I’m excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Lindsey Bell, a fellow writer at The MOM Initiative. Lindsey is releasing her newest book this month, called Unbeaten, and today she’s here sharing an excerpt from this wonderfully encouraging resource about how we can follow biblical examples to rise above our pain. Enjoy this post and find more from Lindsey on her website, lindseymbell.com!
In the middle of a painful trial, we often ask a lot of questions.
Why is this happening?
Who is to blame for what I’m going through?
When is this going to end?
When are you going to answer, Lord?
Where are you, God?
There’s one question we often don’t ask, but we should. That question is “Now that this has happened, what should I do?”
There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. Sometimes, it’s the asking that leads us into greater communion with the Father.
Other times, however, we get so fixated on our unanswered questions we fail to move forward. The solution to this stagnation is to ask a different question.
Instead of asking “why,” begin to ask “what now?”
Take a look at Judas and Peter, for example.
After Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, realized his mistake, he killed himself. Instead of repenting of his sin and turning back to the One who could save him, he chose instead to end his life.
Peter also betrayed Jesus. Three times, when people questioned his relationship with the Savior, Peter denied knowing his friend. Three times, when given the opportunity to stand up for his Savior, Peter chose the cowardly action — to lie about even knowing Jesus.
The difference between Judas and Peter was not in their denials. Both of them denied Jesus. Both of them broke Jesus’ heart by their actions. Both of them sinned. The difference was in their reactions after the dust settled. Only one of them asked “what now?” afterward.
Sometimes I wonder how God might have used Judas if he hadn’t chosen to end his life. Could God have saved Judas? I’m convinced He could have. Could God have used Judas’ testimony in the early church? Again, I believe it possible.
The reason God didn’t use Judas’ story was not because He was unwilling. It was because Judas didn’t give Him the opportunity.
Judas had good reason to be broken by his sin. So did Peter. But neither of them had good reason to prevent God from using them further.
It would have been easy for Peter to focus on his mistake and on his brokenness in the moment. It might also be easy for us to do the same.
But the truth is, regardless of what you have done or what has been done to you or what you have gone through, I can promise you, God is not done with you yet. He has big plans for you, just as He did with Peter.
He has plans to use what you’re going through today to change someone’s tomorrow. His only requirement is your willingness.
God doesn’t want us to stay broken.
I love the picture Psalm 147:3 paints. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Can you see that? God, the very One who made the universe, gets down on one knee, lowers Himself to our level, and then tenderly wraps a bandage around our broken hearts.
In God’s kingdom, broken things don’t stay broken. They get fixed.
God knows what He’s doing, and He knows how to mend our broken hearts. He knows how to take our “what now?” and turn it into something amazing.
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This post contains an excerpt from Unbeaten: How Biblical Heroes Rose Above Their Pain (and you can too) by Lindsey Bell (CrossRiver Media). Used by permission.
Difficult times often leave Christians searching the Bible for answers to the most difficult questions — Does God hear me when I pray? Why isn’t He doing anything? Does He even care?
In Unbeaten, author Lindsey Bell shares the stories of biblical figures who went through tough times. Through this 10-week Bible study and devotional, she reminds readers that while life brings trials, faith brings victory. And when we rely on God for the strength to get us through, we can emerge Unbeaten.
About Lindsey Bell:
Lindsey Bell is the author of Unbeaten: How Biblical Heroes Rose Above Their Pain (and you can too). She’s also the author of the parenting devotional, Searching for Sanity. She’s a stay-at-home mother of two silly boys, a minister’s wife, an avid reader, and a lover of all things chocolate. Lindsey writes weekly at www.lindseymbell.com about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given.