THE HIGHLANDS & THE HEARTACHE

Jun 25 2020

Over the last few months, we have literally been on either side of what the heading of this writing describes. For most of us, we know it as the title of one of Hillsong United’s most beloved worship offerings. But what rings true is that it’s something we all relate to.

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of “The Heartache”? Who am I kidding… of course you have. You might even be in the middle of it right now. Wondering when it all will ever end? Maybe eagerly praying for an “out”? I know I have.

Truth is: “The Heartache” is real. And it sucks. It renders us helpless and ultimately faithless. It has the ability to leave us paralyzed and often hopeless. However, “The Heartache is also as real as “The Highlands” which means there’s always HOPE.

For every “Heartache” season there comes a “Highlands” season. These are often also described as mountaintop and valley experiences. Figurative images of life’s highs and lows. Such a vivid contrast. We all have stories of these moments and when we think of them, we rarely think about what occurs in the “in-between spaces”. Going from high to low and vice versa.

How did I get here?

What did I learn?

How did this shape me?

Was it really necessary?

Questions we all may have asked on our various unique journeys. The tough realisation here is that we need the “Heartache” as much as we do the “Highlands. Realising that my times of heartache are necessary in order to enjoy the spoils aptly earned for the highlands. It’s what schools us and makes us stronger.

This journey requires a unique characteristic planted within us. COURAGE to embrace the present and TRUST to believe that God is in control of our futures. And this is a fight we cannot fight on our own.

1. TRUST TO BELIEVE – “God is in control”:
I recently saw a post on Instagram that said, “God wants His fight back”. This made me think really deeply about how I handle stuff in my own life and it reminded me that when I put my trust in Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20), I don’t need to fight life’s battles because I have an Almighty and loving Father that chooses to fight those battles on my behalf. And the only thing He instructs me to do is to BE STILL (Exodus 14:14).

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” – Psalms 91:1-2 [AMP]

2. COURAGE TO EMBRACE THE PRESENT:
Being overwhelmed in the midst of adversity is a classic move of the enemy. He aims to distract us and then attempts to defeat us. Have you ever felt defeated in the midst of adversity? Telling yourself that you can’t go on or its time to tap out? My friend, you are not alone and these are the times that need courage. Courage is never easy but we can find a beautiful example of it in Habakkuk 3:17-19:

“Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the LORD;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge
and responsibility].” –Habakkuk 3:17-18 [AMP]

This scripture has carried me through a lot of seasons. Encouraging me to cry out and sing out in my hour of trouble. Let me tell you one thing… It’s not easy to sing praises when you’re feeling down or depressed. Believe me, I know. But when you find the courage to speak out even one word of gratitude to the Lord, He responds. It takes courage to embrace our present circumstances and surrender them to our Saviour. He is bigger than it all. He is Mighty to
Save!

I find it interesting that the version of this scripture emphasizes the words “Yet I will choose to”. Choosing to put God first despite our struggle is extremely brave. When we shed self-preoccupation and blatantly place God in the middle of our mess and attend to the things of the Lord, we will see all our troubles melt away in his presence.

Whatever I walk through
Wherever I am
Your Name can move mountains
Wherever I stand
And if ever I walk through
The valley of death
I’ll sing through the shadows
My song of ascent

Highlands (Song of Ascent)
– Hillsong United

I genuinely hope that these few words encourage you today to place your hope in Jesus whenever it seems like things go wrong. Why not take a moment to ask Him for courage wherever you find yourself reading this.

“Father, even though things around me seem so overwhelming, and even though my circumstances are weighing down on me to the point of giving up. I will choose to put you first and place my hope and trust in You who fights for me. Grant me the courage to see this season through as I focus on You and Your perfect will.
In Jesus Name
Amen”

God Bless & Big Love…
Wozz