There are times in our lives when we can face difficult challenges, and as we work through and overcome them, they become for us defining moments. When we look back we can see that those events brought meaning and fresh purpose, that they shaped and changed us in our walk with God.
The journey of life
But there are also times when we are struggling, and we become tired. It can feel as if we are dealing with the same issues and facing the same battles over and over again. We begin to think that we are stuck with our problems and spiritually we just can’t seem to find a way to move forwards.
It is in those times of struggle that we find it hard to reconcile our experiences with the life that Jesus promised. The truth of Jesus’ word, that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light, and that He has overcome the world, can seem far from our reality. If we recognise that our feelings do not line up with the truth, then we know something needs to shift and change. Could it be, that the catalyst for change in our circumstances, is that God is changing us?
Is it time to move on?
‘Moving On’ looks at four Bible stories, which revolve around people facing difficult challenges. The story is explored with reflection on the deeper meaning, looking at what we can learn from their experiences. God’s character does not change, His work among His creation and His people, is consistent and unaffected by time and place. We can look back at the lives of others, within the Bible, and gain insight for our lives today. If we are willing, we can identify root issues in our own lives, that are preventing us from moving forwards!
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.Søren Kierkegaard
Our spiritual life is a journey and to move on from any difficult situation we need to be able to overcome it. We will be changed by it, as God refines us, it will be forever part of who we are, but we will not be forever defined by it!
Recognising our need
In ‘Moving On’ the first story is of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath and looks at how we deal with loss and fear. The loss could be very visible, the loss of a loved one, loss of health and fitness, or loss of a job and financial security, all traumatic events. Or the loss could be painful and difficult, but invisible, loss of confidence due to rejection or failure, or even loss of hope when dreams and ambitions appear to be thwarted.
We will all at some time in our lives experience loss in one form or another. The first step in contending with loss and fear is when we recognise and acknowledge that they are preventing us from moving forwards. Yes, there is a time to grieve, and in the mourning to know the comfort of God, that He is there with us in our loss.
But there does come a time to move forwards…. It is not our own strength or willpower that will enable us to overcome our loss, but our desire and willingness to co-work with God’s grace. It will be His power at work within us and made perfect in our weakness.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid.”Psalm 56:3-4
Forwards by God’s grace
The second story in the book is Naaman’s encounter with Elisha. This reflects at how self-absorption with our own problems, can be broken with worship. It is when we look up to God that transformation occurs. The third story is the account of Peter’s denial of Jesus, reflecting on how regret and disappointment are healed when we have a fresh encounter with the Lord. And finally Saul’s story, of how a man who persecuted the church came to understand that there is full forgiveness in Jesus. A man who quite easily could have been overcome with condemnation. But instead Paul by the revelation of God’s mercy and grace was able to write that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”
Released into our destiny
We can move on, from loss, fear, overwhelming personal problems, regret, disappointment, shame and even condemnation. May our desire be that nothing stops us moving on, ever forwards on our journey to the Lord.
“Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:13-14 HCSB
Our breakthrough and healing come when we recognise that we need help and respond to the truth of God’s word. When we seek God’s presence, and intimacy with Him. When we listen for His whisper, to hear and know afresh, that we are dearly loved – then we can leave the past behind. We can be released and move forwards into the future that God has in store for us – a place with a limitless horizon, full of possibilities!
If you should decide to purchase ‘Moving On’ simply click on the title, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon.