Is God leading you to do something completely new and you feel like you’re failing? Or if you’re like me, you feel like all the suffering you are experiencing isn’t worth it?
Many Christians think if God has called them to do something it must be easy and smooth. And the moment it gets hard or they meet resistance, they think it’s a sign to quit. But that is a ploy by Satan. I believe when God calls you to something greater, it is NOT going to be easy and smooth. It’s going to be just the opposite. In fact, you can go ahead and expect to experience some suffering. Your suffering will come in the form of stress, unhappiness, opposition, setbacks, failures, crises in faith, and/or lost hope. And all of those sufferings may bring you to a crossroads.
Do you quit? Or… Do you press on?
YOU.PRESS.ON! But how?
Expect treasures in your darkness.
The prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 45:3 (AKJV)
And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
When you are in the dark places of suffering as you pursue your vision, there are treasures and hidden riches. But oftentimes, the only way to get those treasures involves you braving the darkness of suffering.
You see, my faith in Christ gives me the courage to make it through anything NO MATTER WHAT. I help shine the light on the treasures in the darkness of my clients. The hidden treasures of my personal sufferings and darkness enable me to help my clients’ persevere and endure through the darkness and uncertainty they WILL experience as they work toward their vision. Because if you don’t understand God’s promises and have faith in those promises, then you will believe the illusion of Satan and quit as soon as you have a setback or a failure. You won’t find treasures found in the darkness.
My first year at college is the perfect example of this! It was the first time I had ever experienced true suffering. I was so completely homesick. Homesick as in I cried every day for the first semester. My roommate can attest to that. I didn’t know a soul and I felt so alone and isolated. Many people around me thought the solution was easy- transfer to a school closer to home. But I didn’t want to give up, and I didn’t. I trusted that I was brought down to Texas for a purpose.
As I look back, I can see so many hidden riches in my suffering. The first treasure was that during this time, my faith became my OWN. No longer was I Christian because I was raised a Christian. It was during that fall semester of 1995 when that personal relationship with Jesus began to grow.
During that time I was hungry for Jesus. I threw myself in His Word like never before. One verse that I clung to like a tick to a deer was this:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.- In Romans 5:3-5 (ESV).
In all honesty, there was no rejoicing in my suffering. But the promise in that verse is what kept me going. My suffering was somehow for my benefit and I wouldn’t be put to shame, and that God’s love was pouring into my heart.
So not only did God see me through my homesickness and I ended up living in Texas for 20 years, but I ended up being blessed with friends whom to this day I still refer to as my “Chosen Family.”
Had I given up and moved home, I probably wouldn’t have come to know Jesus personally. Had I given up, I wouldn’t have had the courage and faith to live abroad for a semester, to quit my job teaching and to start CCWA. All of these are treasures and hidden riches that came from my darkness.
I know it’s hard to do cartwheels and high kicks when you suffer depression, your dreams are falling apart, or hit roadblocks in your vision. Often times I tell Jesus, “I’m sorry, Jesus, I can’t rejoice right now, but I trust you to see me through this suffering and that somehow this is preparing me for something amazing.”
I ask that you just acknowledge and trust that your suffering has purpose and will somehow, in some way, be to your benefit! Can you find the treasures in your darkness?
CCWA is committed to helping Christian visionaries who are ready to move forward in the direction God has called them. Our services not only help people spiritually move through sufferings and setbacks, but we also work one-on-one with people to give them practical support, tools, and strategies to implement their ideas. We invite you to schedule a complimentary Vision Clarity Session to help you get clear on your vision and your biggest obstacle that is holding you back from living your vision. Click here to schedule your free session today!