I love to see women of faith collaborating to further God’s Kingdom. Our very own Rhonda P. Fraser brought together various ministry women and complied their faith stories to encourage others to believe God for more. Following is an excerpt from their book, Resilient Faith.
We see it in the story of Joseph in the Bible.
I will not make light of the pain people go through. Indeed, God knows every pain we feel. He does not turn a blind eye when we go through hurts and are treated unfairly. Hebrews 4:15 explains how He feels and understands our pain.
We read in Acts 9, where light from heaven struck down Saul on the road to Damascus. He was on his way to harm God’s people. God accosted Him with a piercing question, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting ME?” It is important to note He didn’t say, why are you persecuting my children – He made it clear He (GOD) was the One being hurt. This shows how He is in touch with our suffering. He will take care of the situation. In Saul’s case, he was converted from his life of wrongdoing to becoming the Apostle Paul, author of many books in the New Testament. God came down, handled the situation and evil was transformed for good.
We get to see the supernatural at work when we are faithful in being the hands, feet, or voice of Jesus in our line of work. God will not call us to do His work, then abandon us when the pressure hits. He fights for us all the way – in our personal lives, professional lives, and in ministry.
The love of God in our lives is threatened when we hold onto offenses, and the adversary knows those areas of vulnerability. That is why we need to stay vigilant against hoarding hurts that can lead to bitterness. We are particularly warned of this danger in Hebrews 12:15. Bitterness grows into a stubborn tree that can destroy us and others; blocking our blessing. Blatant offenses are possibly easier to recognize and address, but we have to be attentive to the subtle ones and submit those to the Lord.
I remember my own subtle offense. At the time, I disliked people pointing out that I had no children. Although, in their defense, most of them were probably unaware of the struggles I faced, it was still hurtful. I particularly remember an incident when a church usher greeted me one Mother’s Day. “Sorry Sis, these corsages are only for mothers, not wives without children.” It was a straightforward statement, yet another hit in a vulnerable spot for me. We had been married for over six years and still no children only pangs of miscarriage, and the enemy was trying to capitalize on my vulnerability. Whether this woman intended to offend me or not, was not the issue. Whether it is deemed petty or not, was not the issue. Everyone’s journey is different. However, we cannot continue to make that an excuse to remain stuck in defeat, wallow in distress, and further damage relationships.
The real issue is holding ourselves accountable for our actions. We cannot control the behavior of others or blame others for our reactions. The responsibility is ours to own. Romans 14:12 says “each of us shall give an account of himself to God.” (NKJV)
Therefore, our primary focus has to be inward. If we make self-reflection and self-improvement a priority, there would certainly be less conflict. The enemy enjoys us being over-occupied with the wrongdoings of others because it gives us less time to develop ourselves; it depresses us, stagnates us, and destroys our connections.
Our movement of faith requires us to be intentional in rising above our doubts and hurts. We need to surrender it all to God, knowing whatever valley is destined for our journey God will give us the grace to go through it, as He did for Job. We also, should not be comfortable in situations where He only intends for us to pass through. We need to recognize when that season is over, let it go, and allow God’s love, forgiveness, and plan prevail.
It is true some hurts take longer to overcome, yet God is faithful to bring purpose out of our pain if we dare to believe and relinquish it to Him.
Healing often follows our surrender to His plan. I have seen this happen many times in my life. My response to that usher’s comment was to refocus and press through in worship and praise to God and enjoy the church service. That decision led to a remarkable encounter with the Lord. A breakthrough happened that day because approximately NINE MONTHS after that incident, I was holding my miracle – my firstborn son, – the very thing experts said would not happen. (I share more of this story in our book: Empowered to Overcome Tough Seasons of Life.
When we hold onto a resilient faith in God, we will see Him do amazing things in and through our lives.