Squeezed

Let Him han­dle it

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARIA FON­TAINE, ADAPTED MARIA FON­TAINE AND HER HUS­BAND, PETER AM­S­TER­DAM, ARE DI­REC­TORS OF THE FAM­ILY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL, A CHRIS­TIAN COM­MU­NITY OF FAITH.

There have prob­a­bly been times when you’ve felt like you’ve been squeezed to the last drop and you didn’t have an ounce of strength or willpower left. The apos­tle Paul ad­mit­ted to “de­spair­ing even of life,”

1 and I’m sure that many of us have gone to those depths at one time or another. We’ve reached the point that we felt we couldn’t even bear to get up in the morn­ing and face another day, and maybe you’re go­ing through some­thing like that right now. Per­haps you have been for a long time.

But here’s the im­por­tant part: De­spite Paul’s tri­als and tribu­la­tions—both in the form of out­ward per­se­cu­tion and in the form of in­ward de­spair, dis­cour­age­ment, and doubt—he held on, declar­ing that, “I don’t care what hap­pens to me, as long as I fin­ish the work that the Lord Je­sus gave me to do. And that work is to tell the good news about God’s great kind­ness.”

2 That’s a good one for us to re­mem­ber: “I’m go­ing to keep hold­ing on no mat­ter what hap­pens. I’m not go­ing to let it de­ter me from the life path God has given me.” That’s the kind of de­ter­mi­na­tion that kept Paul go­ing, so that even though he was “per­plexed,” he was “not in de­spair.”

3 “Stand firm. Let noth­ing move you. Al­ways give your­selves fully to the work of the Lord, be­cause you know that your la­bor in the Lord is not in vain.” How can you be

4 un­mov­able? By hold­ing on to the Rock—Je­sus. Ev­ery­thing else is

5 un­sta­ble and can get washed away when the waves of life toss you to and fro. The only thing that’ll stay right there and won’t budge an inch is Je­sus!

And don’t worry if you don’t think you’re strong enough to hold on, be­cause you don’t have to be strong in your­self. God will give you the strength. All you have to do is put

6 your will on His side and want to hold on, and He’ll give you the strength to

keep hold­ing on even when you don’t think you can any­more.

But you do have to de­ter­mine in your heart that you’re go­ing to fol­low God no mat­ter what. As Isa­iah said, “The Lord God helps me; there­fore I have not been dis­graced; there­fore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” He must have been go­ing

7 through a pretty tough time, but he was de­ter­mined to hold on re­gard­less; and if you do the same, you won’t be ashamed ei­ther.

When your life is bur­dened with prob­lems, it’s nat­u­ral to won­der why. One rea­son for prob­lems is that life it­self is a con­stant strug­gle. Wher­ever you are, who­ever you are, what­ever your job, this life, liv­ing on earth as a hu­man be­ing, in­volves a lot of prob­lems, pe­riod. And be­lieve it or not, that’s God’s plan.

Some­times we’re tempted to won­der, How can I man­age this? It’s just too much! We can be com­forted to know that God al­lows this as part of His plan for us. He some­times al­lows us to see the moun­tain ahead of us so we’ll come to the end of our­selves and ac­knowl­edge that we can’t do it on our own with­out His help.

If the prob­lems were any smaller and we thought we might be able to han­dle them, we’d be tempted to try to do it in our own strength. It’s just hu­man na­ture. But if it gets so dif­fi­cult and so big, that’s of­ten the point at which we truly com­mit all things to Him.

Re­gard­less of how we may hap­pen to feel, if we love God and are walk­ing by faith and fol­low­ing His Word, then we know that our re­la­tion­ship with Him is firm. And we cer­tainly know that His love for us is un­change­able, un­wa­ver­ing. He says, “I have loved you with an ev­er­last­ing love. The moun­tains may move and the hills dis­ap­pear, but even then my faith­ful love for you will re­main. I will never leave you nor for­sake you.”

8 So no mat­ter how much we might feel “squeezed to the last drop,” we’re not alone. His love is there for us—al­ways. If you “draw near to God, He will draw near to you.” A

9 com­fort­ing thought!

The next time that some­thing seem­ingly bad hap­pens to you, look for the di­vine in it. Look for the soul in the mun­dane, ev­ery­day oc­cur­rences of your life. Look for the spark, look for the light.— Leigh Her­shkovich Over­cast does not al­ways forecast rain nei­ther does dif­fi­culty al­ways forecast fail­ure.— Kevin McKoy

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