If you had to ask me what’s been on my mind for the past few days, it would have to be the Bible verse of Romans 8:28 even though it is so well-known and perhaps overused,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
I want to be truly honest with you because there’s nothing better than being able to relate to a friend and say that you can understand the situation too. I go through times when I don’t feel like praying; I don’t feel like talking to God about my life; I don’t feel like being Catholic at times; I don’t feel like taking notice of anything to do with religion. I’ve probably already spoken about this here but during these moments of spiritual dryness, I find it hard to persevere – usually going back a few steps and having to recover all over again with some kind of boost.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you feel the same way too – it’s a reality that we face and can get through. Each time I get back up again it’s a kind of refresher and I’m filled with a new zeal for His Kingdom. I’ve learned over and over again that it just isn’t about feeling. If it was, I’d be long gone and out of a relationship with God. But that’s not the way it works.
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
A relationship with God – like all others – has its ups and downs, not because God doesn’t know how to keep up a relationship with us but because we are imperfect, we are flawed and we tend to rely on our own understanding of life, not allowing Him to work through us and grow in intimacy with Him and blame Him when things go wrong. It’s during all time lows that Satan interferes with his evil thoughts and convinces us that we have never experienced any moments of ‘ups’ in our relationship with God.
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Psalm 103:2 (NLT)
Renouncing these thoughts means being aware of them in the first place. When we realise that we have opened the door of our heart and mind even a tiny bit to feelings of defeat, discouragement, lies and distorted perception of life, we can renounce the devil’s work and shut the door again. We have power to do that in the name of Jesus Christ and yes, the devil does exist and must be conquered when we realise that he’s tempting us into sin. It’s a reality that we must face.
Ok so I’ll get back to the main point of this blog – Romans 8:28. We don’t understand everything that happens in life and that is why there is faith. We do know however that, whatever happens, will work for our good because we love Him. I think that this assurance is one of the most comforting promises you can hear.
The first thing He does is trust us with little things. In anything we do, we always start from the bottom and are given promotions and more responsibility when the time is right. God might be waiting to bless you with what you’ve been longing for because acquiring it now might mean letting go of your relationship with Him.
He would rather that you have a relationship with Him that will not end when you are given what you’ve waited for. He wants you to always seek Him even when things are going well for you. You might still gain what you’ve worked for without God but the anxiety that will come with it is unnecessary compared to the fullness of joy you would experience with what you’ve longed for AND a relationship with God.
Now I don’t mean to say that once you’ve received God’s blessing all will be fine. There will still be difficulties and perhaps even more than before, because as I said, God is entrusting you with more responsibility. However, having been faithful and sticking to God in the small experiences means that you will be ready to face the harder ones, which you’ve longed for for so long. Sometimes we go through the opposite of what will come about so that we will be ever more grateful when it comes to us.
“God actually enjoys His relationship with us, even in our weakness.”
When we say that our identity is found in God, any other identity will be an illusion. It is not a one-sided relationship that we can have with God and this is why Catholicism is so great – we have a God who is willing to know us, and enjoys being with us. He is a Father who loves to listen to what His children have to say. Run to Him, sit on His lap and chat with the Father. Every experience we go through is preparation for what only God can see. No, it’s not too good to be true! Our God, Maker of the Universe, Creator of the Stars wants to know YOU right here, right now and is willing to have a relationship with you. Are you?
PS. It’s our duty as Catholics to vote in the election so go do that and think of the well-being of the country, the people, and our faith, whatever that may mean to you.