Today I went into my email my inbox and saw a new message pop up from one of my Daily Cup readers. She was submitting a request for “Thoughtful Thursdays”—the day set aside to post prayer requests on the blog and intercede with my prayer team.
As I read her words (She wants to be known only as “RA”), detailing the successive bad events that have happened to her over the past few months, the heaviness and desperation she is feeling seemed to leap off the screen and into my heart.
I was particularly moved when, at the end of her request she wrote, “Most of all, I need to know that God is real and has not forgotten me...”
Those words penetrated so deeply, like I dagger through my heart. Before I knew it, I found myself wiping away tears and asking God to please minister to her heart, because I know what it’s like to feel forgotten.
In our most vulnerable moments, the enemy tries to nanipulate our thoughts and get us to doubt everything we know--even the very existence of our great God. When life gets rough, we feel weak, weary, and worn. The bad starts to overshadow the good and we feel like we're all alone.
That's a rough place to be!
Now, anyone who has never experienced a “Murphy’s Law” kind of season where it seemed to be true that, “If anything can go wrong, it will," then they might not feel the weight of the woman who submitted that prayer request. In fact, they might not even be refreshed by what’s in today’s cup of inspiration.
Oh, but if you, like me, have endured extensive and prolonged suffering, you can certainly relate to that empty feeling of being alone, abandoned, and overlooked. You immediately recall the nights you cried; the times you wondered if God really heard your cry; and the emotional pain of being beaten down by the circumstances that rocked your faith.
But, by the same token, if you, like me, are also a survivor who has come out on the other side victoriously, you have strong confidence in God. You know that being forgotten is merely a feeling, not a reality. You are certain that God sees and cares, and has a plan of deliverance in due time.
You recognize now, even though you might not have when you thought you would sink under the weight of your burdens, that numerous trials and setbacks are not evidence of the absence of God's love. But, through them, God reveals His character and refines ours. That’s why 1 Peter 4:12 NIV tells us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
The gory sets the stage for the glory.
So remember this.
Yes, God loves us. Yes, He sees us. And yes, He cares about us. But no, that does not preclude us from going through heartache.
And that's alright.
Here's a dose of encouragement that I want to stir into your cup of inspiration today. It is taken from Psalm 34:19 KJV which says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you'll be reminded that, no matter what you’re going through. God is there. And the same God who promises never to forsake us while we’re in the storm, is the same God who will deliver us out of the storm in due time.
Be encouraged today.
God loves you and He is concerned about you.
Now let’s pray.
God, sometimes I feel like trials get piled on top of trials. I can hardly get out of one storm before another one blows through my life. These times of hardship challenge me so greatly that it can be hard to focus on anything else. Today, I pray, oh God, that every time doubt, weakness, and discouragement try to snatch away my confidence in Your love and good plan for my life, that You would help me not to give in. Instead, please remind me to take refuge in Your word which assures me that, no matter how dark the day, You have not forgotten me. Thank You for loving me enough to ride through this storm with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Song of the Day: He's Concerned by CeCe Winans
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!