A few weeks ago, an acquaintance called to ask me some business questions. In the course of our discussion, she learned a little more about me and what has happened/is happening in my life. She expressed surprise, saying something like, "I thought you were someone with no problems." I laughed! It was either that or cry.
Streams in the Desert had a wonderful, meaningful entry on April 2 that spoke to my heart:
You should get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of storm clouds. And once you have found it, continue to focus on it rather than the dark gray of the center. Do not yield to discouragement no matter how severely stressed or surrounded by problems you may be. A discouraged soul is in a helpless state, being neither able to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11) himself nor able to prevail in prayer for others. Flee every symptom of the deadly foe of discouragement as you would run from a snake. Never be slow to turn your back on it, unless you desire to eat the dust of bitter defeat.
Search for specific promises of God, saying aloud of each one, “This promise is mine .” Then if you still experience feelings of doubt and discouragement, pour your heart out to God, asking Him to rebuke the Adversary who is so mercilessly harassing you.
The very instant you wholeheartedly turn away from every symptom of discouragement and lack of trust, the blessed Holy Spirit will reawaken your faith and breathe God’s divine strength into your soul. Initially you may be unaware that this is happening, but as you determine to uncompromisingly shun every attack of even the tendency toward doubt and depression, you will quickly see the powers of darkness being turned back.
Oh, if only our eyes could see the mighty armies of strength and power that are always behind our turning away from the hosts of darkness toward God, there would be no attention given to the efforts of our cunning Foe to distress, depress, or discourage us! All the miraculous attributes of the Godhead are marshaled on the side of even the weakest believer who, in the name of Christ and in simple, childlike trust, yields himself to God and turns to Him for help and guidance.
On the heels of reading the above, while I was trying to find a silver lining in a specific situation and while I was wondering what specific promises I should speak aloud, I received the Purpose Driven Life Devotional that included the following:
There is nothing too big for God to handle. (Matthew 19:26)
There is nothing too bad for him to forgive. (1 John 1:9)
The forces that threaten to steal your life and your future are puny compared to his awesome power. (Romans 8:38-39)
He could change your fortunes in a day if he wanted to. (Daniel 2:21)
If he doesn’t, there’s a good reason why. (Proverbs 16:9)
He not only loves you, he is delighted with you despite all your dysfunctions, and revels in every moment you spend with him. (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)
He knows your sorrow. He remembers that you are dust, and collects all your tears in a bottle. (Psalm 103:14; Psalm 56:8)
He will give you strength and courage for whatever you may yet have to go through. (Romans 8:31)
Someday, from your mansion in heaven, you will look back on this day and smile, because you will realize that your light and momentary troubles were achieving for you an eternal glory that far outweighs them all in comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Are you discouraged? Look for that silver lining. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Trust God. There are streams to be found in the desert, and Christ is the source of the living waters.
In the grip of His grace,