As followers of Christ, we are not immune from the difficulties of life. Scripture clearly declares that "all that will live godly in this present world shall suffer difficulty" (2 Timothy 3:12). Nevertheless, in the midst of troubles, God always provides a way of escape. The escape, however, is neither the absence of adversity nor the final end of problems. The escape is not a path toward a problem-free life; the "escape" is the company and help of a Person in the midst of our troubles, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who will be with us "in the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4).
When our heart is broken and our dreams are shattered – when we face devastation beyond our strength or understanding – we have the blessed assurance of Christ's abiding Presence within us (Psalm 34:18). His Presence and precious promises alone offer peace and joy in the midst of chaos and disappointment.
If we're facing financial difficulties, for example, we can experience peace and joy! -- Christ is with us, holding our hand and offering His promise of provision (Philippians 4:19). If we're facing a serious doctor's report, we can experience peace and joy -- Christ is with us, holding our hand and offering His promise of healing (Exodus 15:26).
The promise of Hebrews 13:5-6 releases confidence and courage to face every trial:
"For God Himself has said, 'I will never, never let go your hand: I will never, never forsake you." So that we fearlessly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid: what can man do to me?'"
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you." - Isaiah 43:2
Here are some steps to follow when you feel the storms of life swirling around you and your loved ones and your peace and joy are beginning to wane (Psalm 27:13). You can and will overcome in the midst of life's difficulties (Romans 8:37):
1. NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR
The only right response is to choose to turn to God and believe His Word (affirming and meditating on the scriptures that will set you free and seeing the end result God is bringing to pass). Only then will you enjoy His Presence, experience true peace and overcome adversity (Isaiah 41:10).
Nothing in Heaven or on earth can prevent us from experiencing His love: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" The answer is no one and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35)!
Scripture also reminds us that, "In Your presence [is] fullness of joy; At Your right hand [are] pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). In God's Presence is everything we need to overcome in every situation (Psalm 46:1).
2. REJOICE AT MIDNIGHT
What, then, is our responsibility during times of difficulty? Our job is not to muster up the victory ourselves but to believe and declare God's goodness (through affirming and meditating on His word that applies to your problem) and then wait with expectancy to see how He intervenes. And surely our faith-filled rejoicing will get people's attention! Rejoicing in adversity is likely to cause a commotion in Heaven and on earth (Acts 16:23-40) and brings glory to God.
3. REBUKE FEAR
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Be aggressive with fear: do not allow that evil foe to gain one inch of ground in your soul! Instead, take up the promises of God and fight. Never give up and never agree with your adversary. You are not destined to fear and fail but to trust and triumph, because "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
4. GUARD YOU MIND AND HEART
Remember: as we think in our heart, so will our life be. We must guard our mind and heart with great vigilance (Proverbs 23:7). We must learn to stay firmly focused upon the promises of God (Isaiah 26:3). This practice alone will assure abiding peace. Think God's thoughts. Do not entertain the enemy's thoughts. It's that simple! God promises to keep us in perfect peace if we will keep our heart firmly fixed upon Him (Isaiah 26:3).
Together with dwelling on God's thoughts, we must cast down the enemy's thoughts, "destroying speculations and every lofty thing that raised up against the knowledge of God...taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." (2 Corinthians 10:5).
5. ENCOURAGE YOURSELF
Scripture is filled with encouraging passages revealing God's plan of victory for us. Consider Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope." And in Jeremiah 31:17, we discover that God's plans for us are filled with bright hope: "There is hope in your future says the Lord..."
"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and ground in love." - Ephesians 3:16,17
We can stay the course because of the enabling of the strength of the Lord in us! We are strengthened deep within so that we stand firm for the promises of the Lord for our life. We lean into the Lord with deep courage to believe for the impossible to be possible.
"This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:13,14
Through Him, peace is established deep within us, causing us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will lead us and guide us. He will lead us down the paths that He has DESTINED for our lives! This place of trust is beyond the natural ability of a person. It comes only through a relationship with the Lord, who will lead us and bring to pass all that He has ORDAINED for us.
Sign-up on the Albert Finch Ministry web-site: