By Maria Fontaine
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Though times of trouble are clearly a part of the world around us as they have been for many of God’s children down through history, the good news is that you do not have to dwell on the troubles! As you know, the Lord has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
When you are faced with the possibility of troubles of any kind, you may be tempted to become engulfed in worries about what that might mean or what might happen, but you don’t have to take that path. One option is to decide to seek out the solutions that the Lord makes available and rejoice for the good.
You have to make a conscious decision to put your trust in Jesus no matter what the circumstances are. You have to choose to look beyond the troubles to the wonderful good that Jesus has promised to bring from them. Search not only for the obvious blessings but the seemingly hidden ones, such as the wisdom, the experience, and the stronger faith that can come out of these times, and pray for these.
He is surrounding and carrying you right here and now in spite of, or perhaps because of, the trouble. Both in the wilderness of today’s troubles and the desert of the times ahead, He has promised to make a “way” to walk with Him and to give us “rivers” of the living water of His Spirit to sustain us.1
You always have the power to choose how you will walk through any situation. Nothing, including all the powers of hell, can stop you from making your own freewill choices.
Trying to hide from the troubles, or worrying and fretting over them, only gives them more influence in your life; you don’t overcome them by worrying. You only add more stress, strain, and sorrow to the situation. In most cases, there is also a lot of good mingled with the problems. You have to be determined to look for it and use it to fight back, as you can do by praising Him for the blessings, for example.
The Lord wants each of His followers, regardless of our age or circumstances, to continue to persevere in spite of the troubles, depending on Him to bring us through as He sees fit. Whether they are present problems or potential ones in the future, He wants us to trust Him, knowing that He is right there with us. Whatever our burdens, we can be comforted.
As one of my favorite songs goes: “He gives us more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sends us more strength when the labors increase. To added affliction, He adds His great mercy, to multiplied trials His multiplied peace.”2 He’s with us every step of the way. He will never leave us nor forsake us. There is always good within reach, if we refuse to focus on the waves and instead focus on Jesus and His blessings.
How to look at things with faith
Words from Jesus
Faith doesn’t somehow make you impervious to problems, fears, or worries about what might come in the future. Faith doesn’t overcome what hasn’t happened yet. But it is there when you need it most, when you are face to face with something that is beyond you.
You just need to trust Me and do what I show you in the moment. Trust Me for the past, because you cannot change it. Cling to Me for today, because you believe in My love and My promise to work all things together for your good. Hold on to Me for the future, because it is ultimately in My hands.
You cannot put your faith in anything in this world, because sooner or later everything of this world will fail. I alone have the ability to cause all things to work together for good for you. You’ll see what I have promised come to pass.
Even if you are shaking in your boots, none of that matters, because it’s not you that has to overcome by your own might. And even if you feel you don’t have the strength to hold on to Me, I’ve promised to hold on to you.
When I asked My disciples if they would also turn away from Me after many had become offended by My words and had departed, Peter stated unhesitatingly, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”3
He was as good as saying, “I’m already feeling worried and scared over Your description of what they’re going to do to You! What if they do the same to me? What if I fail to have the strength when I need it most in the future? But even though I feel afraid now, I trust You, because I know You are the truth. So, what other option do I have? I know who You are, the rest will just have to be sorted out when the time comes. You’re keeping me now so I can stand with You in this moment. Whatever will come will come. The fact that You are holding on to me today is all that matters.”
That attitude of holding on is a key part of strengthening your faith each day. Use your trust in Me to motivate you to pray for others in their struggles and to lift up the hands that hang down, even if your own hands are trembling.
The core of faith is love, your love and trust in Me, My walking in love with you. It’s trusting in the incontrovertible fact that I will never leave you nor forsake you.
(Maria:) The tough times in our lives are very real and often very hard to bear, but stopping to realize that you’re not alone in this fight and that others have trod this path before and made it through can bring a big boost to your faith.
You’ll get through this
By Max Lucado
Joseph’s pit came in the form of a cistern. Yours came in the form of a diagnosis, a foster home, or a traumatic injury.
Joseph was thrown into a hole and despised. And you? Thrown into an unemployment line and forgotten, into a divorce and betrayed, into a bed and abused?
The pit. Life is reduced to one quest: to get out and never get hurt again. Not simply done. Pits have no easy exit.
Joseph’s story got worse before it got better. Abandonment led to enslavement, entrapment, and imprisonment. He was sucker-punched, sold out, mistreated. People made promises only to break them, offered gifts only to take them back. If hurt is a swampland, then Joseph was sentenced to a life of hard labor in the Everglades.
Yet he never gave up. Bitterness could never stake its claim. Anger could never metastasize into hatred. His heart never hardened; his resolve never vanished.
He not only survived; he thrived. By the end of his life, Joseph was the second most powerful man of his generation. His life offers this lesson: in God’s hands, intended evil becomes ultimate good.
Joseph would be the first to tell you, life in the pit stinks. Yet, for all its rottenness, doesn’t the pit do this much?—It forces you to look upward.
Someone from up there must come down here and give you a hand. God did for Joseph, and at the right time, in the right way, He will do the same for you.
Compiled from posts by Maria Fontaine published in 2019 and 2020. Adapted and republished May 2022. Read by Debra Lee.