It was dark outside. My dog, a small Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, trembled as the sounds of thunder and pounding rain shook the house and lightning flashed across the sky from our windows. Little Toby was afraid, and I did all I could to help him settle down.
As silly as it might sound, I decided to pray out loud over Toby and our family, that he would settle down and would not be afraid in general of the storm. I felt Jesus’ Presence in the room—yet, it continued to thunder and rain, and there was no end in sight to the lightning. My dog continued to whine and shake.
Jesus’ Presence in the room changed how my heart and mind viewed the situation; but it continued to storm. Isn’t this how so much of our lives go? I prayed for relief and peace, but it did not change the outside circumstances. My dog continued to freak out, and everything felt dark and scary. Jesus decided not to stop the storm around us, nor did He choose to stop the fear my pup felt. Yet, Christ was there.
And it brought a profound, somewhat sad truth to my heart: We are not in heaven yet. Let me explain what I mean. Many Christians today live and act as if we are in heaven—sometimes accusing those going through the pain and brokenness of living on this earth of “not having enough faith.” As if the suffering we go through as we live here on earth will all go away if we name it and claim it, and it is out fault for not naming and claiming our way out of any sad situation.
I’m sorry, friends, but this is just not true. Jesus did not promise us that if we believe enough in Him, all our pain will go away. In fact, He promised somewhat the opposite of this. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV). Jesus told us, in quite a straightforward manner, that we will have trouble in this life! He did not promise health, wealth and smiles 24/7. But He promised us something much more precious: His Presence.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5, KJV).
I am not saying that we should not pray for healing, breakthrough, relief, peace, or miracles. Jesus tells us that if we pray anything in Jesus’ Name, we will receive it—as long as it is in accordance with His Will (John 14:13, John 16:24; you can find an amazing article on this here). I am not trying to be the bearer of any bad news— I am only trying to tell the truth of the matter, and perhaps encourage those who still have not seen the answer to their desperate cries for help to Christ. For many of us, the storm has not stopped; it sometimes gets even worse, and our prayers feel like they have hit the ceiling. I believe it is here that Christ wants to comfort and encourage us. “Just trust me,” He says to those who praying, watching, and waiting. “I will use even this to bring about my glory and your good.”
Read Part 2 of this blog post here.
Do you know Jesus?
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1, NIV)
In our entire lives, one thing never changes: Christ’s steadfast love. Learn more about Jesus and His amazing, never-changing Love for you, here.
Please pray for…
– Those who are going through incredibly rough storms, including the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu.
– Those who do not know Christ and His steadfast, never-ending Love. May we be lights to guide them to Him.
– All those suffering because of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen.
Thank you for your prayers!