There’s no getting away from it, life can be hard sometimes. And Christians aren’t exempt from the tough times in life. God has never promised that when we choose to walk with Him our path will be strewn with rose petals and our lives will run smoothly
In fact, the Bible tells us that we can expect
to face ‘many trials’.
It’s easy to read verses like these in the good times and be all “rah rah, yes, I know this!” isn’t it? But it becomes a little bit harder making that shift from head knowledge to heart knowledge that God is going to work all things together for our good when the rubber truly hits the road and we’re right in the midst of one of these tough times.
We could start to question and second-guess our faith.
Sometimes we ask, ‘Where is God in all this? Has He left me?’
The answers to both of these questions is of course, He has never left your side. Not even for a moment.
Are you in one of those trying times? If so I would love to encourage you from Psalm 94:17-19
“Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
Just two little verses but they’re jam-packed with so many powerful, life giving promises!
1) God responds the moment I cry out for Him: Not only does God hear your cry, but He responds. In His ‘unfailing love’ He’s ‘on it’ in an instant. If you’re a parent, think of how you respond when your child cries out to you. You’d move heaven and earth (if you could) to get to your child! The thing is, God CAN move heaven and earth to get to you if needs be!
Have a look at what 2 Samuel 22:5,7-8,10,16-20 says about that:
“The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. “Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the heavens shook; they quaked because of his anger. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Then at the command of the Lord, at the blast of his breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.”
2) He is my helper: Not only does God hear and respond to your cry, but He steps in and helps. Psalm 54:4 “God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!”
Hebrews 13:6 “So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
3) He Supports me: I love those three little words. Deuteronomy 33:26-27 describes it perfectly: “There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you..”
4) He quiets the turmoil of my mind and heart: The first thing any parent does after responding to a child’s cry is to ‘quite’ their sobs with soft words. ‘Hush, it’s ok, I’m here, I’ve got you’. How much more then, does the Father, in whose image we are made, care for and lovingly tend to us, His children?
Here is what God does when He picks us up out of our messes, scrapes and bumps in life: He takes us by the hand and leads us back onto the right path, speaking His tender words to quiet our racing minds and hearts.
Zephaniah 3:17 ”For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”
5) He Renews my Hope! It can be easy to become discouraged in hard times, and feel we have failed. But after God has finished ‘Shushing’ and then strengthening your heart, He restores and renews your hope again. What an amazing God we have!
Philippians 3:13b “but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Where is God while you’re going through this? He is right there beside you, His strong hand ready to reach out and hold you, and keep your foot from slipping!
Call out to Him! Keep your eyes fixed on Him. He won’t let you go.