Encouragement for Difficult Times

Are you struggling through difficult times? Do you feel like you can't cope anymore? Are you struggling financially? Are you trying to cope with the illness or death of a loved one? Are you struggling with an illness yourself? Do you feel like God is no longer there? Have you no one to turn to? Is it a struggle to get out of bed each morning? Well be assured and encouraged, you are not alone - God loves you and will see you through these difficult times.

Troubles Will Come - Life on this earth is tough and can be full of struggles and difficult times. Jesus knows the troubles we face as He told his disciples ...

'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.' (John 16:33)

Being a Christian is tough and Jesus said you will have troubles, but you don't need to face these troubles alone.

'I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.' (John 17:15)

God is always there for you even when you feel far from Him or can't feel his presence.

'Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.' (Psalm 139:7-10)

God is there for you. He hears your prayers and Jesus promised that He is always with us ... 'And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.' (Matthew 28:20).

Why Me? ... Why Not?

When difficult times come it is so easy to cry to God, "Why me?" and ask God to take our troubles away from us. Suffering and trials are part of life since the fall when sin entered our world. So when you are feeling sorry for yourself about situations you face, don't ask "Why me?" Instead ask "Why not me?"

'Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of never give up many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.' (James 1:2-3)

The Bible tells us that these difficult times will test your faith, but remember God is still with you and won't give you more than you can handle. God will provide everything you need to cope with your situation if you trust in Him.

In Hebrews Chapter 11 we read of great examples of those who had faith. All of them had very different contrasting lives. Some examples are below ...

- Abel died for his faith.

- Enoch didn't die and was taken to Heaven.

- Joseph became rich and a successful leader in the end.

- Moses became poor and lost his status as Pharaoh's son.

Some people died for their faith while others lived. When hard times come, no human being can fully understand or relate to how you feel or what you are going through. We all have different paths to walk.

What Should We Do in Difficult Times?

1. PRAY

'Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need' (Hebrews 4:16). Only God can understand your life and He is there for you. He will provide you with everything you need. Pray continually, trusting that God will help you. 'In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.' (Psalm 18:6). Cry out to God believing that He will hear and answer you.

2. HAVE FAITH

'And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.' (Hebrews 12:1-3). These verses in Hebrews encourage us to "run with perseverance". Keep the faith and trust in God.

3. FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS

'Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.' (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). No matter how difficult our trials are, remember they are only temporary and short compared to sharing eternity with God. Cling to this promise.

4. READ GOD'S WORD AND MEMORISE ENCOURAGING VERSES

Remind yourself of these encouraging verses when you are struggling. Be like the Bereans and study God's Word everyday, because true encouragement can only be found in the Word of God.

'Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.' (Acts 17:11)

'Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.' (Psalm 119:105)

To finish this page I have included a song below that I find encouraging when I am facing difficult times. I encourage you to close your eyes and take time to listen to the truths it shares.