Grow Through What You Are Going Through

Have you ever been a part of an athletic event or watched a game where the referees were obviously one-sided? I don’t mean they were just bad referees, but they clearly favored one team over the other? They weren’t blind, they just chose to see what they wanted to see? Games where even the home team admits they got the benefit of the doubt on most all the calls?

Life seems a lot like that sometimes too doesn’t it? When everyone and everything seems to be against you. When the grief is overwhelming. When the doctor tells you it’s malignant. When you discover you are miscarrying…again. When he tells you he doesn’t love you anymore and wants a divorce. When you discover she is seeing someone else. When your job is gone. When the money is gone. When your best friend betrays you. When your son isn’t living up to the expectations you had for him. When your daughter runs away from home and you have no idea where she is at. When your drinking is out of control. When your loved one’s drinking is out of control. When you can’t sleep at night because of all the thoughts racing through your mind. When the world seems so dark just getting out of the bed every morning takes heroic effort.

How do we get through those times in life? Those times when everyone and everything seems to be against us? The same way we get through those games when the odds seemed stacked against us. We must choose what we focus on. You see, we can opt to center on the referees and how they seem to be going against us, or we can focus on the game plan laid out before us. We can elect to grumble and complain about the officiating or we can concentrate on the goal before us. Likewise, we can opt to center on the problems and suffering surrounding us or we can focus on the plan and purpose God has for us.  

What is that plan you might ask? It’s found in one of the most quoted and misquoted verses of the Bible:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

And we know…

We don’t have to guess or pretend. We know for sure and without any doubt at all. That assurance gives us confidence in the most difficult of circumstances.

That for those who love God

This is not a promise for everyone; it is a promise for those who love God. If I’m not living God’s way or if I am ignoring God’s way for my life, I’m not promised this. But if I’m loving God and trying to fulfill His purpose for my life, I can give everything to God and He will bring good out of it somehow.

All things work together for good

God causes everything to work together for good. There is a grand designer behind everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. It does not say that everything that happens is good. There are things that are bad, wrong and evil. But there is nothing that God cannot use for good in your life.

What are you focusing on today? You can choose to fix your attention on the problems and misery and watch it multiply. Or you can choose to grow through what you are going through!

Ryan Smallwood