Ups & Downs in Life (A Purposeful Life)

Chapter 2
UPS & DOWNS IN LIFE

As I said in last chapter all are born into this world with absolutely no control on what and where we have to be, mostly the kind of family and the situations around you make who you are in life. Of course I admit there are lot of people who achieved great positions even being born in very bad backgrounds but I am talking here about the majority of the people. The way how the parents, teachers, society treat the person have great influences in life as most of the people will grow according to that. I am not here to talk about good and bad but I just wanted to give an outline of what I want to express. Well as a person reaches the age of 18-20 late adolescence his or her brain is fully developed and from the way how the person is raised the person have certain views on what the world around the person is. However it’s the experience that truly makes the person a true person of what he or she really is and for that the person have to undergo certain problems in life.

Problems in life is a very common thing in every ones life. You cannot find a person without any sort of problems in life. Every one regardless of age whether it’s a new born or a child or teenager or adult or senior every one have different sorts of problems in life. If we actually study about problems we can see the problems are of different types. For example the problem of a child is different to a problem of an adult or senior. And some problems for certain people which they see it as a huge problem are nothing for the other person who sees it maybe because the life experiences of that person made him more stronger or he might have a easy solution for that problem. This brings up a human nature to share the problems to others.

Sometimes the individual to whom we share have solutions for the kind of problem what we face. Sometimes the individual have no idea how to solve it. Certain times the answers from the individual finds the real solution of problems where as other times it goes absolutely wrong and mess up the whole situation and create more problems. So how can we really overcome the problems?

As mentioned earlier the problems differ between age groups as well as from person to person of the same age group. There is a saying for an ant it is the weight of a grain and for an elephant it is something of an elephant’s size. I hope this really helps to understand the situation. Depending on each persons ability, mental growth, the way how to deal with problems, age etc the problems differs from person to person.

Some people are raised with good parental guidance and trust. As the child grew up the child reach back to the parents on seeing any sorts of problem they face. But as they grow up if the parents always spoon feed them even after they become adults they will reach back to the parents even for very small problems in life. This is because the child as was growing up was prevented to think outside the box. The trust that the person can always depend on their parents and the way how the parents spoon fed them prevented the child from thinking how he or she can face the problem and as a result when it comes to a situation when the child have to stay away from home due to collage etc they find it really hard to face problems in life.

When it becomes to a situation they cannot go further they start sharing the problems with friends and good friends help them to overcome the problems but unfortunately some ends up going worse and fall into the pit of depression. But slowly slowly by facing more and more problems and solving one by one the person becomes a successful individual with a stronger mindset in body. And as they become more and more experienced the problems they faced before in life becomes no more a problem in life.

So how can we face problems? The best way to deal with it is the trust in God that through God nothing is impossible for Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)”. The trust and confidence on God helps us to overcome all the fear of the problem. And when we start facing the problem in life we can see God’s hand in the difficult areas of the problem. Second thing is, even in the worst situation and even though it seems impossible never loose HOPE. For if we loose hope we cannot move forward we will fall into depression and depression is the worst thing which we can ever be. The third thing and most importantly people choose to share the problems to the friends and as said earlier good friends will help you to overcome it. The way how every one is bought up in the world is different. Nobody is born into the world as good or bad or anything but the life background, experiences and the ways what that person chose have formed the person to who the person is. So be very careful in sharing the problems to others. Some people may help you but some don’t even bother about it and some may find happiness in the problem and overturn it and the problem ends up to something bigger than it was before. so be very cautious on seeking answers to the problems from others. However instead of saying to others the best way is to give in God’s hands and trust in him, he will take care of it.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 KJV).”

Well moving forward it seems to be a common problem that being a godly person, some people appears to have a lot of problems and hardships in life rather to other people in the world. It can be mental problems, sickness, money matters, relationships etc or maybe everything together and we keeps on wondering why is this happening to me. There will be times in life when you actually see it looks as if you just overcome a problem and thought everything just settled but in the next minute you see everything tips over and be in the middle of more deeper problems in life and you keep wondering ‘God even though I been a true follower of you why is this happening to me?’ Don’t you love me? Don’t you care for me? Don’t you see am a follower of you and others who are not have no problems but me being a follower have more problems than any one in the whole world!? Why is this happening only to me? Why me? And we really anticipate for an answer and finds no answer but pure silence from God. The times you wished at least God speak a word to you and finds nothing. The kind of anger and depression you face! Why does this happen in life?

A similar situation is seen in the book of Isaiah were God says “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? (Isaiah 40:27 KJV).”

There are a lot of passages in bible dealing on problems and how to over come it but here I would like to draw your attention to a situation in 1 Kings chapters 17,18,19. It’s a place where we find one of the greatest prophets in bible. His name is Elijah. Usually if a person is introduced into the bible especially if he is a prominent person it always starts by mentioning the tribe the person belong to the family the great grandfather, the grand father, the father then the person but here from no where comes Elijah.
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (1 Kings 17:1 KJV).”
I like the way how he is introduced in the bible, unlike any other it’s not mentioned about which tribe or who his parents are but just said Elijah the Tishbite in Gilead. And looking to the next part is more interesting a person of no address is now talking to a person and the person is not a common man but is the king of Israel! The next part is most interesting for he proclaims on the name of God almighty on whom he serve and says without him saying again there won’t be dew or rain these years! Oh what a great entrance he made in! And from the following verses we know it happened and there was no rain or dew for next three and a half years! As a result famine became very severe and almost all food and water resources dried up but we know God led Elijah in wonderful ways. The reason why God send a famine in the land was because of the sins of King Ahab and Israelites – “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. (1 Kings 16:30-33 KJV).”

But when the time came up after three and a half years God asked Elijah to present himself before the king and elijah asked King Ahab to bring all the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to mount Carmel and the set up two sacrifices for God and the God answers with fire is the real God and they went up the mount Carmel and setup 2 sacrifices but God pleased in Elijah’s sacrifice and proved who the real God is and killed the 850 prophets on the mountain. Then Elijah prayed and God heard his prayers and opened the skies and send rain! Oh what a wonderful ministry he did! Even when almost all of Israelites went to serve Baal and Asherah here is a man a who stood for God or in other words God kept him aside and proved through him Jehovah is the only God! Wonderful ministry. It’s more than any one on earth can really do! awesome!

Elijah might be thinking wow God is so great he used me to do all this unbelievable things and proved he’s the only God. I am now a free man, no need to hide anywhere as it used to for last three and half years. He made me noble before others.

But the very next day hits the real problem in Elijah’s life. “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the Gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. (1 Kings 19:1, 2 KJV).”

Elijah should have been stunned by what just happened, he found no other way but run for his life and so he ran for a day’s way into the wilderness and found shelter under a juniper tree. He might have had a flash back there of all that happened in front of his eyes and would have thought over and over again what really went wrong in his life.
Actually when we compare this incident to our lives does anything this bad has ever happened in our life? I don’t think any other man on this earth’s face would have faced such kind of problem. God said he listened,God asked he obeyed and did whatever God asked him to do but still why is this happening? He would have thought over and over again but no answer. He might have even prayed asking God to help him still no answer in the end he came to a conclusion. This is it Lord enough I can’t take it anymore. Rather than getting killed by Isabel God you please take my life off for I am done for now.

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (1 Kings 19:4 KJV).”

Still no answer and because of the depression and the tiredness of the long journey he went to deep sleep and God send His angel with bread and water and the angel of God asked him to rise and eat, Elijah ate and drank then went back to sleep but the angel came back again and asked to rise and eat for the journey is too long. Elijah got up he ate and drank and with its strength he walked for forty days and nights until he reached mount Horeb.

Imagine he would been thinking from the time he got up why God not answering him. He would have been so much comforted if God spoke at least a word to him but in this case not even a single word even after 24 hours, nothing the next day or day after, a week went by no answer a month passed by still no answer but he’s still walking and walking and in the end of 40th day when he reached mount Horeb he hid in a cave absolutely shattered in his body, mind and spirit, awaiting to die loosing all hope of life and not knowing what to do next, here he hears God’s voice asking “what doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:9 KJV).”

“And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:10 KJV).”

And God asks him to come out of the cave and stand on the mountain and as he does here the God comes, and a very strong and powerful wind passes by, the wind is so powerful that it even tears up the mountain to small rocks but there is no God after the wind comes a mighty earthquake and still no God in it and a big fire and still no God in it. Instead of Elijah picturise ourselves over there. We been so depressed and so much tired in all ways and after such a long wait of 40 days in the desert without food and water and loosing all hope and just wanted to die God asks you to come out of the cave and he sends such strong wind, earthquake and fire all terrifying things! What kind of God is this? Imagine what more can you take.

But the very minute after all the wind, earthquake and fire here comes a “still small voice” asking “what doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:13 KJV).”

And Elijah breaks down before God “And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:14 KJV)”

But instead of his wish to die God is getting him ready for a new mission! A great mission of anointing! “And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel–meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. (1 Kings 19:15, 16 KJV).”

Moreover to that instead of his wish to die in the desert God pleased to take him to heaven as such in body without death! “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11 KJV).”

What an honour? What more can God give him to honour him? Absolutely nothing. Such an amazing God! It’s as the psalmist say “O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (Psalms 92:5 KJV).”

This is why after the question I mentioned earlier form Isaiah does not just stop there but with the answer
“Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:27-31 KJV).”

Therefore if you are a God’s child and problems keeps coming one after the other even after obeying God’s words do not worry, God has wonderful, mighty and tremendous plans for you.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8, 9 KJV).”

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).”

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