How did they get my information? How could I get that money back? What did I need to do to prevent this from occurring again?
After speaking to my banker, getting a grasp of what happened and realizing there was nothing I could do about it other than shut things down, I said a prayer and calmly resumed my day.
As I talked to my husband Kenya and shared all the details, we gave it over to the Lord.
Of course, I did everything my banker told me to do in this situation. But after I did all I could, I had to move forward and not let it consume me. Eventually, things got resolved and worked out. But in the process, I refused to let the situation wreck me. I was not going to get emotional and panic. I chose to place my faith in God's power and believe Him to handle it.
And you know what? He did.
Once upon a time, I'd get quickly bent out of shape over life’s ups and downs. I would allow troubling developments to vex my spirit and ruin my whole day. For a number of years, I was simply a “church parrot,” merely repeating the phrases I had heard preachers and fellow Christians say with regularity.
I would recite encouraging scriptures. I knew all the Christian platitudes. But the moment a storm hit, I crumbled. All the negative thoughts, attitudes and ideas quickly replaced my hollow statements of faith.
It’s one thing to talk about faith; it’s another thing to walk by faith.
I was just talking back then.
It wasn’t until I was tried in the furnace of affliction multiple times, that I learned to stop panicking whenever I felt the heat of the flames. Through deeply personal struggles and challenges, I developed an intimate understanding of God as my provider, healer, sustainer and true source of everything I need.
As uncomfortable as it may be, if you and I really want a strong walk with the Lord, we have to go through something. There is no power without suffering. There is no crown without a cross. There is no Promised Land without a wilderness. There is no triumph without a trial.
Granted, going through challenges isn’t ideal. We all enjoy times of peace and abundance, when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. And there will be those times.
As I often say, trouble won’t last always.
Yet, we must personally deal with trouble, lest we mindlessly repeat Psalm 46:1 that says God is a “present help in trouble,” without authentically knowing how true it is.
We find it so encouraging to read about how God closed the mouth of the lions when Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den in Daniel 6. We rejoice over how Joseph arose from the pit to become Prince of Egypt in Genesis 41. Our hearts are encouraged by David, who was not even regarded worthy of kingship by his father Jesse in 1 Samuel 16, but yet became King of Israel in 2 Samuel 5.
We read these inspiring and true biblical accounts. Yet, we walk away pleading to skip the lion’s den, the pit and the pain of being disregarded.
We shout and rejoice over Job receiving “double” in Job 42:10, but we must not forget that he lost everything in Job 1:13-19.
Your breakthrough will come. In the meantime, see suffering as the vehicle to position you to receive greater!
Here’s something I've told you before: we don’t get to pull up to Heaven’s window, request a made-to-order destiny, ask God to hold the pain and give us a double side of miracles.
We don’t get to skip trials.
Use Apostle Paul as a model.
Remember him talking about having a “thorn” in his flesh? Though the Bible doesn’t specify what it was, we do know Paul was tormented by it.
Here’s the kicker: God Himself allowed it to remain there in order to keep Paul humble.
In Deuteronomy 8:2, God also allowed Israel to go through the wilderness to keep them humble. That scripture in the NIV translation says, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
As it was with Paul and the Israelites, so, too, is it with us. Our suffering has a purpose. It is not in vain. It is not cruel. It does not mean God doesn't love us and that He has forgotten about us. Rather, i teaches humility, dependency, faith in the sovereignty of God and produces perseverance.
Paul had the right attitude about suffering. After praying three times for deliverance from that affliction and not receiving it, he said something important.
In 2 Corinthians 12:10, which is what I’m stirring into your cup of inspiration, the Apostle said, “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.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, remember, your suffering is purposeful. A mighty harvest of blessing springs forth from the seed of suffering.
Romans 5:3 NLT, says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”
And when it feels too rough, as God told Paul, He says to you today, according to 2 Corinthians 12:8, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Hang in there. Suffering, though it feels like it is working against you, is really working for you, to produce Godly character, and prepare you for the next dimension of breakthrough.
Now let’s pray.
God, the tests I am going through are not easy. Yet, I thank You that Your strength and power is working in me. I believe that, just as You did for David, Joseph and Daniel, You will deliver me and use my life as a mighty example of Your power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with You. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.