by Pastor Tim Burt
Hard times of any kind—whether globally affecting all, or just personally affecting your own life—are a very revealing force. They reveal to each and every one of us the reality of our own human frailty, dependency, and character. We see each of these come to the surface in difficult times.
Hard times reveal just how much we aren’t in control of our lives. Hard times reveal just how much we don’t know what to do. They reveal our fears. They bring the worst of our character to the surface. Most importantly, to the person not blinded by their own pride, difficult times reveal how much we need God. And if we need God, we need His promises. You and I need His promises, but we need something more than His promises. We need sincere faith in His promises. Jesus died not only to offer us mercy in forgiving our sins, but also to make us His own children and leave us precious promises to put our faith in and to live by. 2 Peter 1:4 NIV “Through these God has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
There are times when you feel like you are in the lowest place in your life, with the devil accusing you as the sole fault of the troubles you are in. Even if that was true-which it seldom is, it wouldn’t be as though there was no hope. Yet the enemy of your soul wants to make you feel guilty, condemned, and hopeless. He’d like to convince you to quit and take your life. Most people have been brought to the point of experiencing those kinds of thoughts at some point in their life. I know I did.
Christians aren’t immune from hard times and discouragement, but they have something the world doesn’t! They have great and precious promises that God has made available to them! You can be in the lowest point of your life—feeling desperate, confused, and not knowing what to do or what steps to take—yet you open your Bible and as you do, pray God please speak to my heart and lift me from this place of hopelessness. Suddenly your eyes fall upon the words, “For you, O Lord, have delivered MY soul from death, MY eyes from tears, MY feet from stumbling,” Psalm 116:8. When you read those words, you know they are more than just words. You sense that God is speaking them to you personally. They have become your promise. This is a sacred place. It’s a gift from God. You are experiencing the love and power of God. And you’re suddenly lifted from hopelessness to hope! Only Christians have this benefit!
When the promises of God become real to you, then no matter what state of mind you’re in, good or bad, your heart immediately recognizes them and embraces them and hope is rekindled. Your hope is instantly increased and it’s at this point that miraculous things begin to happen in your life. Your mind calms down. You’re transformed in your emotions. You go from depressed and discouraged to one who wants to defeat the lies of enemy!
As a child of God, the promises belong to you! They will help lift you from despair reminding you that God always wants to help you in every situation. Psalm 94:16-19 (NLT) says, “Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out, “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
If all this still doesn’t convince you, then consider this prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples almost 2000 years ago. He didn’t just pray it for them just then, but also for you today! Believe that and you’ll know Jesus was praying for you way back then and still is today! John 17:20 “I am praying not only for these disciples BUT ALSO FOR ALL WHO WILL EVER BELIEVE IN ME because of the gospel they preach concerning me.” If Jesus prayed for you then, He cares for you now! That is a promise! That is the power that destroys discouragement! Embraces His promises in faith today!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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