When You Aren’t Sure if You Can See Good Againby Cynthia Jennings on October 27, 2021
Several years ago, I listened to a tearful woman talk to me about some of her hurtful church experiences.
Twenty years ago, our stories were so similar I could’ve been her.
I know what it’s like to love something so much it holds the power to break your heart. I, too, have believed in something that disappointed me to the point I once felt betrayed and jaded. In the heart of this woman, only time, coaching, and primarily Jesus have healed the hurt places and restored a new, yet deeper love for the Church.
For some of us, our pain’s history comes from a different place: grief from the death of a loved one, a painful relationship betrayal, a weary, ongoing internal emotional battle, or a physical ailment. The point is, none of us are immune to life’s hard things.
Not to mention this global pandemic and senseless violence, which has brought with it a level of weariness, doubt, disillusionment and despair a lot of us have never before experienced. It has us longing to believe again, hope again, and see good in our lives and this world.
When I had moments of weariness, doubt, disillusionment and despair. I prayed and asked God to show me how to think different. God answered my prayers by helping me move from “what if” to “what is” and from “what was” to what now.”
These shifts in focus are not only change agents in our heart and mind, but they are also life-altering biblical ideas.
“What if” is a place we are often stuck in — a defeating, repeating pattern of questions without good answers that hinders our ability to move forward in life.
“What is” becomes a focal shift to the realities at hand; the possibilities that still exist; the hope we are afforded as believers; and the promise of heaven, the ultimate, prize.
“What was” is a place we often revert to and dwell in unnecessarily, rehashing painful things in our history, living in regret and resentment.
“What now” becomes our powerful new perspective for each and every day, which brings a new level of trust, hope and peace.
Ladies, what happened to you wasn’t necessarily fair. It wasn’t right. It may or may not have been your fault. And, it certainly wasn’t what you expected or wanted.
Nevertheless, what can God do with your life now? Where can you find joy? Yes, you can find joy! Are you willing to refocus your mind from your thought process to God’s perspective?
Do you believe that God has the power to enlighten the eyes of your heart to give you hope again, as Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18,“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”
Is it possible that God who is powerful enough to create you and love you through any hardship could also be powerful enough to help you see good again in its aftermath?
The answer…. Yes.
We’ve all been hurt. This world is imperfect and hurtful. Yet, even with that being true, join me in holding tight to the promise that God still has good for us. Even in the hurt. Even despite the hurt.
My prayer: Father in the name of Jesus, give us eyes to see the good again. Help us to see good in our life and in people. Most of all, help us see and know of Your goodness that we might long to serve You more and more.
PEARLStoPONDER: What is one practical way you can move forward from a hard circumstance today — making progress from yesterday? How would your life change if you went from “what if” to “what is” and from “what was” to “what now”?
Isaiah 43:18--Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Proverbs 4:25--Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9--8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 12:10-- For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Philippians 3:13-14--13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.