AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE?
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord you may wonder why you may experience trying times and even severe circumstances. Jesus said we would experience difficult times while living in this godless world.
John 16:33 –These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Sometimes the trials seem to go on and on, getting worse with circumstances on top of circumstances. Then you come to the point that you feel you can no longer cope. This is when “you have reached the end of the rope”. You become desperate, you have nowhere to turn; you feel that all hope is gone.
For the true believer in Christ there IS hope, but at this point you cannot recognize it, even though you have prayed desperately and quoted scripture to your circumstances – and still nothing! “God – are you there?” ….”Can you hear me now?” …And all attempts seem to be in vain. Now you begin to question God, even to doubt His existence. Why does this happen, because we are focused so much on our problems that they dominate our time and attention so that we can’t see past them.
Generally most of us believers fail to recognize that the trials we are going through are a test from God. He has allowed us to go through this experience – why? It is to test your faith in Him and your faithfulness to Him.
1 Peter 4:12 – Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
Now consider Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Nothing catches God by surprise; He knows all about you, all about your trials, all your thoughts, all your fears, and the level of your faith in Him, and your faithfulness to Him. He knows exactly what you are going through; and He even knows why! He is working in your life to strengthen and build His character in you. You may feel that nothing good can come of your situation, but you don’t see things as God sees them.
When the heavens seem like brass and your prayers simply bounce off as though they never got through to be heard, you now feel so alone, abandoned. It is as though you are going through the wilderness, a lonely, dry desert area with no means to sustain you. It’s in this wilderness that the unnecessary baggage is discarded, freeing you of activities, burdens, unnecessary things, even sins, that you would otherwise continue to carry.
Yes, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”. It may not feel good or seem good for you at the time, but you need to understand that in His providence (predestination) God is developing you; He is investing in you for a divine purpose.
Romans 8:29 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
These trying experiences do include enduring suffering:
Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time arenot worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Peter 4:13 – but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
This maturing and developing requires testing! In school, after studying a subject, how does the teacher determine that you have learned, by administering a test! Nobody likes being tested, but it is necessary. You have to pass the test before you can move on to the next phase of development. Remember, God has a plan and a purpose for you and that requires developing you into His likeness.
One of the most basic things God tests in us is our faith (trust) IN Him; then He tests our faithfulness (obedience) TO Him. Our faith and faithfulness is elementary in Christian development.
Ephesians 4:13 – till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Further tests come as we mature into the image of Christ, where we are able to recognize what is of God and what is not of God.
Hebrews 5:13-14 – For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
What is revealed in such testing and trials is how we respond: are we going to respond or act His way, or are we going to respond or act in our own carnal, defiant way?
The key to passing such a test and overcoming these trying circumstances is to know how much God loves you and cares for you.
When you reach the end of your rope is when you grasp on to it the tightest. Why do you hold even tighter at the end, because you know there is nowhere else to go and no help is seen coming to rescue you. This is when fear and despair is the greatest and takes a hold of you. The result of such great fear is STRESS! You can get so stressed at this point that it affects your emotions, your mental stability and your physical body. The enemy (Satan) loves to cause fear and doubt of God and His promises to you in His Word. All this compounds your problems.
What are you to do when you reach the end of your rope? Don’t hold on tighter, don’t get all fearful and stressed out – LET GO OF THE ROPE! When you let go of the rope you will fall – RIGHT INTO THE LOVING HANDS OF THE LORD WHO CARES FOR YOU.
1 Peter 5:7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.
You can do this if you know how great God’s love is for you.
1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
God is always willing to show Himself mighty to those who place their trials, situations and circumstances in His hands.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
He has something waiting for you at the end of your rope……if you just let go!