When Times Are Tough...


In my distress I prayed to the Lord,

and the Lord answered me and set me free.

- Psalm 118:5 (NLT)

It happened many, many years ago, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I received a text from my supervisor the previous night stating to report to the Administration building the following morning. Just like that, the following day, I was unemployed. A single mother and jobless. I felt like my world was crashing down. How could this happen? How would I provide for my child? Why would God allow this to happen to me?

Each one of us have and will experience hard times. These hard times are often called tests. God uses these hard times to build our character and endurance. Hard times and tests build our perseverance. The hard times make us stronger. It is during the hard times we are to use our hope and faith to draw closer to God.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. - Romans 5: 3-5 (ESV)

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. - James 1:3 (NIV)

Ways to maintain faith during hard times:

1. Pray consistently.

Pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Praying continually allows us to not only make our requests known to the Lord, but praying also helps us to hear from God. It helps us to hear what it is that He wants us to do while we are going through that test.

2. Stay focused on God by reading His Word daily.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. - Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

It is in His word where we find His promises. It is through His promises that we build and maintain our faith. We can find comfort and peace in His word.

3. Remember our previous victories.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

It is important to remember that God will always be there for us. He will always see us through the hard times.

Think back to a time when you were going through a hard time and God came through. This is the reassurance that He will do it time and time again. It’s all about building perseverance.

I was unemployed for four months. During those four months, I remained faithful to God and God remained faithful to me. All our needs were met daily. Things may have been tight for a brief season, but we did not lack anything. This is just one struggle that I have experienced. But each struggle has made me stronger.

Sister, you may not see it while you are going through the struggle, but just remember that you will get through it. Cling to God. Continue to pray for His strength to get through the hardest moments. Maintain your faith and do not lose hope. God will see you through. He always does!

Reflection

1. Reflect on a time when you were going through a hard time and God came through for you.

2. Which of the three suggestions listed above do you think will be helpful to you when you are going through hard times?

Prayer

Father, You said that You will never leave us of forsake us. And we thank You for always being there. Please help us to remain faithful to You, as You are always faithful to us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

READ MORE DEVOTIONS...

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