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.




Feeling Like Your Courage Isn't Enough?

I love to set goals, work hard, and stay busy. I like being the girl who gets things done. However, all that striving can cause me to place my confidence where it doesn’t belong.

Self-sufficiency can easily become something we rely on for courage and stability. But the problem with relying on our own strength is that it won’t hold up when the storm comes. This month we are exploring valuable truth found in Psalm 107. Today’s verses show us what to do when our courage isn’t enough.

“Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:23-30 NIV

The depiction of ships being tossed by storms in Psalm 107 reminds me of Luke 8:22-24, when Jesus and the disciples boarded a ship to cross the Sea of Galilee. Some of them were fishermen, no doubt capable of handling challenges a storm could bring. Yet even the experienced group members lost their courage.

As Jesus rested, the disciples rushed to him in panic saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” (Luke 8:24) Just like the merchants in Psalm 107, “their courage melted away.” (Psalm 107:26) We can imagine the seamen as confident men who faced storms all the time. Surely their physical strength helped them handle just about anything.

But even the strongest person can get blown over if he relies on his own strength to save him.

When we rely on God for strength, we won’t be blown over when the winds of adversity come. Jesus reminds us where to place our confidence. As we trust Him, He will speak peace to our situation.