Are you facing crushing circumstances? Carolyn and I have. In 2008 we suffered major financial setbacks due to the mortgage crisis, my stepmother was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, a close family member was threatening suicide and so on. The problems seemed overwhelming.
I became emotionally exhausted and discouraged. It felt like God had reneged on His promises of blessing. It was like He had abandoned me. I lost much of my confidence in God, in myself, and in the future.
Since then I’ve discovered that I made mistakes by adding my own emotional meltdown to the crushing circumstances. My crisis of faith and confidence only added to the difficulties. I should have been confident despite the crushing circumstances.
Because of the wonderful promises of God, we can be like the Apostle Paul who wrote: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT)
How can we find confidence and determination in crushing circumstances? The following verse gives us two reasons: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
Here are 2 reasons you can be confident despite crushing circumstances:
1. It is God who began the good work in you.
This verse says “God, who began the good work within you…”
Believers often overemphasize our part of salvation and sanctification. Yes, we had to say “yes” to Jesus. But even that “yes” was a gift given by God “who began the good work within you…”
Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)
If you are a born again Christian, you can be confident because you didn’t save yourself, God did! He saved you and began the good work in you!
2. God has promised to complete His good work in you.
Philippians 1:6 continues, “And I am certain that God…will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Sometimes I stress-out by thinking “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” There’s a sense in which that is true—I have to do my part. But another sense in which that thinking is harmful and lacks faith.
If we’re doing our part with reasonable effort, God will do His part and finish His work. No matter what crushing circumstances we may face, God WILL complete His work in and through us.
It’s so easy to stress out about:
Politics and elections
But when we begin to stress over seemingly crushing circumstances, let’s remember these 2 simple lessons:
God began the work in us
He will complete the work He started
So go with confidence despite whatever crushing circumstances you may be facing today!
For more encouragement, here are other articles I’ve written:
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