Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. -Romans, 5: 1-5
"Wait, WHAAAAAT?!" That's what I said when I read this scripture. Forgive my version, I pull my scripture straight from the Bible I used as a textbook during my Catholic school days and those teachers weren't messing around, they gave us the "hard translation" but here's the gist of what is being said here in Romans:
Basically, they're saying this:
You're just going to have to remain chill through your troubles. And when you're going through hard times, actually, we advise that you kind of put on a happy face about it. Because if you're patient with God, He will take the mess that you are looking at in your hands right now and He promises to turn it into something beautiful. We don't know how or what or when, but, He will. The thing is, though, you have to be patient. It will build character. And then, all of that character building that happens when you're patient, well that will turn into hope. And we all know that hope is what gets us through so one day we can look back and be all "ohhhhh, I see what you did there!" So yes, just be patient, be happy about being patient, and then hope will happen and it will click.
So, I remember when I read this the first time and I was really angry with God. I remember putting up this super angry/sad post of me crying on Facebook because I was just really that pissed and I wanted people to see the truth. I could NOT believe that God would give me what I had prayed about for two years and then take it away and then force me to read a scripture about patience. It just did not seem fair. What kind of Father does that? Gives you exactly what you want and then takes it away?
God actually doesn't do that. I was missing this key component. That God sent His only son. He made him HUMAN so that he could feel our pain for us. God, of all people, was NOT happy about what I was going through, he was weeping, too. It wasn't until then that I realized how much He actually loves me and is with me holding me even closer because of my pain and I found that I could only feel Him when I remained patient and open to receiving the grace that was available to me because I have faith. (JUST LIKE THIS STINKIN' SCRIPTURE SAYS! CRAZY, RIGHT!?)
I feel at peace when I trust in God to fulfill the desires of my heart as only He can. It may not be how I wanted it or how I saw it for myself, but He will make it right in His right time.
Your action steps for the week:
1. Go for a gratitude walk. Take a walk around your block, on a treadmill, around your office, around your house and turn off the music, the noise, the sounds. (if you have little ones and you're thinking that is just not possible, then tune them out for 3 minutes, sister!) While you're walking, recall everything that you are grateful for and why. You're going to feel antsy. That is the point of this exercise. Turn off the to-do list and turn up the gratitude. Be patient. Do this every day until it is your routine to walk in patience and gratitude and not rush around in confusion and defeat.
2. Get out your journal. What are the desires of your heart? Write them down. God knows them already, but maybe you've been too scared to write them down or say them out loud. Write them down and in a year, we will look back on these desires and see how God has fulfilled them in ways you wouldn't ever have imagined.
3. On another page of your journal, go ahead and get mad at God if you are right now. (If you're not, that's cool, too). But, if you're a little ticked with the Big Guy, get it down on paper. Are you waiting for Him to show up in some area that you just can't see Him? Have you been faithful, but yet you feel He has forgotten about you? He understands. He can handle it and you will feel better. On days when I am the most angry, I wake up the next day with more faith and patience then I had before. And I always see what I was missing after I let Him know how I was really feeling.
Lastly, we want to hear from you! How are these Monday morning emails helping you? How have you applied them to your life? We would love to feature our followers and how they have walked this path with us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every. Sweat. Matters.