Greater Than the Struggle / YAE Devo - Day 9

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37
In life, we are constantly walking through seasons. In the high up mountaintops and the low valleys, we are constantly walking, waiting, approaching, and expecting something new. When we walk through the valleys, so often we become lost and discouraged because things aren’t going the way we want or the way we have planned. We let our circumstances determine the posture in which we approach the world. And the midst of our trials and troubles we so often lose sight of who God is and who He has made us to be.
You are more than a conqueror.
You are a fighter.
You are triumphant.
You are victorious.
You are strong.
You are an overcomer.
You are greater than anything you will ever face or walk through because you have the power and freedom to choose joy and triumph in circumstances where this earth only sees defeat.
Approach victory humbly and freely because it’s all in Him. Only because of who He is and what He’s done. He turned the cross from a symbol of death to an altar of life and redemption. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in you. The same God who turned what the world certainly knew was a tragedy- the brutal death and unworthy crucifixion of Jesus Christ- into a death-defying story of triumph and hope and love and grace, is sovereign over all the seasons and seeming tragedies of your life. It may not seem like it now, but there is hope waiting on the other side.
Where there was death, He brought life.
Where there was fear, He brought courage.
Where there was despair, He brought hope.
Where there was doubt, He brought confidence.
Where there was weakness, He brought strength.
He is for you and He is with you.            
We serve a God who is greater than the struggle. And because we are in Him, we are greater than the struggle as well. Not in the sense that we have the power the change our circumstances, but in the sense that we have the power to change our perspectives and adjust our postures.
We serve a God who walks with us through our sufferings. Psalm 23 illustrates a picture that paints God as a good Shepard to us (his sheep), guiding us through life and tending to our every need. You serve a God that came to this world and experienced every single pain, trial, struggle and hurt that we would ever endure. A God who not only sovereignly reigns but a high priest who is able to relate to us in our sufferings. He is near to us in every aspect of the word. Through every season of life, He walks with you. And when you are at your weakest, He stops to weep with you and He carries you places that you could never bear to journey to in your brokenness.
We serve a God who calls us to delight in our sufferings. In the book of James, we are called to rejoice in our suffering and when life throws trials at us- not because it’s fun or even because it makes sense in the earthly realm of things, but because God is doing something with you in the midst of your suffering and waiting. He is building your character. He is causing you to lean on Him. He is preparing you for your future. He is growing you. He is giving you the wisdom that you could never have otherwise. God is doing something in your life and in your story and in this season that will one day paint a picture of redemption and great love to someone who needs to see it.
We serve a God who calls us to glorify Him during and after seasons of suffering. Just as Job chose faithfulness in the midst of a life full of suffering, so we are called to glorify Him in the midst of the valleys of life. Glorifying God means showing by your actions and attitudes that God is glorious to you- that he is valuable, precious, desirable, satisfying. And the greatest way to show that someone satisfies your heart is to keep on rejoicing in them when all other supports for your satisfaction are falling away. When you keep rejoicing in God in the midst of suffering, it shows that God, and not other things, is the great source of your joy.
We serve a God who has prepared greater glories for us on the other side of our suffering. One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible is Romans 8:18 - “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” We serve a God that is not only gracious enough to grow us through what we go through but to write bigger and better days ahead of us in our stories, both here on this earth (Psalm 27:13) and in heaven. Those days and seasons ahead of us are so amazing that they can’t even begin to compare to what we are suffering through right now- it will all be worth it, standing there and looking back. Measured by eternity, the hardships of this life will not be long and the rewards will be immeasurable.
So next time you catch yourself in a season of suffering or of waiting or of sadness or of uncertainty set your eyes on things above. Choose joy. Choose a God who is greater. Think about how much He is growing and shaping you. Take heart in the fact that God is steadfast, providing, and faithful. Look back at His faithfulness in your life and walk forward in boldness and confidence of His provision. Praise Him in the middle of it all. Know that there is hope waiting on the other side. Know that the mountaintops will taste all the sweeter because of your time spent in the valley. Above all; rejoice- even if your heart is breaking and your world is falling apart all around you. Leave the world wondering how you did it. Point them to the cross- the ultimate symbol of hope- in the midst of your ‘hopeless’ circumstance.

Heavenly and Gracious Father, thank you so much for the seasons of suffering in my life for they produce wisdom and a grateful heart. Thank you for growing and molding and shaping me through the valleys of life and thank you for being an ever-present help, a High Priest who is close to me in my suffering, carrying me through my brokenness and walking with me in my weakness. Thank you for preparing greater glories on the other side of my suffering, thank you for setting aside eternity for me to look forward to. I pray that I would choose joy and light in the midst of dark days- seeking to glorify You and point others towards the cross. In your beautiful and heavenly name I pray, amen.

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