It’s that time again. Blood work, port flushes, and CT scans. As a cancer patient and his caregiver, tests are necessary to determine if the treatment is working. But there’s this almost reflexive breath holding that takes place during the wait for results.

Yet the wait also allows for a time of reflection. While I personally have rarely found it helpful to ask God, “Why?” I have come to experience great growth when instead I ask, “Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?” It has been quite the year, and although I wouldn’t wish the events we have faced this year on anyone, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned through it:

1. God is faithful.
“God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

There were days that threatened to overtake us, but we encountered God’s faithfulness. He has been with us every step of the way; through cancer, burglaries, staff changes, pneumonia and so much more. He has been our provider, our comforter, our defender, and our strong tower.

2. We are never alone.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Through each procedure and subsequent recovery, while the rest of the world went on with their daily lives, we lived in a bubble that few could understand. Yet through it all, God held us close and assured us that we could take courage to face each new day because He was with us.

3. When we are weak, He is strong.
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

There were days when praying to make it through the day was just too much to ask. We had to pray to make it through the next five minutes, and then another, and another. I often wasn’t sure how we were putting one foot in front of the other. But as I look back, it was clear that we were not operating in our strength, but His.

4. Trials are a season, not a destination. We will get through them.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you will go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:2-3)

His word says that WHEN we go through the difficult times (so we can be assured we will!), He WILL be with us. But it also says we will go THROUGH it. It’s a season not a destination. Just as the seasons change and move on, so will our times of difficulty. They will NOT consume us, if we will keep our eyes on Him.

God's word says that when we go through the difficult times (so we can be assured we will!), He will be with us. But it also says we will go through it. It's a season. Not a destination.

5. Trials help us grow in our faith.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Sometimes, when you’re flat on your back under the weight of your circumstances, you’re actually in the best position to look up and see God. We saw people come together to be the hands and feet of Jesus and display His love in very tangible ways. We experienced answers to prayers that we otherwise wouldn’t have prayed. We delighted in using our testimony to encourage others and watch their faith grow.

6. Waiting is Active, not Passive
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Waiting is not passive–it is active. It is making the choice to trust God. It is choosing to refute the whispered lies of the enemy that invoke worry and fear with God’s truth and trustworthy promises, moment by moment. And God rewards. We choose to wait on the Lord, and in doing so, He will renew our strength.

7. We can rest in the assurance that God’s plans for us are good.
Even now, as we await the latest test results, we sleep in peace knowing that the God who has brought us this far, will be with us tomorrow and the next day and the next.

For He knows the plans He has for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans for a future and a HOPE! (Jeremiah 29:11)

We look forward in Hope to our Victory season! But even if the results are not what we hope, we trust God and will continue to give Him praise, for He alone is worthy of our praise–not because of what He does or doesn’t do, but because of who He is.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
#SacredJourney #BetterTogether

 

During the most difficult challenges in life, we experience the greatest growth. 7 lessons learned from hard times.

 

(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)

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A short brief about Hope Prevails.

Hope Prevails
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.

Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide

  • An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
  • As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
  • Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations

Hope Prevails Book cover vertical 536

In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.

For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.

Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.

 

In the midst of hard times, instead of asking why, ask “Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?” It’s during the hardest times of life that we experience the greatest growth. These 7 things are lessons we learn from hard times.

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