A few weeks ago, I entered a new season of upheaval and transition – which was terrifying, exhilarating and excruciating. But the process was worth it, because it opened the eyes of my heart to see more clearly than my own eyes ever could.
I'm going to explain why these seasons are necessary to building unshakable faith and endurance through the process of trusting God.
Believing in God's goodness despite my feelings of being lost in the storm sometimes requires a lot of guidance. Luckily, I'm not the first person to undergo this process. Abraham became the father of many nations, despite having no children in his old age. His belief in God's ability to fulfill His promises was credited to Abraham as righteousness (Romans chapter 4 verse 22).
David became king after Saul, despite being slandered and persecuted. Through long seasons of suffering, he continually cried out to God, believing in His goodness. What can I learn from their victories? When their eyes looked upon walls of opposition, their faith saw, instead, God's ability to turn those walls into doorways.
This is how I know that the fulfillment of my own anointing and dreams rests in believing God more than my circumstances. Just as I strengthen my body in exercise, I have to practice trusting God in order to build up an unshakable faith that can navigate me through any storm and towards His promises.
Building Hope and Vision
"Even in times of trouble, we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us a patient endurance, and patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope." (Romans chapter 5 verse 4, TPT)
Seasons of uncertainty are unique opportunities to develop endurance, character, and hope. My career, relationships, and walk with God have made steep and unexpected changes over the last few weeks. This has not been an easy process, and I don't seek praise for choosing to go through it. It is something we are all called to do – trusting the Lord and building an enduring faith. A lot can get in the way, though, and I freely admit that I often get in my own way.
What prevents us from navigating the storms of our life? For me, these are the most common culprits: unrepentance, offence, fear and unbelief. It wasn't until I dealt with those heart issues that God gave me clarity for this season.If my heart was impure or clouded with agenda, I wouldn't be able to navigate through these storms. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23, NIV)
Let me be the first to admit that some of the storms I faced in this transition season were just the result of foolish choices. For example, I had the discernment to know where to invest and where to put up boundaries, but I didn't trust my discernment or honor my own boundaries. God is not the kind of father who wishes to punish us for making mistakes, but He does allow for consequences to become our teacher when we close our ears and heart to His wisdom.
These storms are easy to navigate with a heart that is open and willing to learn and grow. Victory in these storms came through submitting my heart to God's will and learning to guard its purity.
But some storms from this season emerged entirely outside of my control. "If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then can ever stand against us?" (Romans chapter 8 verse 31, TPT) While encouraging, this verse does not guarantee that we will never be slandered, persecuted, attacked, or face various injustices (even death!). However, it does guarantee that God stands with us. He has a funny habit of turning opposition into opportunity.
As I encountered these types of storms, I found victory through forgiveness and trust in God's promises for me.
When Joseph was sold into slavery and when he was slandered by his master's wife, he had every opportunity to hold onto offence. He could have forgotten God's anointing on his life. I took hope from Joseph's story, knowing that justice in the Kingdom of God looks like forgiveness, not offence. I am certain, now, that victory is a mindset we develop before we can see the end of our trials. Victors are not made from victims, but indeed are made from hopeful, pure, and unoffended hearts.
A heart for victory
Through the process of trusting God and guarding my heart, I know that I can find victory through any storm. I do not need to see the fulfillment of His promises to know they are just beyond the limit of my faith, if only I can grow my heart to see and believe.
Grace lives in California, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. She is constantly inspired by the beauty around her. She loves to hike, fish, ski, and take long walks. She is passionate about worship and seeing God's love lived out through her community.
Grace Wood's articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-wood.html