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Redefining How We Look at Setbacks

I think we all have certain expectations of ourselves. I know I do. I am constantly striving to be the best daughter, sister, friend, and athlete I can be, and I know that I sometimes fall short of what I expect of myself. Not only do I have expectations of myself, but I have expectations as to how my life is supposed to go. I think we all envision our lives to go a certain way. Whether it’s to get a certain job, have certain accomplishments, whatever it is…..we have expectations.

But what if God has a different plan? A plan that we weren’t expecting and could even cause us some pain? My favorite Bible verse has always been Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” But, I reached a point in the last couple months where I started doubting that I could truly do all things, especially the things that I wanted and needed to do. Not only that, but I was wondering if God was even on my side in the first place.

I recently read this verse that addressed the very issue I was struggling with. James 1:12 states, “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.” Throughout my life, like all of you, I’ve faced setbacks. I’ve asked the question “why me” and questioned what the benefit of being hurt was. But looking back, something good has come out of every single situation that God has put me in. It doesn’t always make complete sense, but I can at least see a silver lining or a change in me that had value or benefit.

So what if we redefined how we look at the setbacks put in our lives? Instead of thinking of setbacks as keeping us from a certain life that we dreamed about, what if we thought of them as the stepping stones to a life that God wants us to live?

James 1: 2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” I hope and pray that you can trust that the setbacks God put in your life are there for good. They may test your faith, and it may be difficult to find the silver lining or change in yourself right away, but it will be there. God’s plan may not be the same as what you designed in your head, but I can assure you that His plan for you is for good.

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