“ God is using all of your experiences, both good and bad, to develop your character to match your calling.” Lisa Terkeurst
I recently saw the above quote on a friend’s Facebook page. It was one of those moments where you read it and go “AMEN.” I am coming out of a very difficult season and have really felt like this is true for my life. It is so hard and difficult in the middle of the darkness and hard circumstances to think that God is working and doing something. If I’m honest there were days I struggled just to get out of bed, so the thought that God was using this time to both build my character and deepen my calling felt outrageous to me. I somehow would second guess that there was any chance God could use this terrible season for not just good, but to deepen my calling. It was a very dark season full of anxiety and mild depression. I seriously had many days where I felt like a hot mess and could not fathom how this could not only be for my good but be used for His Kingdom. But, now that I am approaching the other side I see how incredibly true this is for my life. I can see a little clearer and am beginning to get a glimpse of how my life has changed and how that is in turn going to affect my ministry in the years to come.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5 NLT
This verse is seriously one that I can relate to and feel like I have walked through. I love when verses almost come to life and can almost explain your life. Life is hard. There are seasons that are really crummy, but we still have hope. In the middle of my previous season I felt lost, defeated, confused and like I was wandering around in darkness, but I didn’t give up! I chose to endure, I chose to do the hard things, I chose to constantly seek Christ. Now I finally feel like I’m coming out on the other side. It was hard, there were lots of tears shed and days were I didn’t think I could go on, but now I am beginning to reap what I allowed God to sow in that season. Through enduring my character really was developed and strengthened. I have changed so much through this season, but honestly feel more like the person I was created to be than I ever have before. Hope…I have a lot of hope. You know how I got that hope? I didn’t give up. I focused on Jesus and was reminded where my hope lies. He helped me endure and now I feel like I am better than ever before. What is even cooler is that I am starting to see glimpses of how God is already using this season for my ministry. I think God is about to take me somewhere I never would have been equipped for had I not persevered through the worst season of my life thus far.
My dear friends I hope that you are encouraged today. If we look to God and trust Him, He can and will indeed use any season or situation for His glory. If you ask Him to lead and sustain you through it He will develop your character and equip you for the next season He has in store. My encouragement for you today is to not fold or give up. It’s hard and it stinks, but what comes out of it on the other side is a beautiful thing. Endure, ask God for strength, allow Him to develop your character and prepare yourself to be amazed at how that difficult season will turn out to be your greatest ministry to others. Keep pressing on!
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:3-4 NLT