Pastor's Blog

by Pastor Robert Griffith

Pastor's Blog

by Pastor Robert Griffith

Finding God in Tough Times

by | Jul 4, 2022

Jeremiah 29:11-14  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Our life as a disciple of Jesus, our life as a follower of the Lord is hinged upon us encountering Him. It’s not peripheral, it’s not an addition to this life. His voice brings us life, we live because He speaks. The Word is the living Word of God. He speaks in it and through it; He enhances and adds strength and life to us to carry out His purposes. But this this great, grand promise that God gives in Jeremiah 29, came at the most unexpected and awkward time for God’s people.

Imagine being carried away captive, not willingly or unwillingly bound, taken to another nation, you are now subservient to this ruling class of people, you are prisoners there. And the Lord comes to you and all you can see is the restrictions, the restraints, the problems, you all you remember is what you left behind what you lost how it could have been the promises you had over your life, and they didn’t come to pass, you got all this stuff swirling around you. And the Lord steps into the middle of that absolute chaos and He says, “I want you to know what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking really good thoughts about you. And it’s about your, it’s about your welfare. It’s actually about your prosperity. I’ve got a lot of plans. I daydream about you. And I think -about these moments that are so difficult for you. But if you take just a moment, you will rediscover the promise of the Lord.”

Regardless of whatever hell-hole you think you’re in right now, whatever the situation might be, if you’ll calm your heart, just a bit, turn to the Word of God, God will speak to you and bring a promise that is so opposite to your surroundings, that it will shock you – it will stun you.

Remember what God says in Psalm 23? He says, “I prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies.” Think through that. What’s the table? The table is a place of exchange, the table is a place of fellowship, the table is a place to eat, it’s a place of nourishment and strengthening. So the Lord says, “I prepare this place of personal strife and personal encounter in the midst of your enemies.” All too often we are so focussed of what’s not right that we completely miss the fact that the Lord has put a table right in the middle of the most unexpected place.

You may find yourself in a place of hardship, oppression, isolation or persecution which you are not in a position to change. But what are you in a position to do? You are in a position in the middle of whatever crisis you may be facing to find the Word of the Lord. You’re responsible for seeking the Lord and His Word. But if you have more input from social media, from the mainstream media than you do the Word of God then your discouragement to self-inflicted and you are responsible.

You cannot have a garden with a gate but invite the enemy to come in and plant weeds and then moan to God about it. When you entertain things that are in conflict with the will and purposes of God you have to own that and repent. You must take ownership of this gate to your mind and your heart and be selective what you let in. But even in the midst of your own bad choices, the Lord still comes to you and says,  “I have plans for you – plans for you to prosper!” So number one, stop fighting the restriction. Learn how to flourish in it and find God. Stop trying to fight where God put you.

Number two, be restored to the promise of the Lord. Rediscover for yourself, not just something you can quote flippantly, but I mean the heart to heart connection with the Father, Who honestly looks for your welfare, He fights for your welfare, He contends for your blessing, not your calamity. Be restored to that face-to-face that connection with a Father Who says, “This is how My heart burns for you, My imagination runs wild with the things that I want to do for you.”

Now number three is: set your heart to seek the face of the Lord. These are all things that are normal parts of the Christian life. But I feel like in this moment, it is critical for us to review and to renew. It’s kind of like when the Lord spoke in revelation to the church at Ephesus. He corrected them, He rebuked them, because they had lost their first love. But what was His for them? He says, “Do the deeds you did at first – be restored to what you used to do.”

So when you find yourself in a tough place, stop fighting the circumstances, rediscover the table God has set for you in the midst of your enemies and set your heart to seek the face of the Lord. Because God has given you a promise. He says to you today and every day, “I will be found by you.” It is impossible to hunger after the Lord and not discover Him. It is the covenant of promise of the One Who is more perfect and more reliable than the rising of the sun tomorrow.

This is the Father Who loves you with an everlasting love and He will always be found by you – especially in the dark valleys of life where we feel so alone. Never ever forget His words, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

 

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