How To Handle Problems That Catch You By Surprise

When discouraging circumstances catch me by surprise, one of two things can happen.

 
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1. Either I firmly believe God will somehow, someway work out my circumstances to good, and rest in His promises, or...

2. I get distracted  from the comfort of God's Word, by my negative circumstances, and feel compelled to take it upon myself to solve my problem as best I can. Much like Abraham and Sarah... Maybe you can relate.

 When God told Abraham and Sarah that they were going to have a baby in their old age, Abraham was eighty-six years old and Sarah was seventy-six years old. (Genesis 15:4)

Knowing they were well past the age of childbearing, they didn’t see how they were going to become parents. But just because they didn’t see how it was possible, didn’t mean it was impossible. For with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Unfortunately, despite this truth, they chose to jump to conclusions and take matters into their own hands, forfeiting God’s perfect will for their life, for His permissive will.

Instead of trusting God to keep His promise to them, that Sarah would bear Abraham a son in her old age (Gen. 15:4) Sarah suggested to Abraham that he sleep with her maidserant, Hagar to give them a child (Genesis 16:1-4) After Abraham got Hagar pregnant, jealousy and envy consumed Sarah, and their lives became needlessly complicated. Had they trusted God to work out His perfect will in their life from the start, they could have avoided so much tension and heartache.

Though my faith has never been put to the test in this way, I have definitely done my share of jumping to conclusions, instead of just resting in God’s promises. I believe half the battle is first knowing what God has promised. By knowing I mean, knowing exactly what God has promised (by memorizing Scripture) rather than having a general knowledge of what God has promised.  And what has he promised me, and you? “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

This means whatever difficulties we face, no matter how awful our situation may get, God’s plan for us is to:
1. prosper us
2. not to harm us
3. plans to give us a hope and future.

Did you know every circumstance God allows in our life is filtered through this promise? And though we may get caught up in the problem before us and feel compelled to fix it on our own, we can rejoice that when we are faithless, He still remains faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13) He will still keep His promises to us. Despite how bad our situation may look, God’s plans are still, and will always be, to prosper us, not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and future. Every problem we face. Every time.

Next time you find yourself in troubling circumstances, be encouraged: 
When God’s people, the Israelites, were cornered at the Red Sea and watched in horror as the Egyptian army charged towards them, just then God used Moses to part the Red Sea making a way of escape, for them, when none seemed to exist. (Psalm 71:2) “With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)  Just as God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, despite how our circumstances appear, He can create a way when none exists.

Is there anything troubling you today? Rest in God’s promises to you. (2 Corinthians 1:20) As someone once said, "Never place a question mark where God has put a period." His plans are, and forever remain, to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future. Every problem. Every time. Don’t let your circumstances, or anyone else, tell you otherwise.

For more encouragement on successfully dealing with problems, check out Charles Stanley's great book, "How to Let God Solve Your Problems: 12 Keys for Finding Clear Guidance in Life's Trials."


Question for you: What are your go-to promises you cling to when you get surprised by discouraging circumstances? (If you haven't yet memorized your go-to promises I highly recommend it!)



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Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.

18 comments:

  1. It's so hard to separate our humanity from the divine -- not seeing what God has planned, having no map, not knowing the definite outcome ... all of these make us doubt and start forging our own path.

    It's faith that allows us to take the steps without seeing the path clearly. Trust and obey. It takes lots of practice. :)

    Nice post!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I love what you said, "It's faith that allows us to take the steps without seeing the path clearly." Such wise words! Thanks for visiting! God bless you richly!

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  2. "I believe half the battle is first knowing what God has promised."

    I so believe this, too, Brooke. I know in my own life, when I forget his promises--or believe in things he did NOT promise--I can feel weak and worried.

    One promise that helps me so much is his promise to ALWAYS be with us. I love knowing that his presence is something I can count on.

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    1. I totally agree, Lisa. The promise of God's presence is such a comfort and encouragement! I never have thought of believing in things He did not promise, but I'm sure the times that I feel worried or discouraged I'm probably doing just that: believing in things He did not promise. So thank you for opening my eyes to that possibility. God bless you abundantly!

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  3. I love this post - the quiet desire to keep to your path come what may really resonates. I'd love it if you'd link this up to my Monday Mantras Inspirational Linkup too if you have the time.


    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I just linked it up. So glad this blessed you! God bless you much!

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  4. This is so true and one of my favorite passages! Love your blog :0) I’m a new follower of your blog from the Monday Mingle Blog Hop! Would love if you could stop by mine. Thanks :0)

    The Three Whiskateers
    http://thethreewhiskateers.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Rachael! So glad you enjoyed this! Looking forward to visiting your blog. God bless you lots!

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  5. He will never leave us or forsake us!

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    1. Yes and amen! God bless you abundantly, Anna!

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  6. Thank you for this wonderful, instructive blog. I know the things with my mind, but to do it in a stressful circumstance is a new challenge for me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by my feelings. Thank you for the clear interpretation. Sure, it is useful for me

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    1. Thanks, Jedidja! I'm so glad it is useful for you. God bless you richly!

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  7. I love Jeremiah 29:11, and often speak it to myself. It's amazing how easy it is to forget to hold on to God's promises when the storms of life breeze through. I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit reminds us of His promises when we're in the midst of 'discouraging circumstances'. Thanks so much for reminding me of the importance of memorizing His word.
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Mary! Such wonderful words of wisdom! I am so thankful too, for the Holy Spirit bringing verses to mind just when I need them. He is so faithful! God bless you lots!

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  8. So much truth and wisdom! Visiting from Mercy Ink! Thank you :)

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    1. Thanks, Michele! So glad you visited! God bless you abundantly!

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  9. My "go-to" promises vary. Probably the one I go to the most is Jeremiah 29:11 :D

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  10. Very neat, Esther! So grateful for God's abundant promises we can fall back on and daily rest in. God bless you much!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!