It’s easy to cry out to God when times are hard, and that’s understandable. When we are facing a difficult situation, it’s sometimes all we can do to reach out to talk to God and seek His face. It’s easy because we see our need for Him. We see our utter hopelessness and desperation. We trust in His control. It’s easy to do this when times are hard. When it gets hard is when times are easy.
Recently, times have been pretty great for me. I’m back at college, living with some of my greatest friends, and I just landed a really amazing job. No, it’s not perfect (I mean, it is life), but at this moment, I am happy.
One thing I realize is that when I am happy, I tend to rely on myself for everything. I tend to think that I’ve got everything under control and that I am capable of everything. I just go throughout my day (or however long this period is), and not turning to God asking for the same things that I do when times are rough. I don’t ask for the peace that passes all understanding, the unconditional love, the patience, or the joy to last me the day. I don’t ask for help and guidance in trying to become more like Jesus, and I definitely don’t tell Him how desperate I am on my own.
What I’ve learned is that no matter the situation or season of life I am in, no matter what my circumstances are, I am always just as in need of God and all that He is.
The thing is, we serve a God who is never changing. In the difficult times, He gracious, loving, wise, comforting, and guiding. In the good times, He is still those things. How cool is that?!?! His Word is the same despite our circumstances, so we can and should always turn to it to learn lessons from it.
I think that what Jesus says in John 15:5 describes this perfectly.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him will bear much fruit. For apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (ESV)
The word abide means to remain. By definition, to remain means to “continue to exist, especially after…other things have ceased to exist” (Oxford Dictionaries 2016).
Remaining in Jesus means to stay with him, especially after “other things” (such as good and bad circumstances or seasons) cease to exist. Continuing in our relationship with Jesus throughout all of life is how you are able to grow, and in my experience, is the most meaningful and fulfilling thing you can do.
So here’s the challenge, you ready? (yeah you are!)
Spend some time each and every day dedicated to learning how to rely on your Father in the good times (and bad). He is always good, and you always need more of Him. Seek the things that He promises to you, and learn how to become more like Him. Don’t forget about God when times are good. And take heart in knowing that even when you do forget God, He will always be there waiting for you right where you left off.
By: Amanda Fowler