WHAT TO DO IN HARD TIMES?
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.
The goodness of God is an undeniable truth and so are all His attributes. Therefore, if we do not recognize His goodness in our lives, the problem is not with God, but with us. God is perfect, He does not have to change, nor does He need to do anything better than He already does. We are the ones who need to change.
Let us not forget that all that is good comes from God (“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” - James 1:17). On the other hand, sickness, all that is evil and can destroy us, come from the devil. (“He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him…” - John 8:44b). Even the evil that our fellow men do to us, has its origin in the evil thoughts and impulses of the carnal nature or in what they receive from the evil one, and not from God (“... God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.”- James 1:13).
Maybe you are going through a difficult time, and have many reasons one could complain about, frustrations, fears and perhaps even lost a loved one and the pain you feel could only be fully understood by the Lord. Circumstances, feelings, previous experiences and traumas inherited from previous generations, all contribute to the level of suffering that each one of us has to endure at some point.
Maybe you have a difficult situation in the family, at work, at school or with people who are very important to you. Whatever the situation, if it is not up to us to change it, we must ask the Lord to show us how to handle it. He has the best solution for any problem. Maybe God has allowed us to be in a difficult place, that we can learn something from it, that we would not have learned any other way. Perhaps the Lord wants us to detach ourselves from problems and draw closer to Him through Bible study, prayer, praise, and worship. Maybe we need to learn how to love those who are hard to love and help them change. Maybe it's time to change something and get out of the environment we are in and where we do not belong anymore. Sometimes, the very fact that the situation becomes unbearable can be a sign that victory is near and the enemy is doing his best to make us doubt that the Lord is helping us and to accept defeat. The Lord's timing is very important. Let us not be ahead of Him, nor too late in what we have to do. When we act in God’s timing, success is guaranteed by the One who can do everything and for whom nothing is too difficult!
In any difficult situation it is very important to keep our heart pure, because the springs of life come out of the heart. If we allow frustration and dissatisfaction to build up, they become the source of the words we speak and our attitude becomes hostile and negative. It is well known that even if we cannot control the circumstances, we can control how we respond to them. We do not solve the problems if we get upset, agitated, lose sleep or even have a pity party. The correct solution comes from the Lord, and when we put our trust in Him, we find the patience we need and do what He leads us to do. Let us choose to believe that the Lord has the perfect solution for our problem and ask the Holy Spirit to show us God’s will and help us see the good side of the situation.
Let us remember what the following verses say:
Jesus is full of mercy for us, because He lived in a human body and was tempted in all aspects, even though He did not fall into temptation and sin. Jesus was the perfect “blameless and spotless” lamb, who was needed to be the perfect sacrifice for all the sins of mankind, including for each of us. So we can come boldly to “the throne of grace” with everything that bothers and upsets us. The Lord always cares about our suffering, He always has a solution, and He always wants to intervene for us, if we will but ask Him and choose to trust that He will. We reach the throne of the heavenly Father, only through Jesus Christ, and there we find all the love, mercy, and favor we need when we are struggling.
You may be wondering how we get to God's throne? The desire to communicate with the Heavenly Father is the first step, and if you have not yet surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus, this must be the second step (Romans 10:9-10, “that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”).
Because Jesus is the only way to God the Father, after He becomes the Lord of our lives, we can reach the "throne of grace" when we pray sincerely. The Lord looks at “the heart” of the one who prays and not at how sophisticated their prayer is. He wants us to tell Him the truth about what we feel, what hurts or makes us happy, and especially to want to receive His answer to our requests and obey it.
Sadly, many Christians believe that God must do or give them anything they ask for, regardless of His plans or wisdom. And when they do not receive what they asked for, they become frustrated and turn away from the Lord. The truth is, that when we choose to follow Jesus and receive salvation through His sacrifice, we are redeemed from the penalty of death for our sins. We then no longer belong to ourselves but belong to the One who paid for our salvation. Therefore, we must obey God’s will, that He teaches us through His Word, and what He tells us through the Holy Spirit. Everything God asks us to do is truly for our own good and has eternal implications. That is why it is up to us to give all our hurts to Him and take time daily to study and meditate on God's Word. By knowing the Scripture, it helps us learn to hear when He speaks to us and to recognize which thoughts are from the Holy Spirit or not.
Let us ask God to reveal more of Himself and of the depths of His love and grace to us, and help us to trust Him more. When our hearts are filled with gratitude and praise to God for all He has done for us, we can face difficult situations more easily and may even be filled with the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit as we focus on the Lord and not on the circumstances.
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