God's Plan for Your Struggle

It began as a simple phone call.

The moment she answered, my friend sensed something was wrong. And without asking for details about my situation, she offered to pray for me. Somehow she understood. She prayed for God to bring comfort and thanked Him for providing whatever I needed to walk through the trial. What she prayed for next, I will never forget.

“Father, thank you that when Kristine comes through this, you will allow her to encourage someone else going through the same struggle.”

What? Encourage someone else? In the middle of my mess, the idea seemed impossible.

When we face life’s toughest battles, it’s easy to feel alone - like no one understands. That lie can keep us from experiencing the good work God has planned for us through the struggle. That’s why it is so important to not only thank Him for His goodness, but also share about all He has done.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.” Psalm 107:2-3

When circumstances seem at their absolute worst, encouraging someone else is far from my mind. If I’m searching for strength to get through my day, how can I possibly offer help to another person?

It’s in those uncertain times that we find hope in God’s promise in Romans 8:28. He works all things together for good for those who love Him. All things, even the yucky stuff. And although I might not feel like it at that moment, there will be a day when God will open the door for me to share my victory and encourage a friend with His faithfulness.

“Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.” Psalm 107:22

I hesitated before calling my friend that day because I thought I had to face my challenge alone. Her response changed that. We praised. We thanked Him. She told me how God had provided for her, broken chains, healed sickness, and brought peace to her storms. What an encouragement!

Are you needing God’s provision today? Do you need to know there is a plan beyond the struggle? That simple phone call with my friend taught me a valuable truth.

Yesterday’s victory for someone else can bring hope to your struggle today. And one day, you will be able to offer the same encouragement to another.




What to Do When I Pray But Still Feel Down

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6b ESV

I’d been praying about my situation for weeks. Friends were praying for me. Our pastors were praying too. But this particular Sunday when I walked into church, the pastor must’ve sensed my discouragement or seen it in the look on my face.

During the worship service, he walked up to me and said, “God’s got this. You know that, right?”

I nodded in agreement. I knew God had it all under control, but the pastor’s question kept coming back to me again and again. Did I really trust God with my situation? And if so, why was I still feeling down?

When we offer our most desperate prayer to God, we trust Him to work on our behalf with His love, mercy, and peace. We know we can rely on Him in our daily decisions and toughest challenges.

But honestly, when I’m facing those challenges it’s hard to stay positive, even when I’ve given it to God in prayer.

David knew this. In the verse above, David felt alone because of his circumstances. He had no one to turn to for prayer support. In fact, all his men were so distressed, they talked about taking it out on David.

When he had nowhere else to turn, he knew where to find encouragement.

“Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, ‘Bring me the ephod.’” (1 Sam. 30:7 NIV)

Through the ephod, David was able to seek the Lord and His will in their situation. Even though surrounded by men weeping in despair, David turned to God and discovered His promise for certain victory over the enemy.

Sometimes in life we will be surrounded by the faithful prayers of family and friends. Our hearts will be uplifted as we know others are standing with us and holding us up in our trial.

Then there will be other times when we feel alone and unsure where to turn. We’ve prayed, but we still feel discouraged. In those moments, we cannot give in to despair. Instead, we must encourage ourselves through what we know to be true.

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

I will encourage myself today in what I know to be True. God’s got this. #Truth (Tweet this.)

So let’s take our example from David today. We will have moments when we feel down, but that doesn’t have to stop us from making the choice to seek the One who never fails us. God promises to provide for our needs, and we can trust Him.

God’s got this.