What now? when you’ve been praying and hoping for an answer or a way out from God, and it doesn’t come? How do you keep up the faith? how do you react? I’m sure we all have different reactions to the way we respond to frustrations and disappointments. I’ll tell you mine; I start with saying God knows the best for me and all things are working together for my good(in a bid to help me hang in there), then move on to the sad state, where I feel sorry for my self and perhaps cry a bit or a lot (it depends on what I was hoping for and how much it meant to me), after this I move on to the stage of wanting to know why, ( in this stage I ask God questions like; but why did you not answer me? God are you still there? did I do something wrong? What I’m doing here is actually trying to cast blames, partially on God and on myself. Wait a minute I don’t dare cast blames on God…? I mean, I love God too much for that… you follow?) Now I enter into my stage of confusion- because I don’t know why, God hasn’t said anything, or I’m just too deaf and distracted to hear Him speak, (This stage embodies it all-all my sadness, confusion, hope, faith- all interchangeably coiled up into a ball of Surrender)
In this last stage of surrender, I am still, too wearied and tired to do anything else. I acknowledge that I need God, I realise that He is the only one in control.
Perhaps you can relate to the whole or part of the picture I’m trying to paint. If so, I have a question for you: “have you ever surrendered to anything or anyone? when did you know it was time to surrender, and how did you feel at first?”
Now let’s relate this to God: when do you know its time to surrender, and why do you surrender?” From my personal experience, I’d assume its when everything you’ve possibly tried in order to fix the situation fails, and you surrender because you come to a realization that this is out of your control. It’s like soldiers on a battlefield, fighting not only to defeat the enemy but to also fighting to stay alive. What happens when they realise that they’ve lost the battle? The answer is they surrender. But something crucial comes before surrender- it’s called fatigue. Fatigue is not necessarily the lack of physical or mental strength, it could also be the absence of will, which I define as a very tender stalk sprouting from the seed of hopelessness…
So now that you’ve surrendered. How do you then hang on to God? How do you get through this season?
- Staying close to God: if you used to pray twice in a day, continue. Keep doing whatever it is that keeps you closer to God, just continue, don’t stop. This is a time to pull closer to God, not pull away from God. James 4:8 “if you draw near to God, he’ll draw near to you”
- Trust: Trust that God has your back. Trust that he sees you and understands the situation. Trust that if he hasn’t yet given you that which you ask for, he has a very good reason for it. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” Proverbs 3:5-6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your part.”
- Have faith: Have faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 “but without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Have faith in His thoughts and plans for your life. Have faith in His promises concerning you.
- Be still: times will come when your emotions will try to be a roller costa but don’t go for that ride. Instead, choose to be still. I stay still by remembering the good works of God in my life, how he’s healed me before, saved me from an accident that could have ended my life, showered me with favour, kept me alive. At this moment, count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Start with focusing on the things you have, instead of the things you don’t have.
- Take each day at a time: if you are a master planner like me, it’ll be difficult to just want to take each day at a time. Mathew 6:34 “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” I’ll put it this way; just focus on what you have to do now.
- Exercise your authority as Gods Child and reclaim all that is yours in the place of prayer: Ephesians 6.12 “for we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness’s in high places.” Remember Daniel in the bible? When he was making a petition before the Lord, and after 21 days an angel was released to him, saying that indeed the first day he set out to pour his heart before God, his prayer was answered and answer to his prayer sent, but the prince of Persia withstood the angel of God who was supposed to deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayers. Thank goodness Daniel continued in the place of prayer!! So, continue praying in the name of Jesus!
- Finally, sing praises. Worship God simply just for who He is, be grateful!! Exodus 15:11 “who is like unto thee oh Lord, among the Gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, FEARFUL IN PRAISES, doing wonders!” the Lord does wonderful and terrible things when we praise Him. So, praise Him, and watch every wall of Jericho fall down flat in your life!
Let Us Pray
Dear Father in heaven, we are grateful for who you are and all that you’ve done. I pray for your children today- please give then strength to endure when the going gets hard, help their faith when they are weak, and replace their burdens with songs of joy. I Jesus name; Amen!