(Beginning August 1, the content of my blog will be completely different from the Girlfriends in God devotions. So if you are not signed up for my blog at www.localhost/sjold, please do it today…and invite all your friends. We’re going to have more give-a-ways, more personal interaction, and more inspiration than ever before! Now, on to today’s post!)
“In all their distress he too was distressed,” (Isaiah 63:9 NIV).
When bad things happen we may never understand the why. God tells us, ‘’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Dr. James Dobson said: [tweetherder]“Trying to analyze His [God’s] omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of man.”[/tweetherder] It’s simply not possible. But there is one thing we can be sure of. “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful,” (Psalm 25:10) whether we understand them or not.
When we encounter difficulties, it is easy to jump to conclusions. We may think God is mad at us or He is punishing us. We wonder if God is not blessing us because we’ve disappointed Him in some way.
But all through the Bible we see that some of God’s closest friends experienced the darkest nights.
The disciples suffered.
Mary (Jesus’ mother) suffered.
And each one of these men and women were smack dab in the middle of God’s will. The ordinary pabulum of popular religion, of health and prosperity, just doesn’t line up with the suffering we see among some of the most godly men and women in Scripture.
The abundant life that Jesus came to give does not come without struggle any more than a butterfly can soar without a struggle from its cocoon. We would never slice open a cocoon and expect to find a butterfly ready to fly. Without the struggle, the butterfly could not grow strong enough to take flight.
Jesus warned us that we would have struggles in this life, and yet struggles always seem to catch me by surprise. “Consider it all joy,” James said, “when you encounter various trials…” (James 1:2, NASB). Notice James said when and not if. Honestly, I wish there were some other way.
Come to think of it, Jesus wished the same. “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will,” (Matthew 26:39). The cross. There was no other way.
Take a look at the names given to the Holy Spirit:
The very nature of those names lets us know that we are going to have difficulties this side of heaven, and thankfully God did not leave us to struggle alone.
Jesus wept. The Holy Spirit groans. And God’s heart aches. In one beautiful sentence, we catch a glimpse into the heart of God as we go through tough times: “In all their distress he too was distressed,” (Isaiah 63:9). [tweetherder]We may not see God’s face during the difficult days of pain, but you can be sure He is there, and many times His face is streaked with tears.[/tweetherder]
Sometimes life is tough. As we practice Acts 17:28, In Him we live and move and have our being, it does not mean that we will walk down a path void of treacherous twists and turns. It does mean that no matter where the road may lead, we are not alone.
So many times I’ve cried out with King David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” only to discover that He was right there with me all the time. None of us knows what the future holds. Sometimes we just need to put our hand in God’s and walk around the next corner with Him—even when we don’t understand. In that journey of the unknown, we’re apt to experience moments of sudden glory in well-placed nuggets of gold.
Father, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, which is about the scariest place I could ever walk, I will fear no evil…because You are with me. I am placing my hand in Yours and walking around the next corner with You. I don’t know what is around that corner, but You do, and that’s enough for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Isaiah 43:1-7. What does God say about His presence when you go through difficult times?
Describe or think of a time when you passed through an emotional fire or river of difficulties.
In light of Isaiah 43:1-7, where was God during that experience? Say it out loud. Leave a comment and share your answer. It will do your heart good.
Sometimes the brightest moments of Sudden Glory, moments when God makes his presence known, are seen on the black backdrop of difficult circumstances. We simply need to look for them, expect them, discover them. If you long for more in your relationship with God, if you long to experience His presence on a daily basis, then check out my book A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Click here to read the first chapter.
Hello, Sharon aka Girlfriend in God
My name is Quanitta and this is my first time here, all though i do my best to read G.i.G every day it equals out to be 3 to 4 times a week ( work in progress, gladly! ). So I’m trading my inadequacies for the Lords Boldness, in Jesus name Amen.
Very Encouraging!!! I have been a single mother for all my three children…Work nights to provide…Live sleep deprived….And my heart aches beyond describing that my children do not have a earthly father…he is s drunk and he is harmful to us so we had to leave….. Many Many years of suffering…..
So I have to constally live on Gods word…All things work for the good of those who love and trust GOD….So strengthen me father and heal our hearts in Jesus name we pray…Amen
God is here, now, and will not leave me during this trial or at any time.
7/25/13. When my four day old grandpa’s little heart gave out, I had the grace to accept the loss, realizing that God spared his life on earth from much more pain that I had no idea about now. He is with us, working out of good purpose. I can only think like this because He has taught me…….a sudden glory experience.
He was there. He was right there. I love this passage of scriptures. Thank you for sharing such an awesome word.
What a wonderful reminder of God’s presence. My emotional fire is right now, as my beloved husband died from liver cancer 8 weeks ago. We were just married for 8 years and he truly was a gift from God. After a 26 year abusive marriage., he taught me how marriage could and should be, and loved me in a way I had never been loved before. I don’t know what God has in store for me now, but it’s good to be reminded that He is right here with me. I suppose I will simply wait for further instructions.
God gave me those scripture verses in Isaiah 43:1-7 when my son was charged with murder. I felt they were for him and me. I read them almost everyday during that time. Praise God he seen us through the fire and out through the other side. They wound up dropping all charges except abstructing justice. That was ten years ago he now has a preaching degree and is going to a Christian collage in Florida. He was the youth pastor at our church for three years. God answered this mothers prayers much more then I ever could have dreamed. I would have never thought that one day I would be sitting listening to him preach. I really enjoy your devotionals.
Sharon, your words are an affirmation of what I journaled just a few moments ago. I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death–the death of my husband. He died just before Christmas–a month after our 44 year anniversary. I need to share with others that God was holding me during the 2 months my husband was in hospital and the 7 months since. I had peace then and I have peace now–even through the tears and heartache. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted! He has not forsaken me. Praise HIs holy name!
Thankful that God is always with me a lot of times I go the wrong way and he pulls me back while holding my hand thank you Jesus
– God was always right there with me holding my hand and encouraging me along the way !!
In every valley experience I’ve had, a particular song always comes to me and comforts me. They came to me again today when I read the message above. The words are:
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
And I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
And I don’t worry about my future
For I know what Jesus said
And today He walks beside me
For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know Who hold tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand
Thank you Kenia. That is a beautiful song. I need to look it up again.
God was right there with them..through it all
God was with me making me aware of His presence by giving me glimpses of His glory.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, (your name)
he who formed you, (your name)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
God is here with me now as my family walks through this trial. My husband was diagnosed with major severe depression with delusional thoughts. How does this kind of thing happen, he is a pastor. We have four children who hurt deeply for their dad. He hasn’t been able to preach for eight months now. But, God is with me, He is with my husband, and He is leading my children! He will not leave us nor forsake us. I am so thankful for these scriptures! Praise to my Father in Heaven who sees all!
Becky, you and your family are in my prayers. And I KNOW that God specializes!!! And your pain is not without purpose because God does not waste anything. Rest in Him and lean and depend on Him like never before. He has already worked it out, now you just have to walk it out and we walk by FAITH and FAITH is I BELIEVE GOD!!!
I am so thankful God is with me thru all I face in life. Isaiah 43:1_7 & 18_19. God’s Word has always been my Rock & always will be. God bless all my sisters in the Lord.
Good morning Sharon and a good God bless you!
After reading your devotional which of course I loved, you asked the question basicly “Where’s God when I go through tough times?” Well in response to that is this, right where He’s always been. In me and beside me holding my hand and telling me “I’m right here my child. I’ll never leave you nor forsake you. Your hand I’ll never let go. Trust Me.” Sharon when I heard that I never felt His Presence or His Peace so strong before. It was absolutely amazing. I absolutely loved it. And yes here comes that word again, I ABSOLUTELY love my Abba Father! Well Sharon y’all have a blessed rest of the day. And as always just remember that Jesus loves you and me too.
Sharon, I am blessed to say, God has never left or forsaken me. He was either walking beside me, holding my hand or He was carrying me because I was unable to walk. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!
I declare that God is totally present, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically, in his way. This means He has entered and is not distant or unaware or unmoved. Thank you Jesus, my ransomer.
God was always with them as well as He is with me. Thank You Lord for being my guide and helper in these trials of my life.
Buenos dias, es verdad el Señor nos enseña su amor en diferentes formas. Fui testigo de su amor hace un mes. El nos pasa por el fuego pero no nos quema. Es estupendo su amor. Gracias a Dios porque veo su amor todos los dias en mi hijo.
The famous “Footprints in the Sand” comes to mind: it may feel that God has left us to walk alone, when He’s actually carrying us through. Personally, I struggle a lot with the “could this be my fault?” question: since we’re all imperfect, it’s easy to find something we might have done differently; and we’re surrounded by “you can get full control of your life” messages (would they be so prevalent if our survival still depended on the rain and sun coming at just the right times?).
God is always right beside me, even when I can’t see Him or His hand or I feel He has left me, His word says different and I definitely believe the Word! Thank you! :*)
God is always with me and I am learning to TRUST God’s heart when I don’t understand His Hand!!! He told me “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give me an expected end. And I know my expected end is to see Him face to face and hear Him say well done thy good and faithful servant!!!
He is with me! In the fire I will not be burned.
God is with me through good times and hard times. I have a lot of little things that add up to stress in my life. A busy mom of 2 teens and a 3 yr old. I work so called split shifts as a janitor. And my 3 yr old has had some health issues when he was little. Praise God he’s a healthy little guy now but he still has a few things that keep making my faith stretch. But God will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you God.
Our God is an Amazingly faithful God! He was with me on January 10, 2012 when I received the call a mother never wants to answer. My son, Aaron, 20 years old, was thrown from his car in a single car accident, had been careflighted to a hospital and was on life support 1500 miles away from me. HE was there for me as we had to make the decision to take our only son off of life support later that night and say our earthly goodbye as he entered heaven’s gates. HE has continued to be with me and is with me every moment of the day over the last 18 month’s and has helped me to see Aaron as our deposit in heaven. I can honestly say, my love for Jesus grows everyday, my faith has become very deep and real, and I’m so very thankful to my Heavenly Father for His faithfulness and love !
Oh Kim, my heart breaks for you. I am so thankful that you are turning to God, our only Hope of comfort in this world. Much love-Sharon
I am recovering from alcoholism and just shy of 90 days sobriety. I lost my job as a result of giving over to making alcohol a priority. During my healing, I am working on my program and trying replenish my faith. Finally, I have all the time in the world for serving God, family, projects and crafts, and all I seem to want to do is watch Lifetime TV during the day. I still get my household chores done and run a few errands, but I am not reaching out to others and using my time to benefit others as God and AA have taught me. Please pray for me.
Congratulations on your 90 days! One day at a time! Celebrate each one! We celebrate with you!
Stay the course!
Hang in there Lady!!! He is AWESOME!!! and you can do it! I’m praying for you! Congratulations on making the decision to get better my husband died from alcoholism.
I know this to be true, and I would not change a single thing because of the precious truths I learned about my Heavenly Father through the trials He allowed my way. Almost 3 years ago my family went through 3 trials in a months time. My aunt, who was like my mother to me became ill and after 10 agonizing days, went to heaven. The week of her funeral, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. As we were reeling from the one-two punch, we were expecting our first grandson. We had known for months that he had a heart problem…ironically I am a cardiovascular ICU RN, we were told that his heart defect was surgically repairable. We all prayed for God’s healing for Landon, either through the dr’s hands or through God’s hands. Just 2 weeks after my husbands diagnosis, our precious Landon went into heart failure while still in the womb, my daughter had an emergency C-section and though they worked on him for 2 hours, the defects were more severe than the dr originally thought, and Landon went to be in Jesus’s arms. Although we were devastated, and will forever be changed, the lessons I learned about God and His character and trusting His plan blow my mind. And HE has lead me from anger and sorrow to acceptance and joy! ONLY God could do that!
I am so sorry for this news of Landon. Praying for your family.
The Lord was with me through cancer treatment. I felt His constant presence and healin. But, sometimes I am so weak when I get down or lonely.
God was with me last summer when I was addressing the fallout of having been assaulted many years ago. I finally sought counselling, He brought a wonderful man to my side that held me when I sobbed and understood when the PSTD overtook every situation. I am released from that trauma and the Lord taught me to forgive and forget. Like Footprints in the Sand, He carried me last summer and I am eternally grateful. Thank you my Abba Father.
Literally, the darkest time of my life was the summer living in New York as a broken, confused, scared little girl trying to find love in all the wrong places. I had no concept of how a woman was to be valued and treated. I did everything wrong, and consequently ended up with an unplanned pregnancy. I wanted to commit a murder/suicide right then, but a voice as clear as glass spoke to my spirit so loudly, yet lovingly, and said that everything would be okay, and that He (God) would take care of me. I was so scarred of even living beyond that point, and I had no idea how that was going to happen. But I obeyed that Voice and stepped out on faith and went back home to have my baby, alone. The entire pregnancy, and years afterwards are a testimony of how God never left me, to many details and events to elaborate on. But after over 20 years later I am still here. I managed to bring up (with God’s blessing and grace) a wonderful human-being–albeit a little scarred and building their own relationship with God with the foundation I was led to provide–that I was predestined to have to save my life. Through the various emotional fires and rivers of difficulties I’ve acquired my degrees with a wealth of potentials, am gainfully employed, am blessed with a nice and comfortable home, a refrigerator and cabinets full of food, a loving and supporting network of family and friends, am working in a ministry in my church, and am continuously working on my relationship with the One who made it all possible for me to write this. I know God is real and cannot go against His word…that He will never leave [us] despite the suffering that feels as though we/I can’t make it. So many times I’ve cried, prostrate, pleading for God to take away my pain, or at least explain what I’ve done to deserve it, but His wisdom is beyond my comprehension so I’m learning to just accept my fate and trust His word that He is near, and this too shall pass. And each time I just marvel at His goodness and love for me…it truly makes me feel special and my life worthwhile even in the midst of the storms. Praise His Holy Name…
You read the above accounts of sorrow and pain. Then You read the amazing accounts of God’s amazing mercies and grace. Our country is moving further and further away from the belief that there is a God. I would hate to think I did not have my Lord to walk with me and talk with me and tell me I am His own. I have been broken at the feet of our Lord many times because of illness and death of friends and family members. When His loving hands reach down scoop me up and say My wil not thine Dee, it is hard to accept. Because my will and God’s are not always the same but through it all I have come to realize God has a PERFECT will and it is in that I must pray and trust. Once again there are hard situations ahead due to illness in my cousin’s family but I can pray for the perfect will of God for her loved ones believing above all He knows best.
During those time, God saw the end and He brought me to it, even when I didn’t see it, He was my legs, my hands, my eyes intact He carried me.
My husband and I are former atheists with a failing marriage. We decided that maybe we had been going about this, and our lives, completely wrong. We finally accepted that in order to come closer together and repair damages done to our relationship, we both need to be closer to Christ. Through scripture reading, prayer, and faith we have never been closer! We finally decided to let the Lord take over and neither of us has ever been happier, or more calm. We still have a very long road ahead of us, but it’s looking so much more positive since accepting Jesus into our hearts.Thank you for helping us on our walk with Christ <3
In my darkest times, it seems that I would only crave more of HIs Presence, thus becoming more aware of it. Lord, help me, for sometimes I feel lack of it, as if I’m being punished. However, I realize then that he was there all along, and I feel as though I’ve offended my Savior because I didn’t trust Him. But I think about how He is “slow to anger, and abounding in love” and its as if he has just wrapped his arms around me, saying, “Its going to be okay, I could never stop loving you.”
I am thankful that the Lord is taking me through the process of looking at and repenting for the bitter root judgments in my heart. It has been a painful process but I know He has been there to help me through the tough times and so that I can forgive myself and forgive the other person for their abuse towards me. I am experiencing a newness that I have not known. Thee is also new joy in seeing that I am not getting hung up in these areas anymore. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
I think that the hardest thing to do in a trial is to thank God for what you are going through because it all has a purpose for our good. i have had and continue to have to remind myself to go to God when I am suffering and crumbling, read his word, listen to praise songs. Those are the kinds of things that help us get to his side. For a long time I think I waited for God to come to me but I had it all backward. He wants us to humbly come to him and ask for his help. Find your knees and use them. I can take comfort from the scripture I have learned all my life to call on them by memory to draw me out of the misery and find the light that is our Father.
Hello everyone.God where are you? He is here always, but sometimes when let my mind start to wander and wonder it becomes clouded and my judgment deterred. But I am in the path of when I think God is not there he is, once I stop trying to think I can do it myself. I just give whatever darkness I encounter to Him. Be blessed.
Jesus is faithful When I suffer terrible headaches he is there, I can rest against his chest. God speaks to us so often when we are most in need of relying on him. He is Good.
Thank you for a great word!
The darkest time I have experienced is the loss of my child. My son left this life six years ago and I remember feeling abandoned by God. I know He was there. I knew it then, but I didn’t feel Him. I think my pain so great that I could not let Him in. Some will say that is not possible but oh, I think it is. Just like someone that hardens their heart toward Him, we can be consumed by pain that we feel nothing else. Emerging from this anguish, the Lord has carried me every step of the way. I see His sorrow deeper than before. I am talking when He walked in the garden with Adam-his beautiful creation. He called out to Him; Adam, where are you? It broke His heart to know that Adam had separated himself from Him. It hurt Him so bad that He put the plan of salivation into action so He could reconcile His creation back to Him. Oh, He knows sorrow and He wants His children back, just like I want to see my son again and will.
It’s interesting I’ve been putting together a book of my poetry and my life story to go with it. In it I’ve been exploring how much God really has been with me through the years even when I didn’t know it. Reading this post brought me right into my book. I’ve really been amazed at how much God has revealed to me about where he’s been through my life. When I believed lies that I was worthless and didn’t belong anywhere He was with me and loved me. I wish I knew that way back but I know it now and that’s all that matters. decades of feeling rejected went away when I learned I have someone so very special in Heaven who’s loved me and accepted me from before I was born. That’s so awesome!
There are times when I don’t know where God is and then I talk to Him. He quickly shows me where He’s been and then I feel sheepish.
Hello Girl friend,
I remember when i wanted my stay in the Nederland, i was going from one court to another and any time i appeared to the court they will give me a negetive but in all the courts
He was there with me.Just one day he told the authorities that it is enough and i recieve my stay even when i had forgotten about it and within the same time he gave me a husband,childeren and a ministry. I give Him the glory.
Thinks for reminding me that my best friend is Christ because his held me when my mother pass away and I just new that I couldn’t go on. I love him so much for loving me first and He replaced my broken heart with a heart full of thanksgiving and priase!!! Think you my sweet sweet Jesus!! May God Bless And keep You Cathy E. July 26, 2013 7:46pm
This was so what i needed to hear..I have been going through some hard times with my children and grandchildren..God has been telling me it’s because i am so determined to live in center of God’s will.Sometime things get so hard i just don’t know what to do but i know all i need to do is let God lead and guide me in the right way to go..I believe what the Bible says that he will stick closer then a brother to us…
Hello Sharon.i just got to know about G.i.G,and i have been immensely blessed. What seems to be the darkest moment of my life is now that i am experiencing a little difficulty in one of my results at school but i now know that God is with me.i can feel His hands on my shoulders,telling me that its alright and that the issue has been taken care of.i am therefore trading my weakness for the Lords strength,my fear for faith,my pain for purpose and my difficulty for possibility.
Hello Sharon. Wow!! What a blessed assurance we have from the Lord! It has blessed my heart. Many a times i go through difficulties and there is this tendency of asking where God is and why he lets me go through it. At times I feel lonely and alone especially when people you think are your friends just watch to see you suffer. Sometimes they don’t even know that you are suffering coz you don’t want to share your suffering with anybody. I sometimes pray and feel like my prayers are floating! But what a blessed hope we have just to know that the Lord is around us even as we go through suffering; that his presence is within reach because he watches. He gave up Egypt for the children of Israel! How much more will he do for us his children to give us victory? Its my prayer that i will learn to lean on the Lord and to always remember that his presence is within reach even in those tough times. What a fellowship, what a joy divine leaning on the everlasting arms; What a blessed hope, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms! Sharon, may the Lord bless you as you continue giving us hope in your sharing through Girlfriends in God. I AM BLESSED!!! amen
I’m going through trails right now. And He’s here with me, even if I don’t feel like it.
Readg al dis comments has bin edifyg esp d song.GOD has always bin tradg weakness 4 strength in my life,turng d mess 4 a miracle.Right now,HE is speakg louder.Isaiah 43 has bin on my readlist sinc sat,it was read in church yesterday n here again.dis must be d Word 4 me now!LORD,i rejoice @ ur WORD.thnx sharon
As I am just now getting around to reading this blog entry, I realize the timing of God is impeccable. (as always) 21 years ago, our son died in my womb but was delivered and revived miraculously. He suffered no deficits from lack of oxygen. Our family has believed from that day that Nick was spared for a reason and that God has awesome plans for him. He was raised in the Truth and was a strong Christian for many years. However, the world, Satan and his lies crept in and took over. On Dec 4, 2009, after years of being bullied, our son attempted to take his own life. His attempt was unsuccessful and to this day, I believe God spared Nick yet again. His story is not finished. Bar none, it was the darkest valley our family has walked through. One day shortly after, I was crying out to God asking if our son would ever come Home to Him and trust Him again. Isa 43:1-7 was just the scripture I read that day and I took great comfort that He would gather our son from the distant land. I bank my life on His promises. As I write this, our son is now 21 and is estranged from his family that loves him fiercely. He is drug free, working a good job and going to college but living with a woman who has basically made him choose between her and us. Nick has chosen her. I cling to God’s promises of redemption and restoration. Yesterday was a tough day for me (they come and go) I cried out to Jesus all morning for our son to come back to Him and to us. This morning I sit and finally read this blog entry and it’s the perfect reminder that God is still at work, He still keeps His promises and He will bring our son back from that distant land! Praise be to God!!! And thank you for your blogs! God bless YOU! 🙂
” Do not be afraid, for i am with you” God is always there with me in all situations. There are times to cry, He is there, times to rejoice still there as He promised… Thank you sis Sharon. I enjoy your blogs. May God keep you.
Am going thru a very tough time now.My husbandhas been diagnosed as HIV+.I have not gotten the courage to go for a test as yet,but am trusting God for a – result.The beauty of this is I have turned back to God.Maybe it was his way of getting me back to him.I was scared,stressed & was almost sinking into depression.I thank God for I know he’s in charge.Yesterday, for the first time,God spoke to me & told me “all is well,all is going to be well”.& I
trust and know it is,whatever the outcome. isaiah 43:1-7 speaks to me,for I know he’s holding me thru it all