My Times Are In Your Hands, Day 12
God’s timing is perfect! How often we forget that God’s got everything under control! Marriages are falling apart. People are losing their homes. A week ago today, a ten year old girl Jessica Ridgeway was kidnapped in my state, Colorado. Where is God in all this?
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Yes, there is evil and sin, but God promises,
I will never leave you, nor forsake you!
In their book, Holy Habits, Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt write,
“Although God created time, He does not live in it, nor is He bound by it. He is not limited by any of the things that bind us. He is over and outside the realm of our time. He transcends time… Because God is outside of time, we can trust His timing…Because He knows the end from the beginning, we can trust Him. The future is uncertain to us, but it is no surprise to God, and we can rest in the knowledge that He has it in His hands.”
What a beautiful promise! God, in His sovereignty, wisdom, and mere existence, can be trusted because He is outside time. The events of your life and the lives of those around you don’t catch Him off guard because He already knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. And because His timing is perfect, we can rest and be at ease. King David must have experienced this total and true peace and deep understanding of himself and God when he wrote, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:15). We are finite… but God is infinite!
“Is there something you’re longing for? Elohim transcends time. He knows even better than you when you have a need and what it is. As you get to know Him, you will start trusting His timing in every area of your life. This heart-awareness will allow Him to make deep changes in your perspective on life.” (Wilson and Volkhardt, Holy Habits)
1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love always hopes and perseveres…”
Remember when you got married? Remember all the hopes and dreams you had with each other? You were so hopeful and in love and starry-eyed on your wedding day. My husband and I were so excited to begin the journey together, to have someone to share in the ups and downs of life. Did all your hopes and dreams come true? Did you encounter problems along the way? What dreams do you still hope to accomplish and reach?
Perhaps you’re not married yet. Perhaps you’re just in the planning stages of a wedding. You’re excited and nervous and thrilled to be getting married… finally! Maybe you haven’t crossed that, “Will you marry me?” line yet or maybe you haven’t found your life partner yet. You wanting a ring sometime soon, or for the right man to come along, but it hasn’t happened yet. Are you still hopeful?
The question remains the same in all these scenarios:
Are you holding out for your will to come to pass…
…or are you waiting for God’s will to be done?
Perhaps you’ve hit a rough patch in marriage… the loss of a job, the loss of a child, the devastating news about a health problem, the devastating truth of an affair… wondering where the next meal is coming from and how you’ll pay the bills, wondering if the ache in your heart will go away, wondering if you’ll survive to see your children get married or the birth of your grandchildren, wondering if your marriage will ever recover. Whatever the case is, God is there. He hasn’t left you. He won’t leave you. And His timing is perfect!
Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed in the wedding planning stage, wondering if you’ll get everything done on time, wondering if you’re making the right decision. I remember feeling lonely when in the wedding planning stage. I wasn’t on the best of terms with my family. I was working 3 jobs and going to school and spending weekends at our new apartment trying to move everything in while Adam was working. It was overwhelming. I remember questioning my decision to get married so soon, and questioning whether I should even be getting married. But anytime doubts crept in, God reminded me of His presence and His promises. He was still there. He hadn’t left me. And His timing was perfect!
If you’ve had to experience friends getting engaged and married, and you still haven’t a boyfriend yet, life can seem bleak. I remember the familiar ache and longing in my heart, wondering if any man would ever love me. I remember the moment I turned my love life over to the Lord and decided to trust His timing. He had a man for me in mind the whole time. He knew when my heart would be ready. He was there. He didn’t leave me. And His timing was perfect!
In any and all circumstances, you need to be anchored in the promises of God so when the waves of confusion, doubt, anxiety, disappointment, pain, discouragement, and aimlessness threaten to crop up and knock you overboard, you have hope and you can persevere!
Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NKJV).
Whether you’re single and feeling so alone or you’re married and struggling to get through hard times, whether you’re not sure you love your husband anymore or you’re overwhelmed with the pain of betrayal and are considering divorce, God is there in the midst of everything! Perhaps you’re thrilled to pieces about getting married and haven’t even discussed what you’d do together in the hard times and how to prepare for times of trial. Take some time to discuss your hopes and dreams, and to pray for God’s will to be done, not yours. In all honesty, I never expected to end up where I’m at right now in my life, but God’s timing is perfect. His plan is perfect. He knows even better than I do what I need, and He loves me through all my doubts and struggles.
Practically Persevere God’s Way
1. Lay down your burdens, and let God carry you.
I love the song by Amy Grant called “Carry You.” One of the lines in the song says, “I’m weary watching/ While you struggle on your own/ Call My Name, I’ll come.”
Precious child of God, don’t struggle on your own. You’re not alone. Jesus promises in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
2. Linger with God, and stay anchored in His Word.
In all your frustrations and struggles, don’t abandon God. Spend time with Him. Pour out your heart in prayer. Praise Him even still!
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
3. Look up, not in.
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
It’s tempting to read this passage and think God will give you everything you want if you just praise Him, but that’s backwards. As you grow closer to Him, you become more and more like Him, and His will and desires become your own.
Remember Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). It seems cruel for a loving God’s will to allow His own Son to be crucified… but that’s not the end of the story. God’s will was for us to be made right with Him again because He loved us so much. We strayed from Him, we fell into sin, yet Christ pursued us and a Holy God couldn’t tolerate sin. We deserved death, but Christ died in our place so that we’d be made holy and we could live with Him eternally.
In moments of trial, it is easy to think, “Why God?” or “How could you abandon me?” But that’s not true. It pains God to see His children suffer. Remember Christ died the ultimate death so that we could come to God freely without the penalty of sin on our backs. Instead of dwelling on the pain,
- Praise God for His faithful presence and His everlasting promises.
- Pray for strength to persevere.
- Trust in His perfect timing and plan.
Questions for Single/Dating Ladies
What are my hopes and dreams? Are they in line with God’s will? How do I trust God now? When I have struggles, do I still hope in God? How do the verses from this post help encourage you to keep trusting God?
Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing for Marriage
What are our hopes and dreams? Do we want God’s will in our life? How do our dreams/hopes factor into God’s plan? How will we handle disagreements, sickness, loss, money problems, failure, etc? How can we protect ourselves from wandering from God and trying to handle things ourselves?
Dialogue for Those Who Are Already Married
What were our hopes and dreams when we got married? What hasn’t changed? How have things changed? When do we feel like we want to quit? What keeps us together in the Lord? How do we persevere through trials? Who do we turn to? How can we arm ourselves against the Devil’s lies that we can do it on our own, without God?
Trust in God! Hope in His plan! Persevere in trials! Pursue His will! His timing is perfect!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
This is Day 12 of the ½ marathon blogging challenge from the CMBA. For the first 13 days in October, you will get a nonstop taste of my writing. To see the official rules, click here. To see other CMBA bloggers’ posts, click here.
I’d love to hear from you…
How do you handle trials in your life and/or marriage? What motivates you to keep going? Do you feel that the longer you’re in your relationship with God or the longer you’re married the easier it gets to hope and persevere? Why or why not?