Finding Hope, Strength, and Comfort
In Times of Trouble . . .
The Lord's Offer
Come unto Me,
all you who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you
and learn of Me . . .
for I am meek and lowly in heart,
and you shall find rest
unto your souls.
For My yoke is easy
and My burden is light.
In Those Times . . .
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all . . . "
We are told the true child of God will go through periods of trials, difficulties, pain, and suffering in this life. We may never know the "Why?" until we get to Heaven. Regardless of our age, intellect, responsibilities, or experience, in Godís eyes we are still just little children, and when we fall into various trials He wants us to come to Him to seek His Will and His direction and to quit attempting to carry the burden ourselves. This requires faith. Jesus Christ stepped forth from eternity to become a man and endured much. He has felt the pain of sorrow, rejection, grief, and excruciating physical trauma. He knows how we are feeling. He loves and cares for each of us and promises to help us through the difficult "storms" of life we will someday face. Letís seek Jesus now and listen to His words of wisdom, instruction, and comfort . . .
"With A Little Faith . . ."
"Do not be afraid,
nor be dismayed (distressed),
for the Lord God is with you wherever you go."
No matter how alone you might feel now . . .
"He (the Lord) will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you."
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
Pray honestly and sincerely seeking the Lord for direction . . .
"I, (the Lord) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go"
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them
out of all of their troubles." (It sometimes takes a while)
"We know that all things work together for good,
to those who love God"
(Please notice it says all things work together for good to those who love God ...
even though we may never know the "How?" or "Why?" until we get to Heaven.)
It won't be easy, but no matter how bad things get or how long they last . . .
Trust in God!
"And those whose faith has made them good in Godís sight
must live by faith"
Faith means trusting Him in everything ...
We are commanded to trust Him in everything!!!
"Let your requests be made know to God, with thanksgiving,
and the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7) (Ask the Lord to have you feel as He would have you feel ...)
"If any of you lacks wisdom (concerning your situation), let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith,
with NO doubting,
for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind.
For let not that man (the man or woman who doubts God or God's Word)
suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord"
We need to let go of the past (including yesterday) . . .
"Forgetting (completely and absolutely) that which lies behind,
and reaching forward to what lies ahead."
Pray for help to forget the pain, the failures, and the fear from the past. Forget the past glories and achievements. Then move on day by day, in faith, towards the promise of God that lies ahead.
When your heart and mind are troubled . . .
"Fix your thoughts on
whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -
meditate on THESE things."
Note: Do not fix your thoughts on the problem! Dwelling on the problem will only make things worse. With a thankful heart dwell on all those things God has blessed you with ... and dwell on the hope and the promises found in Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha'Mashiach in Hebrew) to help you through this painful time (step-by-step ... and day-by-day).
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding"
Remember, He warned us there will be great difficulties in this life ... but He promises great rewards for all who will place their trust in Him and faithfully endure the painful trials and afflictions which will come upon us during this short life.
God answers all prayers from those who diligently seek Him (many times the answer is "No," or "Not yet"). Please remember itís His Will we seek, not our will, His time, not our time, and His Way, not our way. Only God knows the end from the beginning. Donít be discouraged when prayers arenít answered exactly the way we want or when we want. He truly cares and knows what is best. Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ is the good Shepherd, for "The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep ..." (John 10:11). He has prepared a narrow path of safety for each of us through this life. Although His path might appear the most difficult, it is the only one which will lead us safely home into His Kingdom of Heaven. It will seem overwhelming at times, but we must trust in Him. Without Him we are lost. Seek His direction, then walk in faith.
"So take a new grip with your tired hands,
stand firm on your shaky legs,
and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet
so that those who follow you, though weak and lame,
will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong . . ."
(Hebrews 12:12 tlb)
"With A Little Hope . . ."
"The Angel of the Lord camps around (guards and protects) those who fear Him.
Blessed is the man or woman who trusts in Him."
"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
and saves those who have a humbled (contrite) spirit."
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
(We are made righteous when we ask Jesus into our lives ...)
Even the sincere Christian will not escape the pain, heartbreak, sorrow, and distress found this life, but the Lord promises to help us, strengthen us, and to see us through all of them. His promise is not to take us out of the bitter storms of life, but to safely lead us through the storms . . . no matter how bad the situation might seem now, it will one day be over and behind you. Trust in Him.
"The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
on those who hope in His mercy . . .
our soul waits for the Lord."
Waiting is hard, especially when we feel the battle between our faith and our fears, anger, or pain raging inside of us.
"Job is an example of a man
who continued to trust the Lord in sorrow and suffering.
Even through his suffering and affliction we can see
how the Lordís plan finally ended in good . . .
for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy."
(James 5:11 tlb).
The book of Job shows God is sovereign over all things, though the terrible things which happened to Job were brought on by Satan whose desire was for Job "to curse God, and die." In each trial we go through we have the choice of drawing closer to the Lord in faith, or bitterly turning away to "curse God and die." This is our test.
The road to Heaven is not an easy one as God tests our faith along the way . . .
"Because narrow is the gate
and DIFFICULT is the way
which leads to life (in Heaven),
and there are few who find it." (Ask Jesus into your heart and you will find it)
"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials (difficulties),
knowing that the testing of your faith develops patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
The "trials" and "tests" in life arenít joyful, but when they are over we find joy in knowing the Lord truly loves us and as a loving Father helps us develop the patience, obedience, and humility we need to grow and walk in faith . . .
"And have you forgotten the exhortation (the encouraging words)
which God speaks to you as sons (and daughters)?
He said . . . ĎMy son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
and scourges every son whom He receives.í
For if you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons (and daughters)
for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?"
"Now, no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness
to those who have been trained by it."
Not all trials are from chastening. We may never know the reason until we get to Heaven. But suffering in the life of the believer helps conform us into His image and helps us to become more like Him in patience, gentleness, kindness, humility, compassion, forgiveness, and obedience. Faith provides strength and power.
Cling to God's promises during the storms ...
"Do NOT worry (or be anxious) about anything,
but pray about everything . . . with thanksgiving"
(Philippians 4:6 tlb) (Did you know this is a commandment?)
"Do NOT be anxious for tomorrow,
for tomorrow will care for itself."
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
and the rain descended, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house;
and it did not fall,
for it was founded on the Rock."
(Jesus is the Rock who will help and strengthen us.)
Fear nothing but God . . .
"For God has NOT given us a spirit of fear"
(2 Timothy 1:7)
... for fear is not of the Spirit of the Lord. The root of fear eats away like a worm and produces pain, anger, jealousy, depression, neurosis, bitterness, and guilt. Do not fear!
Please remember . . .
God loves you more than words can say. He knows the pain and heartbreak we feel ... for He has felt it, too. The Bible says our spirit will someday groan to leave this earthly body. Our real life, in His Kingdom of Heaven, is yet future . . .
"The Spirit Himself
bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs --
heirs of God and joint heirs with Messiah (Christ),
IF indeed we suffer with Him"
Jesus Christ is our Hope . . .
Although there are times we may feel alone and abandoned, He will never forsake you or leave you. The Bible says the true child of God will find suffering in this life. Each of us will have our faith tested. Jesus waits for us to ask Him into our lives to help, to strengthen, to comfort, and to heal. He lovingly wraps His arms around the lonely and the brokenhearted. Jesus will never cast away or turn away any man or woman that willingly comes to Him, regardless of how young or how old, or how good or how bad. Any and all who come to Him with a sincere and humbled heart are welcomed with open arms. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Jesus is God. He now prepares our place in Heaven where there will be no fear, no worries, no pain, no heartbreak, and no tears. He will see you through these difficult times . . . Trust in Him!
Grace and Shalom