I had major plans to press forward with new gospel-advancing initiatives. Everything was beginning to hit on all cylinders. Then came a season of demonic suddenlies.
My father passed away suddenly in a very traumatic way. All my immediate plans came to a screeching halt amid the grief. I started feeling like opportunities where slipping through my fingers and it was frustrating.
I came to terms with the new reality and the slower pace when another demonic suddenly hit: my friend’s husband passed away just two months later after my father. What are the chances of that happening? His death came after a 21 day battle I was sure we would win. It was disillusioning to say the least.
In the middle of the battle for his life, I fell down the stairs and broke and sprained my foot in several places. The pain was too much to tolerate and the injury meant my entire routine was further disrupted. The doctor said it would take six months to heal.
There are times in life when you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread. I’m sure you’ve been there. The question is, how do you move from crisis to conquest? How do travel from tragedy to triumph? How do you shift your reality from hanging by a thread to hanging on to Jesus?
Shift Your Perspective
First, I realized if I wanted to make it through I would have to do what Peter calls “gird up the loins of your mind” (see 1 Peter 1:13). When you are enduring an especially fiery trial—a trial of life and death proportions that you weren’t expecting and can’t escape—you have to set your mind and keep it set on the victorious outcome Christ has surely planned for you.
Put another way, you have to prepare yourself mentally that it’s going to take a while—perhaps even a long while—for things to stabilize and return to any semblance of normal. If you don’t set your mind and keep it set—if you don’t keep your eyes on the prize—you’ll faint in the day of adversity (see Proverbs 24:10).
Jesus is the ultimate prize. God promises to keep us in perfect peace if we keep our eyes on Him with a trusting heart (see Isaiah 26:3). But there’s another prize: spiritual maturity. James the apostle said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Don’t Try to Bear it Alone
When you feel like you are hanging on by a thread, it’s an illusion. God has you firmly in His grip and He won’t let more come upon you than you can bear (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). The Message puts it this way: “All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
Many people struggle with that scripture because when you are hanging on by a thread, you feel like the thread is going to snap under the weight of the pressure. That’s a lie from the enemy. The reality is God is ready, willing, able and waiting to help you bear the load.
With His sufficient grace, the load is never more than you can bear. Don’t try to bear it alone. Jesus said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me” (Matthew 11:28-29, TPT). Run to Jesus.
Remember Romans 8:28
Many times, when we feel like we’re hanging on by a thread, we feel like our world has fallen apart and we don’t know how to pick up the pieces. We’re in survival mode. That’s okay. Jesus not only knows how to pick up the pieces, He knows how to bring a restoration that will cause your jaw to drop.
Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite scriptures. It reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It can be hard to see what good can come out of such pain. But I believe the Word of God to the point that I have trained myself to look for the good. I have trained myself to look for the lesson.
The reality is we grow more during the hard times than we do during the good times. We learn more in the valley than we do on the mountaintop. When we feel like we’re hanging on by a thread, God is actually using adverse circumstances and even tragedies to form us into the image of Christ. Remember, Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (see Isaiah 53:3).
More than anything, when you feel like you are hanging on by a thread, know that God sees you just like He saw Haggar crying out in the wilderness. And God is so good that he will turn your trauma into a triumph. Choose to believe that and the thread will become a rope and the rope will eventually become a ramp for you to walk out of the fiery furnace with newness of life.
Need more insight? Check out my course, Finding Purpose in the Suffering, here.