Glimmers of hope occasionally sparked encouragement in my heart. So I’d believe and expect, knowing that God can do anything. Hoping for the best.
But after many years without change, I eventually wanted to give up. My heart felt crushed.
What do you do when you’ve prayed and prayed and then prayed some more, but nothing changes?
Realize God is doing something in us. All the icky stuff we go through that we’d rather not endure? It’s accomplishing something eternal. “For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!” 2 Corinthians 4:17
Recognize that He is still at work, even if we can’t see evidence. Just because we can’t see results right now does not mean we never will. So keep praying, because “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Understand that His timing is not our timing. If our times are in His hands, (see Psalm 31:15) we know He’s still in control, even during our hardest times. We are also told that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 So we can remain confident that our time of beauty is coming!
Believe that He is over everything. I love this verse, which declares that God is over all things, including our current (and future!) situations. “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.”1 Chronicles 29:10b-11
Stand on the truth that His grace is sufficient. Though waiting through hard situations is never easy, God strengthens us through the power of His Holy Spirit. “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13
As we shift our focus away from our heart-crushing circumstances—not in a head-in-the-sand way—but rather in a “…looking away from all that distracts unto Jesus” way and focus on God’s word and believe it, our hearts will be revived, encouraged, and strengthened.