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Tough Times Require We Believe All the More

What challenge are you facing right now that looks insurmountable? Have you been straining toward a goal that appears unreachable? Perhaps you have a dream that seems unattainable.

I want to encourage you today. No matter what you are facing, God is with you, He is for you and He has plans for you that just might exceed what you can imagine. And just so you don't miss it, there is a good chance it looks a lot different from what you expect.

For years, I had a desire to write a book. I actually started to write on one particular topic, but reached a point that left me feeling ill-equipped to see it through. I let that dream lie dormant, wondering if writing a book was actually something I could accomplish. I experienced a series of upheavals in my life that took all of my energy to navigate, not least of which was my move to Arkansas. Writing a book was the least of my concerns.

Jesus told us that in the world we would face trials. He also said that we could be of good cheer because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). If we see our lives only through the eyes of what we are able to accomplish in our own strength, it’s no wonder life can seem a bit hopeless at times. Even if you are a high-capacity leader, you are still human, and our humanity inherently has limitations. But we have a big God who is able to do far more than we can even ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Still, what do you do when you are going through difficulties? When you have worked hard to accomplish a goal only to battle with obstacles and watch it slip away? Or when the dream you have carried for so long is, practically speaking, far out of reach.


Believe the promises of God. Believe that He created you with a purpose and that He will provide a way (Isaiah 43:19).

God made a way for me to get hired as an instructional designer—even when I did not meet the requirements for the job and after the hiring manager had already told me no. Writing curriculum gave me a unique opportunity to hone my writing skills. That job positioned me to work on a project to refine a workplace Bible study for a special client. And that opened the door for a new position where I was responsible for writing workplace Bible studies—a job I never imagined for myself! Not only did I love it, but I also had the opportunity to learn a great deal about publishing.

After several years, a writing retreat came to my attention. I felt compelled to pursue it, even though I had to have a solid book idea to be accepted. I really had no idea what I would write about. As it turns out, I was working with a coach who suggested I read The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. The book was excellent, but I couldn’t help thinking that it needed a faith component. Then one day, I felt a Holy Spirit nudge—“You write that book.”

I never imagined that I would be writing a book on confidence, that I would be able to publish it and that so many women would be impacted by what I wrote!

My friend Suzi suggested I create “stones of remembrance” (Joshua 4:2-3)—something I could look at to remind me of God’s faithfulness through the process, so that next time I faced something that seemed impossible, I would remember to trust God (Proverbs 3:5-6). I created a canvas with pictures from significant parts of my journey.

What I learned through that process is that God has bigger plans for me than I can even imagine. When I’m frustrated or concerned that things aren’t going the way I need them to, He is actually making a better way. When I’m waiting, He is working. When I’m making my own plans, He is preparing to fulfill His. When I feel like my dreams are impossible, He is paving the way for more than I know is possible. But I must be willing to hold my plans and goals loosely and yield to His (Proverbs 16:3)!

What has God done in your life to meet your needs, open a way where there was no way, or just plain blow your mind with something you never dreamed could happen? Take a moment over the next few days to reflect on what God has done and write it down. Create a “God file” or your own version of stones of remembrance. Thank God for all He has done and all He is doing that you can’t even see right now.

He is with you. He is for you (Romans 8:31)! If only you will believe (Hebrews 11:6).

Catherine Gates will be speaking at the Boldly Conference on Friday, October 21, 2022. Don't miss it!

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