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The Struggle:  The What ifs vs. the Who Is
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The Struggle: The What ifs vs. the Who Is

Across-the-street neighbors Kaitlyn and Emily have been friends forever. They’ve grown from Easy Bake Ovens to makeup together. But a year ago, Emily was diagnosed with leukemia. And recently, Emily has taken a turn for the worse. Kaitlyn has prayed and prayed for God to heal Emily, but it doesn’t look like He’s answering her prayers. It’s breaking Kaitlyn’s heart.

[LINK] When times are difficult, we ask God to work for good in a situation. We know He’s hearing our prayers, taking them into consideration, and that He has a good plan for what we’re praying about. But when someone is dying or when life is really hard, we may question God because we can’t see Him working for good.
Hebrews 11:1 says: Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

It’s in the hardest times that our faith is tested the most. And our faith is lived out when we let our feelings (our sadness, grief, and fear) lead us to God, instead of pushing Him away. We take a step of faith when we take our feelings to God. We’re trusting and believing that He’s there and that He’s listening—even if we can’t see Him.

[THINK] It’s easy for our emotions to get out of control if we let them. Our fears can keep us up at night as we imagine all of the possible worst-case scenarios. As we imagine the “what ifs,” we try to figure out how to respond to each one so that we’ll feel better prepared for whatever we could possibly encounter. In other words, we’re letting our emotions take us away from God as we try to rely on ourselves and our own strength instead of His.

The truth is, we can’t handle anything in our own strength—including all of the “what ifs” we come up with.
In heartbreaking times, the only thing we can do is to take our “what ifs” to the God who is. We have to depend on Him. We have to come broken and helpless, giving all of our fears and emotions to Him.

[LIVE] When things are hard, cling to God. Cry with Him. Tell Him your fears and your hurt—get point-blank honest with Him about everything. Read David’s desperate cries for God’s help in Psalms 7; 17; 28; and 31. Ask God to be your rock, your fortress, and your strength—everything that you need Him to be. Then let Him carry you.

If you choose not to rely on yourself, but instead depend on God in your weakness, you will find the support that you desperately need. How do we know? Because the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). The situation might not end or be fixed like you want it to, but God will give you all you need to get through it—Himself.

[NXT LVL] In Psalms 73:26 and 119:57, the psalmists called God their portion. Why? Because just like we each need an amount (portion) of food to sustain us each day, we need God. So every time you hurt, go to God. He is—and will be—enough for you.


Reprinted with permission from YouthWalk magazine, © 2006 Walk Thru the Bible, Inc. To learn more about YouthWalk, visit www.youthwalk.org.

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