Faith in Hard Times

Have you ever thought, “I wish life was easier?” Here is another one, “I sure wish God would make my life easier.” Have you ever thought or said, “I can’t go on, it is just too much for me.” But have you said this:

Jeremiah 20:14

14 Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!

Or have you said this:

Jeremiah 20:18

18 Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?

You can see, by looking where these verses came, that this is the prophet Jeremiah speaking. You say there is no way. Yet there it is, Jeremiah being open, honest and transparent. You could almost say, TMI (too much information). He had a very difficult mission that was given by God. He had to preach the absolute truth to Israel and the people hated him for it. Yet, Jeremiah was not the only one to have trials or go through hard times. In the Facebook Live today we went over 1 Peter 5:10-11. In there we hear these words:

1 Peter 5:10–11

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

God is the restorer, not ourselves. We need our savior every moment of every day to help us. Peter also says:

1 Peter 4:13

13 But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

So here Peter is telling us when we suffer for Christ we are to rejoice. God is openly telling His followers there is pain in this life.

1 Peter 5:9

9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Peter, as a shepherd, is warning his flock to resist him (the devil - for he wants to devour them) for at that time other brothers and sisters were enduring the same kinds of suffering.

Here are some insights from these different passages that can guide us in this season of Covid-19 and any season of difficulty. Some may say aren’t they always difficult--yes they are.

1. If Jeremiah and Job struggled with being born and it is in the good book, then maybe it is okay to admit our struggle with life. There is no shame to say, “I have had it.”

2. we must remember that Jeremiah and Job finished well in their life even though it was extremely difficult.

3. we must not depend on ourselves, but on the grace of God. Paul said, “...But for the grace of God I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10. All of our life is in His hands.

4. time and time again in the Bible we see this theme: it is God’s work to restore, to save, and to get us through this life. Peter is reminding us once again of a great truth that we need God all the time.

5. let us not forget that it is not our great faith that does this, but it is that we have a great God!

One of my favorite books starts out by saying, “Life is difficult.” Another one of my favorite books starts out with the statement, “It’s not about you.” I believe you can combine those two statements and have a delicious recipe for life. When you find yourself really struggling, that is the time to remember, that it is not about you. For if you focus too much on what you are going through, then you may miss the strength that comes from seeking out God and His plans for you. We are told in Matthew 6:33 “To seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness…” Always seek God first in every situation and life goes better, even with the bumps and bruises.

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