There are seasons in our life where everything is good. Marriage is good. Kids are good. Job is good. Feeling good. Life is good. We wouldn’t change a thing. We love those seasons where all is perfect. Yet seemingly those seasons don’t last as long as we wish. Life isn’t always good. Marriage is rocky. Kids are crazy. Job is awful. Sick as a dog. Life is a mess.
In those times we need supernatural strength. We need a peace that surpasses all understanding. We need to see the light at the end of the mess. We need Jesus.
What I find is that when life isn’t going so well that I turn to myself more than Jesus. I try on my own to make the mess I have made clean. I try on my own to turn the chaos into order. I try on my own to make the awful good. If I am true with myself life is in the state it is in because of something I have or have not done. My marriage is not where it should be because of something I said. My health is bad because I went back for seconds, or thirds. My kids are crazy because I don’t regulate what they eat better. I have myself to blame.
Now I know that we can come upon situations that are out of our control but let’s be honest, we are our own worst enemy. We cause ourselves the most hurt and heartache. We are the main reason that those bad seasons last so long. Trying to fix things on our own only makes them worse.
I feel like Paul in Romans 7:18 where he says, For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. I have the desire to live a good life. I have the desire to have greatest marriage in the history of marriages. I want to have the perfect children, the perfect job. But I don’t. And when I try my own ways to make them better, well, I cry like Paul and understand that I don’t have it in me to carry it out. My flesh will always make matters worse.
But thanks be to God that He knows how messed up we are and how messed up we make things. He knows that without help we will never get out of the mess we have made for ourselves. So He gives us all of Him so that the bad will become good.
So how does God help us when the bad overwhelms us, when we feel like we are drowning in the mess that life is? Our answer can be found in Isaiah 41:10 where we read that we are to fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
There are four things we see in this verse that God wants us to remember when we life isn’t what it should be. First, God looks down, sees the mess we are in, and tells us not to fear because He is with us. This reminds me of the last part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 when Christ tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. When life is tough, when we feel all alone, we need to remember that we have the lover of our souls, God our Father, with us every step of the way. We can cry out like David in Psalm 23 knowing that when we go through the deepest, darkest place, God is with us, never leaving us nor forsaking us.
Second, God will give us all the strength we need to fight the battle. God is our strength and our shield. When we feel like we are about to be defeated, when we feel like we are about to lose the battle, God will give us His strength, a strength that Satan and hell cannot overcome.
Third, God is our help. This is obvious from the first few points but we can’t forget that. Us needing help is so important to Christ that when He was walking the earth He said it was better for Him to go so that another Helper would come, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26). Christ knew we would always need help and sent us His Spirit to live inside of us, never leaving us, strengthening us, helping us.
Lastly, God will uphold us in His righteousness. Uphold means to grasp, to keep. When life isn’t good, when we are in the midst of some bad stuff, God never lets us go. He holds us close, never leaving us, giving us a strength that will help us get through to the other side, where goodness and mercy are found.
I am so very grateful that God knows me so well. He knows that I can’t do good on my own and when I try to go solo I will only make matters worse. He knows that on my own strength I will be defeated. He knows that I need help and to be close to Him. Praise be to God that there is a season coming that will be like no other I have experienced, where I experience His goodness and mercy that He so lavishly pours on me, all because I gave up trying to be good on my own and turned to Him.