What we fear the most
It’s a place no one wants to be- facing your worst-case scenario.
What makes this so scary, so devastating, is that you can’t see past it, through it, or beyond it.
Life is hard to fathom if this fear becomes a reality.
Time is spent contemplating every possible scenario for what might solve the problem. Thinking becomes fretting, which soon yields to the futility that ANY answer can be achieved to prevent this worst-case scenario from happening.
It doesn’t matter what gets us to this point.
Whether it is a relationship, a tragedy, a diagnosis, maybe a financial loss or an addiction, even a hopeless family situation, these and more can leave us facing what we are ABSOLUTELY desperate to avoid.
A mixture of fierceness and hopelessness evolves into a new norm- an EVERYDAY DESPERATION.
But underneath, desperate.
I know I have found myself in this place.
Honestly, I was there longer than I ever thought I could hold up and endure. I remember that feeling of not being able to imagine my future. There was no perspective of life beyond _______ occurring.
This is what comes rushing back to my mind as I read through Jesus’ genealogy, noticing the select few women listed.
These women reminded me of MY OWN history!
It was certainly not the norm, even shocking at that time, to list any woman in a man’s genealogy, much less THESE women in THIS man’s history. In Matthew 1:1-17, there are five women identified in the family line of Jesus Christ.
It begs the question of why these particular women?
As I look at the names and lives so honored to be represented, I begin to notice a common thread, a redeeming thread if you will.
Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2 and 6), Ruth (Ruth 1-4), Uriah’s wife (“Bathsheba” 2 Samuel 11), and Mary (Matthew 1:18-25), all identify as women in compromising, if not condemnable, circumstances.
Each of them unique in what brought them to where they found themselves- facing their worst-case scenario.
These women were labeled with prostitution, adultery, fornication, and widowhood. Two of them were pagans outside of the Jewish faith. All of them were vulnerable to what should be certain death for those breaking God’s commandments or death through starvation/poverty for the others.
All of them should have been rejected.
And yet they weren’t.
They were chosen.
And so are you and I.
God chooses the desperate to redeem.
Not because of what we have done, but in spite of it! He changes our mess into what is unimaginable- a new identification.
No longer are we desperate. We are REDEEMED! Through insurmountable obstacles, we are able to persevere and overcome.
Just like those 5 women living in impossible situations, yet living to the glorious purpose of a Merciful, Miraculous God, that’s who we are, who we can be!
As I look back on my season of desperation, I recognize the ways God carried me through to what I did not yet have eyes to see- life AFTER my worst fear becoming my reality.
That is my main point of this post.
I want to tell others not to give up hope, even when fears become reality!!
Don’t allow your hope to be based on potential, but on a person, Jesus Christ. In each of these women listed above, in my own life and family, there were no possibilities on the horizon. Worst-case scenarios were experienced, but that was not the end of their story or mine.Gloriously, our hope is not based upon our ability to see our way through what seems impossible,… Click To Tweet
But God…….(love those two words!) redeemed beyond what could be “seen”. Just because we cannot see past what we dread the most does not mean our future is compromised or our hope limited.
With God, there is ALWAYS hope because He is the God of impossibilities. Matthew 19:26,
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
These women listed in this infamous genealogy represent the good that can come from impossible circumstances.
They are eternal examples of the life and hope God can give even AFTER dreams are shattered and the worst has happened. Desperation can be redeemed …….with grace.
I can testify to that as well!
But I want to do more than that.
I want to offer what helped me endure that which I wanted most to avoid.
What helped me face the impossible
1) I kept going back to the Word.
Although I was angry at times and didn’t want to read my Bible, I would not give in to that temptation. I found the Word would give me strength and encouragement to keep going when I was afraid and wanted to give up. It literally made it possible for me to persevere through my trials.
2) I kept saying to myself that God is Infinitely Good and we are infinitely loved, even IF our worst fears become reality.
Although I did not FEEL He was being good to me or loving at all times, I refused to base my faith or perspective upon my feelings.
3) I kept reciting Scripture and remembering Biblical stories in my weakest moments.
Truth trumped my reality and I declared that often for my own ability to cling to hope. Although I would feel hopeless about what could be done, I spoke verses that reminded me of the miraculous intervention He displayed so often for others in the Bible.
4) I kept identifying, acknowledging, and thanking Him for the good.
Although I was prone to dwell on what I was desperate for, this helped me be mindful of what God WAS doing and resist becoming stuck in the negative.
5) I kept worshipping.
Although I did not feel like singing at times, there were many songs that declared my need of Him and this was a comfort. Worship of Him became a comfort to me! It regularly changed my perspective for the better.
6) I kept praying and allowing others into my prayer life as they interceded for us.
There were plenty of times that words would not come, but the tears would. The Holy Spirit interceded on my behalf often. I was also not willing to suffer in silence. I asked for the prayerful support of others.
7) I kept attending church and staying engaged in our fellowship group.
During such a season, I will admit my tendency to isolate myself when I am going through difficulties. However, I resisted this temptation because I knew I could easily give in to despair, which would only make things worse. The body of Christ is a wonderful support system!
8) I kept hold.
With everything in me, I refused to give up because I KNEW who God was and that He would not abandon us. Although I was incapable of knowing HOW God could change or help, I knew He would, some way somehow. I kept clinging to Him for the blessing I knew was coming eventually. Often, I felt like Jacob on the riverside wrestling with the angel of God (Genesis 32).
Truthfully, I want to acknowledge that we experienced some of our worst-case scenarios. God did not prevent them. But I want to declare even louder that we have seen good come from some of that devastation. Miraculous changes have taken place in US even when they did not take place in our circumstances.Miracles took place IN us even when they did not take place FOR us. In hindsight a blessing… Click To Tweet
Do you wonder if you can endure?
Are you grounded in your faith to help you through this time? Do you still battle for a consistent life of faith?
I know for years I was up and down in my commitment to grow and mature in my relationship with the Lord. I was unable to read my Bible daily, or feel close to Jesus. But all of that changed when I was in my late twenties. And, I want to encourage you that you can change too!
I have created this step-by-step example for helping you gain the consistency necessary for a vibrant life of faith. If you are not yet facing a challenging scenario, and even if you are, this chart can help you get focused and stronger in your relationship with Jesus. It is what helped me all those years ago as I finally turned that corner in my own life of faith.
What can help you endure
(You can enjoy your copy today. Just right click. Save, and print.)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14