Do you ever look at the difficult facts of your life and become convinced they are truth and just “the way it is?” This is a common mistake for all of us. We face facts daily and I’m not trying to say they aren’t real, but maybe it’s time to consider God’s truths versus our facts. Society has plenty to say about everything and if we’re not careful we can get caught in the trap of philosophizing our difficult circumstances. Which takes us exactly nowhere.
I came to this realization when I faced the worst day of my life and the facts were not in my favor. My facts told me that life was over and I would never have anything good to look forward to again. These were pretty heavy facts that held no hope whatsoever, and I know many of you have possibly felt that way at one time or another. But then, approximately two weeks after losing my husband and four youngest children in an auto accident, God spoke these words to me: “Your life has been radically altered. But I have not changed. And I still came that you would have life and life abundant.” He spoke directly into my facts with his truths. He didn’t try to sugarcoat it or pretend that it wasn’t incredibly awful; he just wanted to set the record straight. I could hardly believe what I was hearing and at that point, I certainly did not have a vision for abundant life. However, I knew Jesus and his incredible love for me so I decided to embrace these truths. Besides, society certainly didn’t have any good options to choose from.
Malachi 3:6 says, “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob are not consumed [destroyed].” (NAS) God does not change, so that when the storms of this life come and are raging all around us, we are able to stay solid and immovable. If we build our life on the foundation of Christ we cannot be destroyed, even when the “facts” are not in our favor. That’s his promise to us. “We are pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Cor. 4:8 (NIV).
Jesus says in John 10:10, … “I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.” (NAS) When God spoke this to me, I realized that my devastating circumstances did not change his plan for my family or me. Jesus gave his life for this very reason. It wasn’t easy to see at the time, but the first step was changing my mind and believing his promise. Once I agreed with his truth, then I was empowered to walk out that truth each day – one step at a time. God’s truths will always help us to look upward and outward so we have healthy forward movement. He will never keep up us stagnant or looking backward.
Regardless of what you’re facing today, God has not changed his mind about you or the good plans he has for you to live abundantly on this earth – whether your “facts” were within your control or not. When Jesus gave his life on the cross, he removed all shame and guilt – two negative emotions that work overtime to keep us from living in his abundance. The enemy will use our difficult facts, regardless of their origin, to bring the lies of shame and guilt into our minds. Shame makes us want to shrink back and hide in fear because we feel our actions have made us unworthy of God’s goodness. And guilt keeps us paralyzed from forward movement because we are convinced that our actions have stopped God’s goodness in someone else’s life. Therefore, we somehow no longer deserve to be happy. This is NOT God’s truth!
My hope today is that you will recognize the areas in your life where the enemy has managed to hold you back or keep you paralyzed by using shame or guilt. And with that revelation, you will apply God’s truth – that Jesus gave his life in order for you to live in his abundance!!