Tag Archives: encouragement during trials

Just Be Held

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“The Eternal God is your shelter; He holds you up in His everlasting arms.”

Deuteronomy 33:27a (VOICE)


Just Be Held ~ A beautiful message to remind us that God will never let go, no matter what.

“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place. Not a tear is wasted, in time you’ll understand. He’s painting beauty from the ashes; Your life is in HIS hands.” ~ Just be held. (Casting Crowns)

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Rock Bottom

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Rock Bottom

“He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and the clay.

With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock;

He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.”

Psalm 40:2 (VOICE)

Have you ever been so low that “up” is the only way out? If you find yourself in a situation like that today, remember that God is the ROCK in your bedrock. No matter how deeply mired you are in life’s muck and the clay, He is right there beside you ~ ready to take your hand in His and lift you to higher ground. He sees each teardrop that streams down your cheeks and hears your cries for help. His love is greater than anything you are going through.

So go ahead and reach out to God’s gentle grasp. He will pull you out of that dark hole where you find yourself stranded, and set you down safely on a firm foundation. He will hold you there, wrapped in His divine embrace, until you are steady enough to continue on your journey again. In your weakness, He will be your strength.

Take comfort in knowing that He is the Rock at the bottom of your pit!

“The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Savior; my God is my Rock in whom I find protection. He is my Shield, the Power that saves me, and my Place of Safety.” Psalm 18:2 (NLT)

Be a Rainbow in Someone’s Cloud

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“What a wonderful God we have—He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy,and the One who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:3 – 4 (TLB)

God is the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort. When we go through trials and heartache, He comforts and strengthens us. But that’s not where it ends.

Like one-the-job-training, when we experience difficult circumstances, we become uniquely equipped to help others who might be experiencing similar hardships. While some might see failure and loss, God sees divine qualifications to be used mightily for blessing others. Our painful struggles give us a vocabulary to encourage and support other people who are going through the same things, and our despair allows us to empathize with their difficulties. When you view life’s anguish through God’s perspective, your miseries can be turned into your ministry.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud today!

“Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them.”

Luke 6:31 (VOICE)

God Bends Down To Hear Your Prayers

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I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them.
Because He bends down and listens,
I will pray as long as I breathe!  
Psalm 116:1 – 2 TLB
 

Imagine this scene:  “He bends down and listens”…the Creator of the Universe bends down from heaven to hear the prayer you whisper from your lips…the King of Glory stoops down from His throne to incline His ear to your request…your loving Heavenly Father leans down close enough to listen to the words of His precious child….

This awe-inspiring scene is actually our reality.  The blessed truth is that your prayer will always reach God’s ear.  He knows your unique voice, and He hears each plea, request, and petition.  He listens carefully to each prayer of adoration, thanks and supplication.  Not only does He hear your prayers, but He also answers them. He doesn’t always answer them exactly how we think they should be answered, but He answers them according to His best for you.

If you are lonely, God is near.  If you are discouraged, God is listening.  If you are worried, God is attentive to your cares.  If you are afraid, God hears your pleas for help.  If you are heartbroken, God is leaning close enough to hear your cries.

“I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them…”  Because of this amazing truth, “I will pray as long as I breathe!”

Yet I Will Rejoice

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Cardinal in snow crop“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce not food,

 though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

YET I WILL REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR.  

 The sovereign Lord is my strength;

He makes my feet like the feet of the deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”  

Habakkuk 3:17 – 19 (NIV)

The verse above describes some very bleak circumstances:  starvation, desolation and loss.  Perhaps you are experiencing difficult times in your life:  Job loss? Financial struggles? Illness? Heartache? Or the loss of a loved one?  When everything around you is going wrong and the burdens you face seem to be more than you can bear ~ even when all is lost ~ God is still there!

What should our response be when we experience hardship or trials?  Some of us might begin to question why a just God would allow bad things to happen to His children.  Why does an all-powerful God ~ who can do anything ~ not prevent tragic events from impacting our lives? We might begin to doubt Him, and our faith might waiver during difficult times. Yet Habakkuk proclaims that even during devastating circumstances, he will still rejoice in his Savior and have faith in God’s ability to strengthen him.

At some point in time, we all experience difficulties in life.  Jesus Himself told us, “…In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33 NIV)  He knew that our lives would not always be easy.  But the conclusion of that verse gives up great hope, “…But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  So even though the world will bring us trouble, our Savior has overcome the world!   

If the circumstances of your life seem to be constantly churning with tumultuous changes, “take heart” and place your hope firmly in the unchanging Lord of your life. Rejoice in this truth:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)  Trust in the eternal love, mercy, grace, and goodness of God, and realize that your “faith muscle” is being strengthened during times of adversity.  Don’t allow your attitude to be dictated by your circumstances, but rather find joy ~ and your strength to keep going ~ in Jesus Christ. Perhaps God has a better opportunity for you on the other side of this hardship, but you have to have faith in Him to see you through the dark valley.  So when your life appears to be crumbling to pieces all around you, rejoice in the fact that Christ is your firm and solid foundation.  “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.”  (Psalm 62:2 NIV)

God’s Love in the Midst of Our Mistakes

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“Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.”

Psalm 7:15 – 16

Let’s face it. We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  And sometimes the deep pit in which we find ourselves is a result of our own doing.  Improper judgment in relationships, mismanagement of finances, misuse of time, poor decisions about those with whom we associate, exploitation of power, substance abuse, gambling, adultery, lying, cheating, inappropriate media, etc.… can all lead to destruction in our lives. 

Scoop by scoop, the hole gets deeper and deeper.  Then when we wake up at the bottom of the slimy pit, which we dug with our own hands, we look up and try to blame God or others around us for our problems.  We wonder why God would “allow” this pain and suffering we are experiencing.  But the harsh reality is that our own decisions and actions caused the trouble in our lives.  Our greatest difficulties are often a result of consequences we bring on ourselves.

If you find yourself at rock bottom due to ramifications of your own mistakes, there is a brilliant ray of hope shining brightly into the dismal abyss. Regardless of what you might have done to land in the depths of this destruction, God stands ready with arms wide open to grace you with His blessed redemption.  His unfailing love and compassion for you is so great that you can never fall so far that you are out of His reach.  He holds the deepest valleys in His mighty hands, and wherever you find yourself, He is there. Yes, He will sometimes allow you to suffer the consequences of your bad decisions, but He’s always ready to redeem your life once you call to Him for help.

There is no pit deep enough to outmatch God’s unfathomable love for you.

Lift up your arms to the Lord because He’s already waiting to pick you up.   His eyes are full of grace, mercy, and compassion…not condemnation.  Call to Him for help, and He will hear your cry.  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38 -39

“I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”
You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

You, Lord, took up my case; You redeemed my life.”

Lamentations 3:55 – 58

Related Verses:

“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”  Lamentations 3: 31 – 33

“In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”  Isaiah 38:17b

“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.” Psalm 139:7 – 8

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.” Psalm 71:20 – 21

“And they will go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’ “ Job 33:27 – 28

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

A Safe Haven

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Beautiful Harbor North Lake Tahoe with boat

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.

He calmed the storm to a whisper
    and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
    as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.

Psalm 107:28 – 31(NLT)

Just imagine the amazing feeling of relief and deliverance when sailing into a peaceful harbor after passing through a dark and tumultuous sea…

The disciples endured a similar experience as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus was on board the boat, but He had fallen asleep, seemingly unaware that they were in the midst of a sudden and fierce tempest.  High waves were breaking onto the boat, and it began to fill with water.  The disciples’ hearts were melting with fear, and they cried out to Jesus for help.  “When He awoke, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.” (Mark 4:39)  The terrified disciples were struck with awe after witnessing this miracle and asked themselves, “Who is this man?” … “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4: 41)

Are you sailing through a tempestuous season in your life’s journey? Your heart may be gripped with overwhelming fear as giant waves of affliction seemingly crash over your head.  You are tossed up and down with no ability to control your course.  As a child of God, there are no guarantees of smooth sailing throughout life, and sometimes there will be seasons of extreme turbulence. Like the disciples, you may be right in the middle of God’s will, doing exactly what He has instructed you to do, but still you may experience a sudden life storm.  In the midst of the turmoil, hold tightly to the promise that Jesus is always right beside you…He’s in your “boat” in the midst of the storm.  He stands ready to calm your turbulent circumstances and save you from your extreme distress. Instead of being fearful, trust completely in the One whom the wind and the sea obey.  Watch in awe as He guides you into a safe haven, and praise Him for His great love and the wonderful things He does in your behalf.  Peace!  Be Still!

 “This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself…” Hebrews 6:19(TLB)