Originally published Friday, 26 January 2018.
Have you ever cried so much it felt like you couldn't cry another tear? I have. Has your heart been so broken you thought it would never heal? I have. Have the rifts in your family taken such a toll on you that you wonder if fellowship will ever be restored? I have ached for broken family relationships. Has the deep hurt of a child made you feel so helpless that all you do is cry? I have.
There are circumstances in life that are so unexplainable that force you to your knees with desperate cries to the One up above. "Why Lord, why?" "How Lord, how?" "Make a way Lord, make a way." "Heal Lord, heal." "Restore Lord, restore."
It seems like nothing changes from day to day, month to month, year to year. Our realities are shaped by unanswered prayers and difficult circumstances.
Yet God is near because he said so (Psalms 34:18). God's promises to us, regardless of our circumstances allow us to participate in the divine. When we make promises, if we keep them, our credibility goes up. When we break them our trustworthiness goes down and we have to rebuild what we broke. God is trustworthy and never breaks his promises.
So in bad times, we can know that He is faithful (Numbers 23:19); that His mercies are new every morning and His manifold compassion does not fail (Lamentations 3:22-23); that the winding unending road we're on (though we wouldn't choose it) is working for our good (Romans 8:28).
And what is our good in all of this? We draw nearer, we pour out our hearts, we pant for him, we choose to endure gracefully, we tap into his grace, mercy, and love. We participate in the divine (2 Peter 1:4). By our participation, we "make every effort to respond to God’s promises. We supplement our faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone" (2 Peter 1:4-8). Our difficult circumstances are producing His fruit in our lives when we respond to His promises.
We grow our faith. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8). It's not easy and I wouldn't wish your difficult situation on you but in spite of our difficulties, if we look up, and know that he is a promise-keeping God, though our hearts are weary, we are in divine participation and we will navigate to the other side.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
Are you using your difficult circumstances to participate in the divine?