At some point in your life you will have to navigate very difficult circumstances or respond to some bad news. If you believe in God and follow him, this difficult circumstance will present a full-on challenge on top of the actual circumstances.
How do you navigate these circumstances in God’s peace? How do you learn to trust God with those things closest to your heart? How do you learn to trust in God’s word? How are you supposed to speak life over hopeless situations?
It might be sickness, cancer, death of a loved one, financial stress, workplace troubles or a difficult marriage. You might be wondering ‘where are you God? Are you even there?’ Why would you allow such hard circumstances in my life, you might be wondering.
Well, as someone here who has navigated challenges in my health, fertility, finances, work places, family, insomnia and even had to traverse through the valleys of grief, let me tell you what a seasoned overcomer looks like and what I have learnt, and what blessings come out of difficulty.
Beauty from pain
First, brokenness and pain is something that we humans just don’t like and we run from and see as such a negative thing sometimes. However, it was at my most broken that I met God and encountered the Fathers love. It was at my lowest that I came to the cross of Jesus and gave over my hurting soul, and received his exchange – he took my pain and gave me his eternal and unchanging love.
We need to see the beauty and value of brokenness and pain because of what it does. It leads us to a place of need where we are desperate to encounter God and meet Him, where we value his presence and ask him to meet us so we can be filled and healed.For He is love and He is peace, joy and hope.
I have come to see my little life with Gods heart and heavens perspective and I now bless God for all the difficulties I have had to walk through. Why? Because through it all I found the pearl of great price – God himself and developed great intimacy with all three parts of His being; Father, son and Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t trade this intimacy for anything now.
The Father now speaks to me regularly as I tune in to hear his voice. He speaks his heart for me, instructions into every area of my life, and even insights and understanding as to why he allowed some of my suffering, and what his good plan is to create and birth great good out of my brokenness, that will touch many and impact generations.
From listening to God so regularly, I now have a confidence in Him, His love and the authority and faithfulness of His word. His promises are everything to me now, and I am learning the truth that ‘Gods word does not return void but it will accomplish all that God purposed for it’ as in Isaiah 55:11. The Lord has taught me to speak His life, His word, His promises over situations and even taught me to prophesy to all the dry bones of my life as in Ezekiel 37.
From my journey of surrendering everything to God, I now walk a whole lot lighter than I did. I walk day by day with God and some of his good fruits of the Holy Spirit have started manifesting in my life – joy, peace, patience, self-control and love. Honestly, I have far more peace and joy than I used to.
From my journey of traversing through difficulties, I have grown and become sharpened by the Lord and he has used all the hard stuff to fill me, heal my soul and start to shape me into a diamond. A diamond which he wants to shine through each day.I have far more to offer others now, because I have more compassion, wisdom and love and hear Gods voice clearer.
He has allowed me to grow so much through this journey.My difficulties that I thought would break me, have actually made me new. I am now a living testimony and live in a place peace in the deepest part of my soul.
I want to be a fruitful tree, which is fruitful for God in difficulties, in trials, in pain, in sickness, in lack or abundance. If I were to paraphrase Jeremiah 17:7-8 I would say that ‘those who trust in the Lord will be like a tree planted into the rivers of God’s love and therefore will be nourished by Him continually, and not fret or worry, but will produce good fruit in every single season out of a place of restful peace.’
Its not all rosy
We humans are emotional beings and so my journey has been hard on the emotions, but I just have to keep on giving these emotions to God, as he is faithful to help me in all my times of need.Suffering is real and authentically hard- we need to be kind to ourselves and compassionate to those struggling around us. For the struggle is real. Just as His love is real.
Suffering is said to be a great teacher, and to be honest it is true but suffering can also make you selfish if you’re not careful. Strugglesare not fun and no one wants to navigate difficulties, but my biggest challenge has been to not become bitter or selfishabout the cards I was given but instead continually ask God for His perspective and the strength and maturity to live past myself,and live instead for others.
Being real here, serving others when you feel unwell, is not easy. And loving onto mums as a nanny is not easy when motherhood is all your soul wants. But is it rewarding to live past yourself? Absolutely. We take no possessions with us out of earth when we pass on, but our legacy of love, service and prayer lives on.
A peace-filled warrior
As one seasoned overcomer to you all, I want to share one last pearl with you. A warrior who knows how to use God’s word is good but a warrior who abides in Gods peace and uses his sword is even better. The best thing you will ever do once you know God is to choose to trust him. Trust in his good character and his plan to birth greatness and beauty out of your little life and from whatever circumstance you are going through.
One of my favourite scriptures is from psalm 23 verse 6 ‘Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.’ May God bless you to learn to rest and abide in His good character and may you become a seasoned overcomer and peace-filled warrior, who knows how to navigate difficulties from a place of rest in God. May the good Lord grow you and make you into a fruitful tree that looks past itself but produces fruit in all seasons, and lives for God and others.
Liana Monaghan with husband Justin Monaghan are senior Writers for Press Service International. Married for 11 years and a highly creative couple, together they live in community with other passionate Jesus lovers in South Australia. Liana is a songwriter, psalmist, singer and dancer when in God’s presence. She leads a women’s ministry and works as a nanny. Justin creates powerful prophetic artworks and is studying a digital 3D art degree.