NAVIGATING HARD TIMES
NAVIGATING HARD TIMES

NAVIGATING HARD TIMES

I remember a song I used to sing in church as a child. One line in the song said, “No matter what I face when trouble comes my way, I will praise the Lord.”

Somehow, we were convinced to change the ‘trouble’  to ‘success’ – almost as though troubles are an abomination for the believer. This might come as a shock to you, but God never said you would have it pleasant all the time. Jesus speaking in John 16:33 says that believers will have tribulation in this world.

Pastor Tony Cooke once said that it is wishful thinking to assume that faith exempts us from grief. Fortunately, you have an intentional God that has prepared a manual to help you through tough times. Be it the death of a loved one, loss of your job, financial crisis, heartbreak, or health issues, God has an answer for you. After all, the good shepherd cannot leave His sheep to their own devices in times of struggles.

It is wishful thinking to assume that faith exempts us from grief. - Tony Cooke. Fortunately, we have an intentional God that has prepared a manual to help us through tough times. Click To Tweet

The first thing you should do in any hardship is to pray! Philippians 4:6 advises that you should make your requests known unto God. Peter goes further by saying you should cast your cares upon God. To ‘cast’ from the original Greek means to throw or toss. Merge that with what Paul says in Philippians 4:7, the Bible seems to tell you to wrap up your grief into a ball, toss it at God, and take his peace in exchange. And not just any kind of peace, the peace that defies all human logic. 

The Bible seems to tell us to wrap up our grief into a ball, toss it at God in prayer, and take his peace in exchange. And not just any kind of peace, the peace that defies all human logic. Click To Tweet

You must also protect your heart at all costs because the devil does not give you time off to deal with your pain. He not only causes hard times (sometimes), he also takes advantage of hard times to put ideas in your mind. He tries to convince you that stealing from your office is justified because finances at home are in a bad state. He tells you that God has forsaken you or that you have earned the hard times by doing something wrong. Resist his tricks at all times.

The devil does not give you time off to deal with your pain. He not only causes hard times, he also takes advantage of hard times to put ideas in your mind. Protect your heart at all cost Click To Tweet

Another way you must guard your heart is by staying with godly company. Sometimes you feel like crying, sometimes you feel powerless, and sometimes there is no end in sight. In those moments, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Surround yourself with fellow believers who would be able to strengthen you. When your tears prevent you from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, a fellow believer can provide the clear-eyed perspective you need. 

Surround yourself with fellow believers who would be able to strengthen you. When your tears prevent you from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, a fellow believer can provide the clear-eyed perspective you need Click To Tweet

It could also be of great help to reduce your exposure to social media pressures. Social media can sometimes make your situation feel way worse than it is. Keep the word of God in your heart and on your lips. You would get through any hard times. God’s plan for you is good, his desires for you are perfect and good. His love for you is strength in itself and it would guide you through every hard time. 

I leave you with assurances from the word of God.

Hebrews 13:5-6 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Joel is like a real life Bruce Wayne – an engineer by day and a (super)writer by night. He is passionate about God’s will; his desire is for the whole word to experience God’s love. Joel loves having tough conversations where people express their views as he believes it is a major way to grow collectively.
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