When Joseph Smith was at his lowest point, after he had been betrayed by his closest friends and was imprisoned in Liberty Jail, he cried out to our Heavenly Father “O God, where art thou?”
In the depths of his anguish, feeling so alone and deserted, he turned to the one whom he knew he could always rely on. The Lord. In response to his cries, the Lord comforted Joseph and told him the following:
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes…..And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good….” (Doctrine and Covenants 121: 6-7, 122:7)
All the trials and struggles we face are for our good. God would never ask us to do something we could not handle. No matter what it is, we should always take comfort in knowing that we are being formed and shaped into the person that God knows we can become.
Even when everything seems to be going wrong, or when it seems like Satan won’t leave us alone, it all actually is fitting in with God’s plan. God is the master planner, and nothing Satan tries to do will ever frustrate His plans.
We may not be able to see the end from the beginning; we may not know all the answers or all the surprises life has in store for us, but we can take comfort in knowing that there is one who does. Heavenly Father is at the helm, and will not lead us astray. We are the ones who turn from him to go our own way.
I know from my own experience that fighting against God is futile. I fought against serving a mission for 7 years. Now I can see that while I thought I was doing what I wanted, and that I was fighting God, in reality I was doing what God needed me to do. I was becoming the person he needed me to be so that when I came out on my mission I could become the missionary he needs me to be.
At the time my will was not in alignment with God’s will. But, when I finally gave my will to God, things may not have been easier, if anything, when you align your will with God’s, life becomes harder, because Satan recognizes the progress you are making and the potential that you are realizing and he does not like it or want you to progress, but as I gave my will to God things did become better, I can tell the difference in my life. As I gave my will to God, I became closer to Him and to my Savior. Now, life isn’t perfect, and there are times when I still try to take my will back from God, but I do my best to put my faith in the Lord and his timetable and allow Him to shape me into whomever he needs me to be.
” Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:9)
Hold strong. Trust in the Lord. Give your will to Him. Life may not be easier, but I know that as we do so, we will feel of Heavenly Father’s love more abundantly and will see His hand guiding us more readily.