as it is, its so cool to see God's power kick in and work through it (2 Corinthians 12:9 for my power is made perfect in weakness). I don't like feeling pain or suffering in any manner (I know, who does?). I can't promise not to grumble (but I will try!) or not to attend my own pity party, but I do commit to continue learning how to focus on Him and His purposes during those times instead of my own circumstances.
Rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4