“Times of trouble have often been times of triumph to a believer. Suffering seasons have generally been sifting seasons in which the Christian has lost his chaff, and the hypocrite his courage.”
The Bible says that trials and tribulations shape our character and personalities, helping us grow as mature Christians. What are the trials you have faced? Are your husband and children unsaved? Are you struggling to have a baby? Do you have constant health problems? Have you lost a loved one? Whatever be the difficulty, be confident that God will use it to become a blessing to you.
Did you know that your trials have many spiritual and mental benefits? Take a look at these: Your problems can drive you to prayer and also help improve the prayer life of others (Isaiah 38:1–2, James 5:13–15), develop our inner person (James 1:2–4, Romans 5:1–5), help you to empathize with those who go through the same problem (2 Corinthians 1:3), and above all, give you a wonderful opportunity to witness to others and glorify God’s name! (2 Corinthians 12:9–10, John 11:4)
Whenever you feel crushed by the weight of your problems, remember these two verses: Genesis 42:36 and Romans 8:28. In the former, Jacob cries out that “all these things are against me”. In Romans, Paul declares confidently that “all these things are working together for good to those who love the Lord”. At the end of the day, you must choose between these two attitudes. Are you going to allow your problems to crush you or are you going to rise up and overcome them for God’s glory? Romans 8:37 declares that we are more than conquerors through Christ. So, choose to beat life’s difficulties instead of letting it beat you up.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
-The New King James Version., 2 Co 3:18 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).
As I read this verse this morning, I wondered what it means to be ‘transformed from glory to glory’. As I thought about it, I realized that God’s ultimate goal is to transform us from within to reflect His image. But, this transformation does not happen overnight. There is a saying that ‘it is not time that heals, but what we do in that time that brings the healing’. Every challenge or trial we face in this life is an opportunity to transform us more into God’s likeness.
What do we do when we pray for something and God makes us wait for an answer? Do we complain, doubt, worry, and feel like giving up? Do we envy all the other women who are blessed with children (biological or adopted), have great husbands, and possess spiritual and material blessings? It is so easy to give in to our feelings of jealousy when we compare our blessings with those of others. We may even end up disappointed with God or question our worth in His eyes, beating ourselves up on why we are not blessed like ‘that woman’. But, God makes it very clear that we must make Him the center of our lives in order to feel fulfilled. No child can fill that God-shaped hole in your heart.
Don’t compare your ‘glory’ with someone else’s glory. God knows our individual needs and concerns, and He will bless each one of us according to what He knows we need and can handle. His timing is absolutely perfect. He is never late and never early, but right on time! So, be confident that He will bless you at the right time with the child He has chosen for you.
Have you ever looked at another person and thought, “Has she got it made! God has really blessed her!”
She has what you want—a child to call her own, maybe great parents, a strong marriage, a spouse who loves Jesus. Maybe you envy her successful professional life, the ease of getting pregnant or adopting, or material blessings that have not kept them from loving Jesus.
Sometimes we look at the blessings from God in another person’s life with a longing to experience the same goodness. We find ourselves fighting feelings of envy or possibly even disappointment with God because we didn’t get what we consider necessary for our happiness… a child, either biological or through adoption.
Until you make Christ the center of your life, dear friend, you’ll never be satisfied or fulfilled. Remember Jesus’ words to Peter when the fisherman wanted to know His plans for another disciple? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (John 21:22)
Do not worry or concern yourself with what God has done in His timing in someone else’s life. You will only miss out on the blessing God has for you … in His timing he will bless you too. In the perfect way that is best for you with the child he has for just you.
I confess, dear God, that I have looked upon people around me with envy, wishing to have their blessings for my own. But You have other plans for me, plans that may test my faith but that will ultimately make me perfect and complete and in your timing, which is perfect. I rest in the knowledge of Your sovereignty. In Jesus name … Amen
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them; let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilth thou compass him with a shield. Psalms 5:11, 12
Let’s face it, it isn’t easy to rejoice every day, especially when you may be dealing with a wait to adopt or another round of fertility treatments and tests. But the Bible promises that if we simply put our faith in our Savior, he will bless and protect us. Why then is that such a challenge for Christians some days?
I know that there were days it was easy to look around at others who had what I wanted and feel that somehow I was being punished by God or was simply forgotten by Him. Why do we do this? The Bible is perfectly clear, just trust and he will provide. Looking back, I know that His plan is perfect, but why is it so hard to believe in the midst of the journey??
This is God’s challenge to us. To teach us patience, obedience and trust. To show us that He is our Father who loves us and He wants to provide blessings for us. We need to trust Him, not fuss and fight every step of the way.
Spend some time today meditating on this verse in Psalms and find the place in your heart and your mind where you can truly trust God, and simply rejoice.
Once you have made the decision to adopt, there are days when it may seem as though things are not moving along as perfectly as expected. There may be snags, hold ups, or maybe more serious issues such as a birthmother changing her mind or simply not selecting you to parent her child. These are just a few of the worries that potential adoptive parents may face. While these obstacles may feel like they can’t be overcome, the truth is that they are not stronger than the power of prayer.
As a potential adoptive parent, you have to believe in your prayers and that, through them, you will be victorious in your quest to adopt.
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. James 5:13
Some couples have spent the greater part of their marriage trying to conceive a child on their own. Along with that struggle came tears, fear, and heartache from a growing concern that they may not achieve a successful pregnancy. Through these trials, many couples find strength through their faith and prayers. Similarly, God needs to play a central role in your adoption journey.
Having confidence in your prayer means holding on to the promises that God has made. It means reaching deep within yourself, putting your doubts aside, and exercising faith that your petitions will not be in vain. Spiritual strength is more valuable than most realize. At its core are hope, love, and faith. Knowing that God can help you and give you the desires of your heart can provide a family with everything that they need to have the patience to wait until they receive their adoption blessing.
One day, your family will be blessed with a child. When it happens, you will be eternally grateful. You will bask in the beauty of your new child and your family. But, you will also have grown, individually and as a family, because you will have a much greater belief and confidence in God, and the power of prayer.