Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. Sometimes unexpected difficulties knock us off our feet and out of breath. Sometimes painful situations stab tender emotions already left fragile by past hurts.
In my own life, I’ve pondered the broken pieces of shattered dreams, and I’ve been amazed at what God has done with the pieces. A father who didn’t know how to love me. A childhood littered with parental violent outbursts. Years of infertility and longing for a child. The death of a baby before she was born. Ragged pieces all.
But even those shards have been used for a great purpose.
When we experience trials, broken dreams, or unexpected painful situations, we have a choice. Like Naomi in the book of Ruth, we can decide to become bitter, or we can ask God to use the trials to make us better.
Hopefully, a shattered dream will stir our appetites for a higher purpose or a higher calling or a higher love or a higher trust.
Can we love God no matter what?
Will we trust Him regardless of our circumstances?
Do we believe He has greater dreams for our lives than we ever imagined?
Author and counselor Larry Crabb writes,
“Shattered dreams open doors to better dreams, dreams that we do not properly value until the dreams that we improperly value are destroyed. Shattered dreams destroy false expectations, such as the ‘victorious’ Christian life with no real struggle or failure. They help us discover true hope. We need the help of shattered dreams to put us in touch with what we must long for, to create a felt appetite for better dreams, and living for better dreams generates a new, unfamiliar feeling that we eventually recognize as joy.”
Time and time again, I have seen God take the most painful circumstances in my life and use them for His perfect purposes. Inevitably, I see that He had a greater dream in mind than I had ever imaged.
Just as a seed needs the darkness of the earth to germinate and sprout, many times we need the darkness of pain to cultivate a new and deeper walk with God. But [tweetherder]oh the flowers that bloom in the soil of a fertile heart.[/tweetherder]
If you are going through a trial today, here are a few verses I want you to plant in your heart.
Trials test our faith: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (I Peter 1:6)
Trials mature our character: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
Trials purify our souls: “But He knows the way that I take when he has tested me; I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
Trials bring eternal glory: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).
Trials keep us dependent on God: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Trials conform us to the image of Christ: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
So here’s the question for all of us today –when trails come, which they will, will you become bitter or better? If you are willing to take DEEP BREATH, and yield to God’s refining processes, simply leave a comment that says: “Refine me, Lord.”
Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do with your story? The scars in your life are nothing to be ashamed of. God can use each and every one of them to bring glory to His name. Want to learn how? Check out my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS OF THE RANDOM DRAWING FOR A FREE COPY OF THE 5 DREAMS OF EVERY WOMAN…AND HOW GOD LONGS TO FULFILL THEM!