Tag Archives: rough times

Reshaped Into His Image

A friend of mine has a ministry called Know The Fight. He understands that people feel misunderstood, unwanted and unloved, so he began helping them to tell their stories. What he found was that as he helped them tell their stories, he helped them bridge the gap between them and others. The more people revealed about their hidden wars, the more that others realized they weren’t fighting alone. He creates and shares some amazing videos. On his personal social media, he posts things from hilariously absurd memes to quotes and reminders that will sometimes hit you between the eyes. He posted one of these recently and I wanted to share it here. He wrote, “My anxiety drops when I realize that everything that’s happening to me is to make me more like Christ.”

The more I thought about that, the more I realized how true it’s been in my life. God used some dark days in my life to purge me and to make me more like Christ. When things happen that I don’t understand, I remind myself that He is the potter and I am the clay. I’m sure that the clay doesn’t understand when chunks are taken out of it, when it gets crushed and out back in the middle of the wheel or when it gets hollowed out. I know that I don’t, but looking back on those times in my life, I can see that God was making me more like Himself, removing parts of my life that were holding me back and rebuilding my life to make me more Christ-like. Did those times hurt? More than you may know. When I look back from where God has led me, I’m thankful that He took the time to do those things, painful as they were, so that He could bring me here.

In the Early Church, they faced mass persecution and Paul addresses it a lot reminding people that God was using it to grow them and the Church. In one such exhortation in 2 Thessalonians 1:5, he wrote, “All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the Kingdom “ (MSG). I don’t know the hidden war going on within you today, but God does. He gave us the promise in Romans 8:28 that He works all things out for your good. No matter what it is that you’re facing, know that God can use it to make you more Christ-like. You may feel like you’re the only one going through it and no one can relate. While your circumstances may be unique, the pain, the battle and the loneliness are shared by others. God sees you and He is using this time to reshape you more into His image.

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

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Storms Are Temporary


One of my favorite stories when I was younger was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Back then, I thought it was hilarious, but now I can relate. If you’ve lived, you’ve experienced days like Alexander. But what happens when the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day turns into a week, a month, or even longer? How do we respond? How do we recover? How do we survive? Periods of things seemingly always going wrong in our lives can be relentless, but they do come to an end.

When they do occur, I recommend going back to God’s Word. When we go through days, weeks, or months of things going wrong, we risk thinking that those circumstances are our truth. We begin to think that this is how life is and will be for us. That’s why it’s so important to force yourself to go back to God’s Word. It alone is your truth. You can’t afford to let those storms define you. Instead, let God’s Word define your storm.

One of the things I pray over people going through rough times is that God would silence the storm. I also pray that if the storm isn’t over, to give them peace in it until it passes. Hard times play a huge role in your development. It’s part of the growing process and the solidifying process. God uses them to place you on a path you could never get on otherwise, and He uses them to cause your roots to grow deeper into Him. Spending time in prayer will help this process. Prayer puts God and your storm in their proper places and helps you keep perspective as to which is bigger.

There’s an Irish proverb that says, “In times of trouble, friends are recognized.” In your hardest times, it’s important to surround yourself with friends who can pray for you, encourage you, and help you win the mental battle. Your true friends will shine in these times of your life. They’ll walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with you. They’ll defend you while you are defenseless. If you don’t see friends coming to you, they may not see the storm you’re facing. Go to those you can confide in and find shelter. If they don’t know you’re struggling and in a storm, it’s unfair to expect them to help you.

Remember that according to Romans 8:37, you are more than a conqueror through Jesus. In Ephesians 6:10-18, you have been given armor to help you to continue to stand after you e given it your all. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter that all the powers of hell would not conquer His Church. As a Christian, you have all three of these promises to hold onto. You cannot be defeated unless you give up. You are guaranteed victory, but you have to stay in the battle to achieve it. Your terrible, horrible, no good very bad time will end and you will emerge victorious. Focus on what’s eternal (God’s Word), and lose sight of the temporal (your storm).

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