Friday, January 29, 2010

In the Hard Times....

Lately it seems that so many of my friends are going through a difficult time.  Tribulations are pounding them from every angle, jobs, finances, family issues -children and spouses, relationships gone awry.  Those are the times that we have to stand firm in our faith, but it can also be the most difficult to stand.  That's when our friends are so very important to us, those friends that are filled with faith.

Our words can greatly affect not only our situation, but that of those around us.  We can speak words of life or we can speak words of death.  I'm not saying to tell your friend who is going through a hard time, that they need to stop being down and sad and put a smile on their face.  The Bible tells just as much.  Singing light songs to the heavy hearted is like pouring salt in their wounds. (Prov. 25:20 -msg)  But it also says that A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. (Prov. 25:11 - AMP) 

So how do we deal with the hard times as people of faith, people who hold the promises of the Living God?  We remember His promises. We remember His words.  We exhort each other in these things.  That is what it says in God's Word.
We have to be serious about the life God has called us to live, even in the hard times.  Not in a fake, meaningless, pretend you're happy because Christians are supposed to be kind of way, but in a real faith-founded Christ-follower kind of way.  The only way to do that is to keep our eyes constantly looking to Him who is the finisher of our faith.  In Colossians Paul writes to the believers the following:
Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words -Acts 15:32

That is how we deal with hard times, we look to God for His perspective.  Many times we want to respond in our flesh.  We want to bring justice about because we don't see it happening without our help.  We want to fix the problems around us (anyone else out there ever try to be a fixer?).  But many times that's not our duty and we are taking on something that God never intended.  We just need to be there, it is God who will work out the situation.  There is so much peace that comes with that realization. 
So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. -Colossians 3:1-2 (MSG)

One of my favorite worship songs is Refuge by Darrell Evans.  The lyrics are:
Refuge, You're my refuge, When the world is shaken, And nothing stands, I will hold on to Your hand, Refuge

God is my refuge, and He is your refuge.  He is our ready help in time of trouble.  He has given us promises that He is faithful to keep.  He is good. We can pour out our heart to Him, the good, the bad, the emotions, the joy, hurt, and pain.  God opened up a way for us to have that kind of relationship with Him, one of restoration, and He is the restorer.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). -John 10:10 (AMP)
That is what I am standing on, and what I am encouraging my friends to stand on as they go through trials.  Christ came for us.  He died for us.  He rose again, so that we might have life in abundance, even when we don't feel the abundance.  This is a promise we can hold on to.  He is our source, our refuge, our healer.
I enclosed a link to a short film called Validation.  It is a great perspective on how the words we speak to others affects them.  This is a great video.  Enjoy!
This is my prayer for today: "Lord, let the words of my mouth be focused on your heart.  Forgive me for trying to take matters into my own hands and fix the, both in my life and in the life of those around me.  Help me to see those around me with your heart, to show compassion, hope, and to share what those around me are going through while offering your strength.  May Your love flow through me to those hurting that surround me.  In Christ's Name, Amen."


Donna said...

Good post Jenn - a solid word as we walk through the tough times.

Spring Fricks said...

Very much needed. Spoke directly to my heart. Thank you.

Melanie said...

'Just wanted you to know I came by.
Still trusting...