We all face challenges in life. No one is immune. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble." Peter reiterates this when he writes, "Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12)
So if we know this, why do we have such a pity party when the challenges come?
And let me tell you, when it comes to pity, I can party with the best of them. I sulk and moan and cry and complain. I ask, "Why me?" I wallow in the negatives and focus on all that is going wrong. I embrace the challenge as if I am a martyr, being persecuted almost unto death. I want life to be easy and comfortable, not hard and painful. Can you relate?
Some of the challenges I have faced brought me to such a place of darkness that I felt it was going to overtake me. I was in that darkness after my teenage daughter ran away. We have now been estranged for over two years. She lives with her dad and we have very little contact. I tried hard to make her come back, to control the situation with my own power, but the harder I tried, the worse things got. I ended up pushing my daughter further away. I went through a serious pity party!
Finally, I just gave up. Not in a bad way like "I can't win anyway" giving up. Instead, it was so completely trusting that God had it all worked out that I just had to give it up to Him. It wasn't easy and I have to continue to give it up daily. But I have come to a place where I am certain of what I cannot see (Hebrews 11:1); I know that God sees the end from the beginning (Revelation 21:6); I believe that He has it all worked out (Romans 8:28); and I trust that He "has plans for me, to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
The peace that I have experienced since I gave it up is tremendous. I am truly living Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." My heart is also filled with great joy (Psalm 4:7) that no one can take away (John 16:22).
I encourage you to leave your pity party. Stand on God's truths and may He "fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)