While battling hardships and trials, I was wondering why everything that had brought me security had been lost. I sought the Lord for answers, and He diligently answered me. He led me to a scripture in the Old Testament that jumped off the pages when I read it. Deuteronomy 30:6 says, “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart, and with all your soul, and LIVE.”
In these verses, I found the answer to what my heart longed to know. The word "circumcise" is derived from a Latin word meaning, to cut. In the midst of excruciating trials, it felt like my heart was being circumcised. God was cutting away the things in my heart that were hindering me from fully loving Him and fully living life. The process was far from easy. At times it was excessively painful. But ultimately it led me to a full, abundant life.
Everyone wants to live abundantly. John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life, and to give it more abundantly. Yet, how many people truly tap into the abundant life that Christ offers? Could it be the way we view our lives, or what we equate happiness with? For years, my thoughts of the good life were completely intertwined with the external circumstances in life—having a good income, having constant harmony in my relationships, and being able to do the things I love doing.
For a season, I only sought abundance in the external joys of life. But in God's infinite grace, He took me through a season of testing because He wanted to give me true life—the life Jesus promises to everyone. It was in the dark times that I found His greatest treasures.
Are you in the midst of being pulled and stretched? Do you feel as though life is caving in around you? To be rebuilt, a house needs to be torn down first. It can be an excruciating process. Do not lose heart. God is building a beautiful house out of your life. He uses every loss and every struggle for our good. Nothing He allows in our lives is in vain. He uses it all.
The struggles I experienced many years ago are the very substance of the good things in my life today. The things that were the hardest to endure are what led me to the abundant life in Christ.
Through the hardships, God gave me a new heart—a heart more like His, one that rejoices because of His love. There is nothing that compares to His great love. It’s worth it all.
It really should be pure joy to face trials because we know that no matter what is happening Jesus is walking along side us, carrying us, allowing us to bask in His love at all times and in all circumstances.
Jesus is everything. When we know this, then we know that anything else in life is the icing on the cake.
...I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10 (NAS)
This post has been revised and was originally written in 2008.