The Roller-Coaster Ride Of Life

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He has made everything appropriate in its time.
Ecclesiasties 3:11

Giving up in mid-ride isn't an option - it's foolish!A depressed church member told his pastor, 'I'm tired of trying. I've been down so long, I can't muster up the faith to believe God for deliverance anymore.' The pastor said, 'First, you can never justify quitting, because you have the Lord on your side. He won't quit on you, He promised He'll 'never leave you nor forsake you [so] not be discouraged' (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). Second, His Word says, 'If we believe not, he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself' (2 Timothy 2:13). It's not just a matter of your faith, it's a matter of His faithfulness.

When you can't seem to believe, instead of focusing on your faith in Him (or the lack of it), begin to focus on His faithfulness to you!' What great counsel for the roller-coaster ride of life. Now, let's add some more encouraging observations, God doesn't owe us an explanation so we shouldn't look for one, but He promises us an exit. He 'will with the [testing]...make a way to escape, that ye [might] be able to bear it' (1 Corinthians 10:13). Until He gets you out of it, He'll get you through it. Your part is to stay on the roller-coaster. He's producing good in all your circumstances. 'And we know that all things work together for good to them...who are the called' (Romans 8:28). God puts pits and peaks together, and out comes your good. Fifth, while He does so, the Son and Spirit intercede with the Father for you, daily (See Romans 8:26-32 and 34-39). With all that going for you, how can you fail to make it?

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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GrandmaK said…
A motivating reflection! Thank you!!! Cathy
Tony said…
thank you for these thoughts and reflections

FA said…
A great reminder, Mike. Thanks and God blss you.

P.S. I'm an organist, too. I wouldn't call myself a singer, but I often lead the singing from the organ bench.
Kristin Riggs said…
I thank God for His promises...thank you for the reminder. :) Also...thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Hope you'll be back!!!

Pietro said…
Thanks for this uplifting reflection.
God is the Father, surely, but I always remember the Pope Giovanni Paolo I's nice words: "God is both Father and Mother".
Kansas Bob said…
I'd be interested in hearing the practical ways that you "focus on His faithfulness to you".. what things do you focus on? Are they things that many experience apart from God? Please be specific and try to stay away from Christian cliches. Thanks.
Mike said…
Thank you Bob. You go first ;)
Kansas Bob said…
Nice try :)

Sorry to put you on the spot.. okay if you don't have any experiences in this area. I was just interested.
Mike said…
OK. I'm not sure what a 'Christian cliche' is so forgive me if I use one.

My life is littered with experiences that show me God is faithful to all His promises. Recently he has shown His faithfulness in the area of provision. Just 2 months ago I was in a financial predicament. I had come to a long summer break when I have no work and because of dwindling jobs throughout the year I was down to zero in my bank account. One morning I was a desparate point when I was approached by a couple in my church with a cheque. They had felt that I needed it.

That was God being faithful to me and I often focus on things like that when I need encouragement.

Would love to hear your experiences too.
Barbara said…
Good post and GHod really means for us to get to the point where we are tired of trying. Only then can He move in our lives.

Have just posted on the same theme.
Kansas Bob said…
Thanks Mike sharing. Yes, I also believe that God is providentially faithful to us but I do not find it helpful to tell a depressed purpose "to focus on His faithfulness". Not sure that makes sense to you.. here is an excerpt from from something I penned a while back:

This morning I sat listening to a popular TV preacher who was speaking about how we need to count our blessings. The central theme of his message was the idea that we should deal with pain by countering negative pain with positive blessings. It occurred to me that this is an unhelpful paradigm because it is a form of rationalization. I liken it to the idea of someone telling a person who smashed their thumb with a hammer that things will be better if they will just focus on their other nine pain-free fingers. This kind of pseudo-rationalization only heaps more pain on the pain.. it is a form of backdoor blame that causes us to feel responsible for pain that we have had no part in.

Feel free to check the rest out here and let me know what you think.
Mike said…
Hi Bob. I agree. I don't think pain avoidance is very wise. But fixing our eyes and hope on Jesus will help us deal with the pain. I think my UCB post is encouraging us to 'remember' what God has done in the past when we go through the dips of life. Focusing on Him can only bring us benefit :)
Kansas Bob said…
I do not mean to be difficult here but telling someone "to 'remember' what God has done in the past" is another way of telling them to count their blessings. I think that people do not need advice like that but they need people to (unlike the pastor in your story) actually listen to hurting people and help bear their burdens. More from my post:

Pouring our heart out to a true listening friend is a good way to process pain. Often my conversations with God resemble this kind of pouring out of my heart. When we come to God with our pain we are responding to Jesus when He said:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

It is so encouraging that Jesus acknowledged our pain in this way and casted an invitation to involve Him in our pain.
Mike said…
I agree with you Bob. I've needed both in my life. Someone's shoulder to cry on and also the truth of God's Word to sustain me. Thanks for your thoughts :)
Steve said…
An excellent thought! We need to learn to trust God Himself to see us through life's difficulties.