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Sometimes struggles hit us hard and they leave us feeling paralyzed. Those debilitating thoughts and memories of the trial resound like a never-ending echo that just won’t seem to cease. Once you think you’ve overcome the pain, it returns like a crashing wave of emotions flooding incessantly and feeling more oppressive than ever before. You just can’t seem to rid yourself of the constant ache of the pain. What can you do to overcome? How will you get through? How are you supposed to endure? And better yet, why should you?

Maybe you’ve faced a circumstance that left your heart broken and feeling emptier than you ever could have imagined. Your trust was stolen and feels like it can never be restored. Trust is something so fragile and runs ever so deep. When trust is broken, it leaves us with disappointment. Not just with close relationships, but even more so in our relationship with God. When something tragic happens in our life we begin to ask questions, and in many cases, we question God’s authority. We grow reluctant to hand over the intimate desires of our already battered heart, in fear of Him crushing our soul like He in the past.

When we endure hardships, time after time, it is hard to continually recover from the intense blows thrown at us. It is in these times that we question our endurance. Why should we continue to fight? Why move on? If every-time we get back up we are slammed to the ground yet again, why should we find the strength to get back up?

It’s so easy to let hard circumstances get the best of us. It can seem so paralyzing to feel so out of control of your circumstances. We grow weary in the constant struggle of living in a world where it seems like evil wins and anything moral is viewed as corrupt. Where justice seems non-existent and integrity is disregarded. When effort is unrewarded and laziness is applauded. When the loudest is heard and humility is viewed as a weakness. How do we endure through the daily struggles and not lose heart?

Have you ever felt like your life was controlling you? Your thoughts and desires were overtaking your contentment and joy? Did you feel defined by your circumstances? Maybe the lack thereof? Control is something that we naturally desire. Having control over something makes us feel in authority. We don’t feel helpless or uncertain when we have the control. I have found that when we have the control, we are not putting ourselves in a good position.

My first inkling when enduring through a rough situation is to take control. I want to know all the answers, details and information. I want to have insight into why it is occurring and the reasoning for God allowing it. I want to find out how it impacts my future and what lies ahead. Above all, I want to take the Driver’s seat and lead my life in the direction I want it to go. I want to have full access to the details of my life and rewrite my story to be easy and pleasant. When things don’t go as I had planned I feel like my desires and dreams are going unacknowledged and unheard. I want my requests for my life to be heard. It’s my life so why shouldn’t I?

Isn’t that where we get carried away? We think this life is our own. We want our life to go our way. We want our life to be perfect like we see with all our friends. Our life is more meaningful than just being guided by our dreams and desires. It runs much deeper than that. God has called us to more than an easy life filled with perfect days with no struggles or hardships. If we didn’t have difficulties what would shape our character? If we didn’t have heartbreaks what would show our strength? If we didn’t fail what would show our endurance? If we didn’t grow weak what would show God’s strength?

When terrible things occur it leaves us with many questions. Although we may never understand the full extent of our pain, we can rest assured that it is being used for an amazing purpose, in fact, probably thousands!

We can endure through our struggles knowing that each of the scars engraved on our heart are shaping us into refined gems being used by God. If we weren’t faced with trials we wouldn’t have the ability to seek Him and continually strengthen our character. Even though every day may seem like another mountain to trek, and the pain seems incessant, we can rest assured that it is achieving us eternal glory that we often think goes unnoticed. Each circumstance God is using to test our endurance and refine our character. We only see a tiny glimpse of the meaning our lives hold.

When we are overwhelmed with all that seems wrong in our lives, we don’t have to worry because we aren’t in it alone. God has promised to be by our side. He promises us that He is working for our best. He understands our pain. He never overlooks an offense. He sees every effort. He’s using whatever you’re enduring through to prepare you for what’s ahead.

Deuteronomy 8:2

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.
It may feel like you’re stuck in a “prison” with your circumstances and there’s nothing you can do to escape, but God’s using you right where you are so you can touch others around you that only you can do. He’s placed certain circumstances into your life, although they may seem insignificant and damaging, but they are being used in remarkable ways. God is using the mundane in your life for something spectacular.
It may feel like He is withholding things from you, leaving you feeling trapped and imprisoned in, but even Paul touched millions through the letters he wrote through a time of imprisonment that he viewed as unproductive. Those letters have been used to touch so many and later became the book of Corinthians. God is using your life, although it may seem insignificant, for great things. It may seem like everyday is filled with the same daily frustrations that never cease, but He’s using these tiny tests to see if what’s in your heart and if you remain committed. You never know just what God’s using to shape you and how your actions touch others. Don’t lose heart in the long lulls and enduring struggles life throws at you. This world is only temporary, so all this pain will be worth the reward!

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