Life is filled with many great experiences. Yet, it is also peppered with sad things. Tragedy, disappointment, and even betrayal pierces into every person’s life at some point. You may have already experienced your share of upheaval. Whether from your own choices, someone else’s choices, or just because we live in a fallen world, most people find their life turned upside-down sometime in their journey. Very few people escape this tragic experience. Perhaps you are there now. So, what do you do when life completely up-ends you?
Tragedy doesn’t wait for an invitation: it invades! Devastation sears into your heart and starts to steal your hope and joy. It robs you of energy and confuses your mind. Because the effect on you is profound, you need to intentionally manage how you respond to a life turned upside-down.
I found myself in this place a few years ago. As I tried to regain my balance, I remembered 3 facts that have guided me through my decades. They were comforting and assuring to me. I’m going to share them with you. Perhaps they will help you.
You Have Options. You Have Resources.
FIRST, you have God. He made a personal promise to never leave or forsake you. (Deut. 31:6) Isn’t that good news? The God with unlimited power and all knowledge has promised to stay with you even through your worst times. It gets better. He also promised that as you trust Him, He will use His incomparably great power on your behalf. Have you considered this power? It’s the same power He used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead! God renews your hope and gives you resources to address the future. God knows how to turn lives back right-side-up. Will you let Him do this for you? (Eph. 1:18-20)
God makes it His business to help you. He does this in a couple of ways.
- YOU, HIS BELOVED CHILD – God promises to display His power on your behalf as a reminder of His deep and abiding love for you. Jer. 31:3 is God’s statement. He loves you with everlasting love. You are precious to Him! Why not open your heart to receive His love by faith in your current tragedy? It will look differently than you picture in your mind. Trust Him to put your life right-side-up again. God doesn’t break promises.
- GOD’S and YOUR ENEMY – When God exercises His immense strength as He intervenes for you, He makes a strong statement to your enemy. Is. 41:9-11 makes a case that when it comes to His children, God rolls up His sleeves to provide protection and resources needed in hard times. He becomes a fortress, a safe place, and a powerful right arm. It’s a picture of a Father who stands between His child and any threat, perhaps a bit like a dare. Why not let God take care of the enemy for you? Your reserves are limited. Let go of this one by faith, and let God deal with it. He will always win this fight.
SECOND, you have Scripture. Every promise is yours to claim. Every command is yours to obey. You can literally anchor yourself in God’s very great and precious promises! By the way, those descriptive words, “very great and precious,” are not mine; they are God’s. Check it out: 2 Peter 1:4 says His divine power makes available everything you need to live your life in a godly manner – through His glory (who He is) and His goodness (what He does). Then He affectionately and confidently calls His promises “very great” and “precious!” So . . . maybe don’t argue with God? Grab the living words of Scripture and watch them miraculously transform your life.
THIRD, you have your will to make choices. You decide what happens next in your tragic up-ended times. If you’ve been wrong, use your will to repent and make things right. If you have been wronged, choose to forgive and maybe exercise courage to confront. If you’ve been deeply hurt or experienced permanent loss, accept deep love and comfort from the God who redeems all things. He said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) God has an eternal perspective. This frames the rest of your life on this earth, as well as your life forever. Jesus helps you walk through super hard times. He trains you how to management everything:
- Living with continual pain
- Rejoicing (Practicing “yay days,” as my grand-daughter calls them.)
- Setting boundaries
- Maintaining a balanced life
- Speaking the truth in love
- Receiving encouragement, direction, prayer from others
- Reading Scripture and good authors
- Believing God against all odds.
Jesus, Himself, Used These Options and Resources
Jesus engaged in these options and resources during His days on earth. He makes them available to you. Jesus, fully God and fully human, completely identifies with you. As your older brother, He wants you to succeed. His humble, gentle heart is filled with sincere concern for you. Jesus loves you deeply, and He has incomparably great power that He intends to use on your behalf to display His immense strength. Take Him up on it. Let Him define what that looks like. Why not let Jesus put your life back together again? There is no risk in this offer! You are safe with God.
I urge you to not take matters into your own hands. Refrain from anything except believing, obeying, resting. Let Him make a big deal over you. He knows exactly what to do to cover you, defend you, protect you, provide for you, and deliver you, all with impossible odds in place. Tell Him – “I believe you, Lord. You can do anything!”
Eph. 1:18 says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you . . . ”
Welcome hope back into your life when you’ve been up-ended. God is already working in ways you cannot see. He is faithful. Will you choose to be faithful to trust and obey Him?