Life can be so unpredictable. There are seasons of blessing when it seems the Heavens are open and blessings are flowing down one after the other. Then, there are seasons of difficulty - when it seems God is saying nothing and all we can do is hold on for dear life to get through it. We are bombarded with multiple challenges that seem to come in a whirlwind. As Christians, our challenge is to follow hard after God in every season.
It is easy to worship God with a thankful heart when things are good. There is not much challenge in saying, "Lord, have your way", when His way seems to agree with our desires and dreams. But, the true test of our faith in God and dedication to Him is when everything in our life seems to fall apart.
When nothing is going our way - can we still trust that He is working all things together for our good? Can we confess from our hearts that He is orchestrating events and situations to bring a final outcome that is in our favor? That, my friends, is where the rubber of relationship with God meets the road. It is in these moments, hours, weeks and sometimes years - that we put a demand on everything of God that is in us - and we see who we really are.
It is also in these times that we can grow in strength of relationship with Father. We can fortify and intensify our intimacy with Him. This is an opportunity to make the enemy sorry he ever sent hard situations into our life. The Word becomes sweeter and personal time with God is more inspiring. At a time like this - if you make a decision to hold tight to Jesus with a resolve to worship Him deeper and get spiritual gain - the enemy's domain takes a direct hit!
This is what has propelled me forward through hard seasons of life many, many times. The fact that I can use the season to come out stronger, deeper and closer to God is like putting a red cape in front of an angry bull! It makes me more determined to press in as deep as I can and surrender as much as I can.
There is an old hymn titled Have Thine Own Way. The words perfectly describe the attitude we must have in the good times as well as the challenging ones.
Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way
Thou art the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
After Thy will
While I am waiting
Yielded and still
The Bible has many good examples of people that persevered in relationship with God through good times and bad. One book known for that specifically is Job. In this book - many challenging situations confronted Job. His character was assaulted, then his possessions and children were tragically killed and taken away. Job's response? He worshipped!
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Everything Job held dear was gone! Ever been there? I have to say I have not. I have felt like I was close to that place, however. Walking away from my Mom's grave was pretty close for me. But, in that moment there was a strength that held me upright and helped my feet walk forward. In the moment we need it - His strength is there.
I believe God included the book of Job in the Bible so we would know beyond all doubt - that sometimes events will occur in our lives that are absolutely devastating. Sometimes we will be ready to swear God doesn't love us anymore. But, if in these times we can stand before God and tell Him, "I don't understand what is happening, but I trust you. I know you love me and You are working a plan that I cannot see. Do as You see fit. Have Your way!" - then that relationship is rock solid. It is like the man that built his house on the rock instead of the sand. The strong winds blew and the rain pounded – but this man’s house stood strong.
Any relationship that is only good as long as times are good - is not very solid or secure. It is a fair weather relationship. No foundation. No commitment. No trust. No strength. A difficult season will highlight a weak relationship with God. It will bring to the forefront the kinks, holes and tears. Actually, without the difficult times we would not be able to see the weak places. Selah.
Make a decision today. No matter where you are in your relationship with God. No matter how strong it is or how much you have grown. Decide that no matter what season comes your way – your response will be worship. Decide to get spiritual gain out of every difficult season. Decide that even if it is the most difficult time you have ever faced – you will stand before God with a sincere heart and say, “Have Your Own Way!”