God is greater than the highs and lows

God is greater than the highs and lows

It’s easy to get caught up in the highs and lows of life. The joy of success and the pain of failure can both be intense and all-consuming.

But as Christians and followers of Jesus, we are reminded that God is greater than any situation we may face. His love and grace are constant, and he is always with us, even in the darkest of times.

It sounds like a nice easy quote, but I can honestly tell you that God really is always with us even in the deepest valley during the dark night of the soul.

In this blog, we will see how God can help us overcome the highs and lows of life and find peace and joy in him.

What are highs and lows?

This is a good place to start. What I mean by this, and let’s take ‘highs’ for example are the mountain top moments, the glory days, the thrill of victory.

This could be the birth of a child, a first house, an engagement or marriage, or a beautiful trip.

The highs are any positive or joyful experiences.

The lows are the opposite.

Those negative and difficult experiences. The valley moments, the dark night of the soul, the agony of defeat.

Loss, grief, and failure could all fall into this category.

Life is a full-contact sport and we encounter highs and lows as we meander and journey through it.

Scriptures for when life is tough

The Bible is full of scriptures that bring comfort in tough times. Here are a few:

Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Nahum 1:7 – “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”

No matter what highs and lows you may be facing at the moment, remember that

These verses remind us that God is always with us, even in the midst of our struggles. He will never abandon us, and he will help us grow through even the toughest of times.

Scriptures for the highs and lows of life

Scriptures for when life is good

When life is going well, it can be easy to forget that it’s because of God’s blessings. It’s important to remember to give thanks and praise to Him for all the good in our lives. Here are a few verses to reflect on in these times:

Psalm 100:4-5 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 107:1 – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”

James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

These scriptures remind us of the importance of praising and thanking God in times of joy and success.

No matter the highs and lows, God is greater. His love endures forever, and he is always with us.

God’s faithful hand

Let’s get personal.

Back in 2016/17, we were living in Zaragoza, Spain.

We initially landed in Madrid with just our suitcases, an Airbnb reservation for one night, enough money to buy some food and a couple of gentlemen’s agreements for regular freelance design work.

We knew Spain was our next step and arrived there without fully knowing what the city would be.

We had friends in two different cities and we ended up moving to the location of the people who text us back first that night.

Wild right? We were younger and had no kids so the thrill of the adventure was strong.

Anyway, we saw God show up DAILY in Zaragoza, from providing housing supernaturally for us (a story for another day). To needing financial breakthrough and receiving it in unexpected places.

Zaragoza was our first married home and the testing ground of our faith now as one. We experienced great highs, like finding out we were pregnant and finally getting a Visa. We also experienced lows like not having money for food or public transport to visit places.

All this to say, when I look back on my own life, I visualise the timeline and I see the highs and lows marked.

The thing that stands out is God’s faithfulness and his hand on both ends of the spectrum.

It’s all about the process

The more I journey through life, the more I realize life is less about an outcome or completing something.

It’s about the journey itself and who we are becoming. Most importantly it’s about God and our relationship with Him. Learning to lean on Him and trust Him in every moment.

An unexpected diagnosis

Sunday, February 3rd 2019 was somewhat of a normal day. Normal in the sense of church, family time etc.

Not normal in the sense of what happened that evening.

Earlier that week I had my wisdom teeth removed and it hadn’t healed up.

I’ll save you the gory details, but it was swollen, disgusting and stank. It just wouldn’t heal up and so I asked my parents to take me to A&E on that Sunday evening.

I had a blood test done and waited in a room alongside my parents.

We were there a while and there was a bit of commotion outside the door.

The kind of commotion where you could just sense something was a little off.

At this point in life (other than the tooth issue) it’s a high moment. Judah had turned 1, we were getting settled in the UK and at our church, I had new freelance clients and life was good.

Then the consultant came in, and everything went into slow motion.

Mr Stannard, your white cells are extremely high we think you have cancer.

Now, 5 minutes prior I had phoned my wife to say goodnight and let her know I was staying in overnight and they would operate on my mouth in the morning.

That second phone call was a change of plan.

“baby, change of plans, I have to go to a different hospital as they’ve said apparently I have Leukaemia”.

Maha: “Oh…. Well we’re not going to accept that, and we’ll pray for healing”.

Listen.. If there was ever ANY doubt in my mind that she was the one for me (which there was no doubt) it would have evaporated in that second! What an incredible human she is!

The prince of peace walked into the room

Back to the moment, the nurse delivered the news.

I can only describe how I felt and experienced it.

It was like the words came out of her mouth and were suspended in the air, and before they had the chance to land on me, they were caught/held by this presence of peace that filled the room.

It was as if they took the death sentence and gave me peace instead.

WOW. I have never experienced anything like it before or after, and here is the crazy thing.

I had prayed for encounters like that one. To experience the presence of God in such a tangible way.

To experience the Prince of Peace and to be marked, was my deep longing, and I experienced it!

It just didn’t come in the package I would have wanted.

A high and a low mixed into one.

I would be lying to you if I said I felt scared, anxious, and afraid. I felt none of those things except immense peace, hope, and faith in what God was doing and would do.

The call from Maha just further backed that up!

grapes crushing pressing

What comes out of you when you’re squeezed?

You must have heard people talking about what people are made out of when they are squeezed or under pressure.

We all want the innards to be pleasant when we’re squished, but it’s not always the case. I could list countless times when what comes out of me when I’ve been squished or pressed is bitter and not good.

In this instance, it felt different. It felt like my life had been the training ground in preparation for this moment.

My journey with God, the highs and lows I had experienced, the resilience, the faith, the relationship with God and my understanding and experience of who He is and what He’s like, dictated everything.

Part of it is that it didn’t feel like I was being squeezed. Perhaps because God had just wrapped me up and tucked me under the shadow of his wing.

Or maybe it was something else.

In the years since, whenever I’ve had the chance to share at Church or on a ministry trip, others have recognized that during that pressing time what came out was a new wine sweet to taste. Faith, joy, love, hope, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

As I mentioned before, I felt like I was prepared.

The wave and the well.

I’ve used this phrase over the years, particularly in the church/bible college context.

The wave signifies the corporate church. Your weekly service altogether, or perhaps daily bible college together.

You are being fed, without it requiring you to do much more other than listening.

Speakers, worship is on a plate. The presence of God fills the room and ministry just flows.

You’ve just been riding the wave. This is why many people falter when they encounter challenges, difficulties and lows in life.

They get knocked off the surfboard they were riding the wave on.

What I mean is, they were always riding someone else’s wave, it was not a personal well (watering hole).

The well is something you’ve dug. It’s your personal watering hole that you can draw from. The thing is, you must fill it.

Drawing from the well

Filling the well in the highs and lows

Filling a well (your personal relationship with God) is the most important thing you can do.

It isn’t a fair weather thing, in that you only fill it when things are going well and you’ve got some breakthroughs.

You fill it through devotion, through experiencing God, both in the challenging, difficult and pressing times and in the times of victory and glory.

Your well is where you can pull from in the lows when you need encouragement. It’s where you draw from to remind you of His faithfulness, His kindness, His glory!

Even now as I type this I sense the presence of God. I sense Him drawing me to himself as I write this, and I’m reminded of times previous in His presence, seeking His face and longing for more of Him.

He truly is the prize.

God is greater than…

He is everything.

Nothing compares to God. He is the kindest, sweetest, most faithful friend, father, and lover.

His mercy, His love, and His power are matchless and nothing is impossible with God.

Conclusion

This blog took a little pivot as I was writing it, but I hope it blessed you.

As for how I’m doing! God is good and I’m incredibly healthy. I’m in Major Molecular Remission which means it’s a very small % in my blood still, and it’s getting better (lower) every time! Hallelujah.

Wherever you might find yourself today whether it’s a mountain top high or a valley low, know this:

God is for you. No weapon formed against you will prosper. God has good plans for you to prosper you! He is faithful to finish what He has started in you and you can rely on Him. He knows what you need, and is capable to provide. He is worth pursuing not just in our times of need but also in our times of abundance and blessing.

He is the reward!

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