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Finding Hope During Difficult Times

It’s important to understand that God never promised us a life free from problems. People who love and serve God are not immune to trouble. In fact, Psalm 34 mentions how righteous people will have difficulties, but God will help them through it all:

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

Notice that God didn’t say that Christians would have trouble-free lives. On the contrary, He says that the righteous person may have many troubles including a broken heart and a crushed spirit! It doesn’t seem right that people who are acting morally right (righteous) should have troubles, but we live in a world that is full of evil and sin, and sometimes we encounter difficulties because of that.

But getting through difficult times is possible because this scripture says that God will deliver the righteous person from ALL of his or her troubles! In fact, Romans encourages us that during times of trial, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

 

Jesus Promised Peace and Hope

Jesus knew what His mission on earth was: to give His life as the final sacrifice so that His blood could cleanse us from sin, making us right and acceptable to His holy Father.

Jesus knew that His disciples would have a hard time accepting this, so understanding what lay ahead, He tried to prepare them with these words:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

A gift doesn’t need to be earned; it’s given. A gift must simply be received. And peace of mind and heart is such a wonderful gift! Jesus knew that the only way we could have true peace and hope is from Him.

Jesus also said, “I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!”

Again, Jesus reminds His followers that they will have much trouble because they live in the world. In Jesus we have peace; in the world we have trouble. We must learn to “take hope” in Christ because He has power over the world.

 

God Will Never Leave Us

Hebrews tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” So His promises to give us peace and hope in difficult times remains the same. We can take hope during times of trouble that He will rescue us.

God promised to give His people a beautiful, abundant land in which to make their homes. But there were obstacles: there were giants living in this land, and God’s people had to fight for what God promised them.

Moses knew that the people would need encouragement as they faced their enemies: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Likewise, when we face difficulties, we can have hope knowing that God goes with us and that He will never leave us or forsake us.

 

We Must Do Our Part

When we encounter trouble, God will do His part if we will do ours. What does God expect of His people when they face problems?

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Notice that these scriptures both use “cast” which means to throw forcefully or get rid of, discard. Have you ever been fishing? Think about it like that. Just like casting a lure into a lake, God wants us to hurl our anxiety, worry and cares on Him.

Our part is to not hang on to problems but to give them to Him; this shows true trust in Him. God wants to help us, but we have to let Him help us by releasing our trials to Him.

Psalm 121 is one of my favorites:

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you … The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.”

 

According to this Psalm, what is our job? God expects us to lift our eyes to Him, not to keep our eyes on our problems. When we continually look at our problems instead of at God, we feel overwhelmed and hopeless. To have hope during troubled times, we must focus on God, not our difficulties.

When we realize that our help comes from the very Maker of the Universe, hope fills our heart and mind. When we understand that God never sleeps, that He watches over us continually, and that He won’t let harm come to us, we can have peace as we endure trouble.

Jesus encouraged His disciples: “Do not let your heart be troubled. You have put your trust in God, put your trust in Me also.” Trusting God is the key to having hope and peace in the midst of trials.

Life is hard – but God is good. We must not allow ourselves to lose hope during difficult times. Instead, when we trust in God, keeping our focus on Him and casting our problems on Him, we will have hope and peace regardless of our circumstances.

~ by Jennell Houts

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