Should not your piety be your confidence
and your blameless ways your hope? …(Job 4:6).
Don’t get discouraged when life goes wrong. I get it, it’s easy to feel like God is punishing you for some bad behavior along the way, but beloved, His heart for you is not like that. Yes, He wants what’s good for you. Yes, there are consequences for our sinful choices, but every bad thing that happens to us is not because the Father is punishing us. He very well could be using those trying circumstances to work in the people around us. Sometimes we get hit with the areas in someone else’s life that are being pruned and that can bring tremendous pain into our lives as well.
The parents who are dealing with a child who is battling addiction. The spouse who has to separate from their destructive spouse. The friend who has to watch their loved one make one bad decision after another. All of this can bring challenges into our own lives as we walk closely with those we love. You see, it’s not about finding the perfect friend, the sinless spouse or children who never fail. It’s really all about being willing to walk with people in the depth of their darkest moments and learn how to not make it about us.
Have you ever thought, “Gosh, your actions are hurting ME, knock it off!” Yeah, that’s been me too. I’m sure glad Jesus didn’t keep repeating that line on His way to the cross as He suffered and died for our sakes.
The other day, as I was listening to a loved one deal with their own pain and grief, instead of trying to fix them, I asked the Father how I could love them. You see, beloved, it’s the Father who works in people. That’s the only way they’ll change. If you keep trying to fix or change someone, you’ll only push them away.
I get it, keeping them close means you have to suffer through something painful, but beloved, that’s what a friend does. Now, you may have to draw healthy boundaries for yourself and that is wise and good. You should never submit yourself to destructive or abusive behavior. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is set a boundary, but please, do so in love.
We must recognize that the Father is in control. He sees our willingness and desire to please Him. Therefore, He’s going to make something beautiful out of this mess we call life. Don’t let the enemy tell you any different. Truly, God’s love for you is great and He delights in you.
Father, may my heart be bound to you. I don’t want to give in to despair. I want to walk in the way of love. Help me to do that now, in Jesus name, Amen.