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Hope, Truth, and Faith for Difficult Times
by Jan Hughes
3/10/2019 / Christian Living
How we deal with situations in this world has an eternal significance. The Lord has an eternal purpose for difficult times in our lives: We are to point others to Him, and help others draw closer to Him. The Lord works on our behalf to enable us to fulfill His plan and purpose for each of us when we believe the truth: the Bible is God's Word. Our hope is in His promises, not only for eternal life, but also His promise to make all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. His plan is to make us more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29) by following the example Jesus gave us. Not believing in the truth does not change the truth. Eternity is ahead. We choose whether to trust in the Lord and apply what He speaks to our hearts in all we go through, or we reject faith in Him and spend forever in agony, separated from Him. Believers in the Lord will be rewarded for responding to His Truth with faith and hope. He uses unpleasant, difficult, and even desperate states to cause us to cry out to Him (Luke 8:22-25). He wants us to put His Kingdom first (Matt 6:33). He blesses a commitment to follow Him without regard for the cost to us, or what we may gain, in this life. How we respond to trials in this life demonstrates how much we love and trust the Lord. We are to ask Him what we are to do with difficult times rather than ask Him why He allowed them. We do not yet see and understand everything with a complete knowledge as the Lord does. Our lack of knowledge and understanding does not diminish the faithfulness of the Lord. Our hope is in His power to lead us and uphold us by His love and faithfulness; our hope is not in ourselves. Remember that faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see (Heb 11:1, NLT). Suffering through difficulties does not necessarily mean that we are out of God's will. Christians have the Holy Spirit living within them to, among other things, convict us (not condemn us, as does the evil one) when we have gone astray. We cannot buy into what is not of the Spirit. Jesus suffered terribly while he was here, for the joy set before Him. Jesus did not follow worldly ways. He never sinned. Yet, He suffered to save others, even those who did not believe in Him. Should we not follow Him in accepting difficult situations with the joy set before us also in eternity? Should we break the Lord's heart by accepting the view of the unsaved and swallowing their lies? We must reject false teaching such as the declaration that if you had enough faith, this would not be happening to you. Difficult times are not evidence that what we hope for will not happen. Human so-called wisdom cannot supplant His truth. Faith cannot be in what we see rather than in the Holy One who we have not yet seen. A difficult situation is not just about one person; it is an opportunity for the Lord to enable His beloved to help others know Him, or know Him more fully. What God sees as good is not always seen as good by us. He sees the big picture, and we do not. He sees in the context of eternity, and how each difficult time, though upsetting or painful from the human perspective, fits into His plan to draw people to Him. God wastes nothing we do for Him (1 Cor 15:58). If we could see the entire scope of a situation in His perspective, we would not be distressed by difficulties. We overcome when we choose to trust our Savior's wisdom and ways. His thoughts and ways are far above our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Christians are to live by faith, not by sight. We are to live with total hope in the Messiah, total belief in His Word, and total faith in His faithfulness. Satan wants us to doubt God's love and faithfulness when we face unpleasant and even desperate times. Spiritual attacks are an indicator that we are serving the Lord. The evil one surely despises Christians and our efforts for the Kingdom of God. We cannot ignore or be naively unaware of how Satan both attempts to confuse us, distract us, and discourage us from pursing what the Lord would have us do in difficult times. We cannot overlook his hatred of the Lord, and thus, his hatred of the Lord's beloved. He will destroy anyone who allows him to do so if we choose to not trust the Lord (1 Peter 5:8). Satan wants us to focus on ourselves and to be angry toward God. Do not succumb to his tricks. What we may suffer in this life is just for a little while; the joys to come for faith in Him will last forever (1 Peter 5:10). The Lord's purpose in even difficult times is about saving souls. You and I, as believers in the Father through Jesus, are very privileged to be allowed to serve Him. Trust the Lord to tell you what to do with a time of difficulty. Nothing we do for Him is ever useless. How are we to comfort others with the comfort He has given us (2 Cor 1:4) unless we have been in need of Him? And who is more able to help a person in need than someone who has been brought through a similar situation by the Lord? A difficult time is a preparation to minister to others with His hope, truth, and faith. Sometimes it seems that He takes a long time to answer us, and to help us see His purpose. We may not know the full ramifications of what He has led us through, and what He leads us to do for Him, until we are in heaven. The Lord does not abandon or forsake us (Psalm 9:10).) Keep asking, seeking, and knocking. (Matt 7:8). Hold on to the hope, truth, and faith found only in the Lord. Depend on the purpose and eternal life and rewards to come that only He can give you. God bless you all. May you finish well for Him in this life. In Jesus' name, amen.
Jan Hughes is a Christian Licensed Professional Counsel with a private practice in Tyler, Tx. She specializes in Christian mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational issues. Encouragement to trust in the hope, truth, and faith of the Lord in difficult times.
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