By Dr. Ashley Anderson
For many of us, 2020 could have been considered a “Job-like season.” We were stretched in ways we could have never imagined and the blows seemed to keep coming. There were many times where I literally looked to the heavens and asked, “Lord what are you doing?” I vividly remember being on my knees in prayer, waving my hands in the air, and asking God to take it all and to show mercy. There were some excruciating times last year and sometimes it felt like too much. During those times, this scripture from the book of James (1:12 NIV) kept me: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Even if we have no idea of what’s going on around us, we can trust that God will keep His promises. Even when we cannot see any relief in sight and literally have no clue how things can work out for our good from the situation, we can trust that God is sovereign. Even when our hearts are breaking and we feel like our lives are shattering around us, we can trust that God will be faithful. When we’re in these Job-like seasons, we have no choice but to depend on God. In this space, we absolutely know without a shadow of a doubt that the situation is completely out of our control. In the book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson refers to this as “living in raw dependence.” It is in this space that we are wholeheartedly dependent on God for a miracle to happen.
In those dark and uneasy moments, I challenge you to meditate over the promise of the crown. I love crowns! They remind me of ancient royal inheritances and bring up concepts like grace and poise. Even donning a fake crown with gaudy colored stones does something to your spirit. It makes you stand up straighter, walk taller and operate with a more confidence. But the crown of life? Can you imagine how that feels and what it does to your being? In those moments when putting one foot in front of the other seems like a chore, close your eyes and imagine Jesus placing the crown on your head and reminding you that you are an heir of the one true king. Imagine standing next to the throne of grace after your coronation and watching God craft that miracle on your behalf. Trust that He can and will do it.
Arise brothers and sisters. Your blessing is on the other side of this storm. I know it’s hard, I know you want to quit, but trust in the promise of the crown. You are royalty.