Tag Archives: despair

Blessings hidden in our crosses

Accepting our crosses

A Christian’s life is basically filled with suffering and tribulations. Jesus suffered too, ergo as His followers, our own suffering doesn’t come as a surprise. He set the precedent for us so we wouldn’t find it unusual or even unfair; He personally showed us how to persevere even when the crosses feel unbearably heavy.

Sometimes, it happens that when we can’t deal with those problems we start running away from them. That however, is not the right way to handle difficult situations. Problems are meant to be tackled and as it is, those sufferings are not meant to weaken us. They are meant to strengthen us. In those crosses lie massive blessings. So if we’re to uncover those blessings, we need to work hard, handling those crosses right.

Countless faithful have been known to abandon their faith when the going gets too tough. But a Christian’s life is about perseverance. Life in general is all about perseverance. If one was to take a close look at people who have made it big in life, they didn’t have it easy. Most have gone through so much agony to be successful.

The good thing is, when one perseveres, the victory feels even greater. Instead of running away from those crosses, we should embrace them and take them to God, so He can help us deal with them. He listens to all our problems. One thing I keep reiterating is, God works at His own appointed time.

If He is not granting us our wishes, it is not because He is not listening, but because He knows there is a better time to fulfil those prayers; and the best part is, His timing is always right. Difficult situations could make us sceptical-even I, get sceptical at times-but that is the absolute truth.

When God allows crosses like sicknesses to torment us, He doesn’t allow it because He wants us to suffer; on the contrary, He allows it because He knows we have so much to gain from it. Sometimes when those crosses feel unbearably heavy, we imagine God is punishing us. But again, that is not the case. He is a merciful God, and no matter how many times we wrong, He is ever willing to forgive us.

If you’re going through something difficult right now, it’s not a punishment. What’s more, there are many blessings contained in those crosses. If you trust God enough and remain patient, He will reveal it all to you in due time.

Before Jesus died on the cross He said, “Father, if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, but yours, however, but your will be done.” (Luke 22: 42). He didn’t want to go through what had been prophesied because He knew it would be so painful, but because He knew it was His Father’s will, He accepted it.

Instead of despairing, when in great anguish He prayed more fervently.

That’s the spirit we need to embrace; to accept the crosses which come our way, because like with Jesus’ suffering, there is victory in our own suffering. His death on the cross was not for naught; He saved all of mankind, by paying the ultimate price. If He didn’t accept that cross, He wouldn’t have had anything to triumph over. But because He persevered, we still sing His praises centuries after He resurrected.

Such will be our victory, if we hold on. If we take those crosses to God and ask Him to help us with them instead of running from them. We need to remember, there are blessings hidden in those crosses. We should think of the problems as a treasure hunt. During the search one encounters many difficulties, but then, finding the treasure makes all the suffering worth it. besides, nothing good comes easy, right?

Dry bones

Valley of dry bones

The first time I read about the proverbial valley of dry bones I was thirteen years old, and I remember finding it fascinating. To date I still find Ezekiel 37: 1-14, where Ezekiel gives an account of his encounter with God, a very interesting read. :

I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and His Spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”

I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only You can answer that!”

He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. Tell them that I the Sovereign Lord I’m saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in their bodies.

God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”

So I prophesied as I had been told. Breathe entered these bodies and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.

God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel.

When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. I will put my breath in them and bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

As compared to the time before Jesus was born; the period referred to in the Old Testament when God used to talk to people a lot, nowadays I feel He is more discreet. I’ve read about many instances where He communicated to people through prophets. I can’t say that happens a lot these days.

It’s true, some people claim God sent them; nonetheless, it becomes very difficult to believe them because the infamous false prophets are on the rise. Conmen masquerading as prophets are roaming the streets freely, scamming people off their money claiming to have been sent by God.

One may wonder who falls for those cheap lies, but truth is when life brings us down to our knees we become so gullible. We readily believe anything that sounds like a solution to our problems. Sometimes we call on God, and when He takes too long to answer we despair; we feel He has abandoned us.

God is faithful. Even though nowadays He doesn’t appear openly like He used to in the olden days, He is with us and He listens to all our problems. If we look closely, we will see Him everywhere: in the air we breathe; in those little sorrows which make our lives feel impossible… He never leaves our side, even when we feel we’re alone.

I believe when we accept God; to live abiding by His laws, He in turn fills us with His Holy Spirit. He gives us the power to prophesy victory into our lives. Like Ezekiel did; with God’s divine help, he brought dry bones back to life.

The dry bones in our lives might be those situations, which feel hopeless: It could be one is sinking in debt and there seems to be no way out; or maybe one is battling an illness, which even doctors have given up on; or it could be an on-going war, where loved ones have lost their lives and there’s no end in sight…

But if Ezekiel’s story is anything to go by, we shouldn’t despair. If we keep our faith intact, God will grant us those miracles we so desperately crave. He will breathe life into those situations that feel dead, and they will come to life. He will breathe life into our hopes and dreams, and they will no longer be mere dreams but sweet realities.

The solution is to keep believing in God; because when the time’s right He will reveal Himself to us, and our patience and unwavering faith will be rewarded.