When decisions are painful…

The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands. Psalm 138:8 NIV

I have made some tough decisions lately. Decisions that I know are right, and in line with the will of God, but tough none the less.

It’s easy for us to believe that if we are in the center of God’s will, life will be easy. That if we act in obedience and make the right decisions, everything will breeze right on by. It’s much more difficult to realize that sometimes God calls us to step away from things we love.

Sometimes I look with longing at the things He has asked me to step away from, wondering why I can’t have them anymore. At times it almost seems cruel. Like a punishment I didn’t ask for and feel like I don’t deserve.

Through these trials, God has been showing me two things. The first is that God is a jealous God. He pulls anything away that would compete for our affections. He wants our hearts to be centered on Him and Him alone.

God may call us to step away when our hearts are drawn from where our true affections need to lie. It may feel as if the rug is pulled out from under us, and in many ways it may have been. But when we get that feeling the rug we find ourselves standing on is not the rock on which we place our lives. If anything charges at our lives and beckons more attention that we are giving to God, He loves us enough to pull it away.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the center of God’s will doesn’t always look pleasant. Jesus died on the cross because He was acting in God’s will. He acted in obedience even though His flesh wished for this cup to pass any other way.

Acting in the will of the Lord is hard at times, downright painful. We may mourn and weep over what He is asking us to do, and even when we have done it, the sadness may continue. However, we must rest assured that when we act in His will there will be joy in the morning. Just as Christ was resurrected from the cross, He redeems us from our circumstances when we act in obedience.

I tend to trust my emotions, a little too much at times. Greater though is trusting in Him and His promises. He always has the best in mind for His children. He does not abandon the work of His hands. We can trust that He will always be faithful.



  1. Karen Boone says

    Stephanie, I have been struggling since last evening with a decision He is asking me to make – He is asking me to step away from something I know was His plans for me so He can lead me somewhere else. “acting in the will of the Lord is hard at times, downright painful’ sums it up – I so needed to read this today to help remind me that His ways are not mine to understand but to obey. Yes, we can trust that He WILL always be faithful. Blessings to you my friend.

  2. says

    Oh Karen, I know…it is so difficult to step away, but yes our job is just to act in obedience. I can tell you that even though it has been painful at times there have been HUGE blessings too! But it is still painful to walk away…even if it is just for a season! Love you girl! Will be pryaing for you as you act in obedience!

  3. Polly Schneider says

    That is so true Stephanie. I need to rememberthat too. I recently resigned at work because of health issues. It was a hard decisionto make but I felt I had no other choice. Please pray for me and for what God has for my future. Thanks again for your encouraging post. In Christ Polly

  4. says

    Oh my goodness, the pain of losing something near and dear to our heart, cannot be compared to the exchange of obedience and the joy that we receive from the Lord!!!
    I know this so so well. The beauty will come from the ashes. God promises! God bless.

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