A personal dilemma
I was brought up as a Hindu but I recently became a Christian. Getting to know Jesus was a wonderful blessing, it showed me his steadfast love and abundant mercy for his people. I know that I didn’t do anything to earn his mercy and forgiveness but without it I wouldn’t be here, writing this article. At the moment I am a full time student struggling to finish my dissertation on time and I am also trying to be a full time Christian taking the opportunities that God gives me to increase my faith. As a new Christian my life is full of excitement and I was very blessed to be offered a place on a youth leadership programme. This was a wonderful opportunity for me as I would like to become a youth leader. The problem was that I needed to finish my dissertation and I couldn’t afford the time off to go on the training course. My frustration led me to look at what Jesus taught us about situations like this and I decided to write this article.
Trust in the Lord
I know that many of us go through trials, tribulations, struggles and disappointments in our personal lives but there can also be problems in our spiritual lives, for example distractions, spiritual dryness or doubts. We can sometimes think that God doesn’t understand what we are going through and we feel distant from him. This is when we have two options: do we reach out and cling to Jesus or do we reject him? There is a very helpful advice in Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” How many of us actually put our full trust in this Holy Scripture when the going gets tough. It’s easy to read the Bible but much more difficult to put it into practice. We should remember that our faith may be being tested to strengthen it and make us more able to stand up for Jesus. Maybe God wants to see how committed we really are.
“Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.” 1 Peter 3: 13 -15
We have a choice
So when we are frustrated and angry we have a number of choices. We can run away and try to ignore the problems by looking for distractions and seeking the pleasures of the world for example by drinking alcohol to suppress our emotions. We could rebel by taking our frustration out on God or we could run to Jesus and seek refuge in him, trusting that he will take care of us. The book of Job is a great inspiration to all of us on this subject. It tells the story of Job, an ordinary man of great faith who was tested by God. Job suddenly experienced extreme hardship in his life, he lost all his animals, his family died and he suffered painful sores all over his body but his faith in God remained strong. In everything he sought God and praised him despite his friends ridiculing him. In fact despite all his problems Job’s faith was renewed and made stronger by the whole experience. “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters.” (Job 42: 12 – 13) If we stand firm in faith as Job did then we can overcome our struggles and once more receive God’s blessings.
Growing in faith
It was incredibly difficult for me to come to terms with not going on the Youth Leadership Programme but I held on to God’s promise by being obedient to him, putting my head down to work and actually finishing my dissertation. I was left still feeling frustrated but in my heart I trusted in Jesus and his plan for my life. It is still really difficult and sometimes it feels like a sword is piercing my heart, but I am concentrating on staying strong and like Job, I want to pass the tests that God gives me to prove how much I love him. My aim is love Jesus more and more despite all these trials. I would also say that writing this article about Jesus has been a very good way to work out my frustration! I am smiling already there sure is power in the name of Jesus! God bless you all.
Written by Anne Mary