Many of us today, are facing difficult times. For many, it seems like there is no hope. They have lost everything… Their job, their homes and for some, even their families. Troubled times are a fact of life, but we must realize that God has for us a better future for those who have trusted in Him. While it is easy to speak on difficult times, I know first hand the effects they can have and I want to share with you what I have learned and what I am still learning, in hopes that you too can find the strength you need to have hope for a brighter tomorrow.
I have seen it all when it comes to difficult times. I have been divorced, on the brink of a second divorce, had financial troubles, made very poor choices and even giving my two precious boys up for adoption, a decision that haunts me to this day. The heartache that I have felt during my lifetime, has on many occasions, brought on depression and feelings of worthlessness. I deal with some of my poor choices still to this very day. However, in the last 2 1/2 years, God has brought about a change in my life that will never leave me the same. You see, me and my current wife were headed down the road of divorce, papers filed and no hope in sight for a recovery. In a desperate plea, I cried out to the Lord… asking Him to show me what I was doing wrong and to please save my marriage at any cost. Broken before the Lord, He heard my cry. He saved my marriage, He restored it just as if it were brand new. But the most important thing I got out of it (and there were many things) was a promise of hope and Gods love for me. You see, what I was doing, and have been doing my entire life, was not allowing Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life. Yes, He was my Savior and while I had the reassurance of eternal life, at no point was He ever my Lord. Now, you must know, I am still a work in process, as we all are. But now I am focused on what the Lord has for my life and my family, instead of what “I” have in mind. While I still make mistakes, I can trust in the fact that God knows the very depths of my heart and is making me new day by day.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my LORD, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. Philippians 3:7-9
Now, you must also realize that even though my life and thought process have changed, the trials have not gone away. In fact, though they are different, they seem to be more challenging than ever. However, I know this is of the Father and He is allowing us to go through these trials to prepare us for a brighter tomorrow.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4
One of my favorite versus that carries me when I am feeling discouraged is Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. You see, the trials and difficult times we face while on this earth are Gods way of pruning the imperfections out of our lives, in order that we might be prepared for the coming of the Lord. When we look at our difficult times in that light or promise, it doesn’t make them easier, but it certainly makes them worth while.
In closing, I want you to know that God loves you dearly. And that there is a hope for a brighter tomorrow, if you allow the Lord of all creation to guide your paths. If you are a believer, can rest on the promises that God will never leave, nor forsake you. So run to Him, He is there waiting for you. ( The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. ~ Psalm 18-2-6)
If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, to be the Lord and Savior of your life. I invite you to hear this from the Lord.
God loves you so much. He counts you more special than the heavens and the earth. He knows all your burdens, all your pain and all your sorrows. He wants to help you, for the Bible tells us that, he has plans for you to prosper. It also says that, he who is weary, cast your burdens to Him and He will make your burden’s light. And last but not least, He loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son Jesus to die on the cross for your every sin…. past, present and future. ( “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16) You might say, I have done way to much in my life for God ever to forgive me. Well my friend, that is simply not the case. The Bible tells us that sin is sin… there is no greater sin than the next. There is only one sin that will separate you from God and eternal life and that is denying the Holy Spirit. The Bible also states, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ~ Romans 3:23. That means you, me, and everyone, except Jesus. No man has walked this earth and not sinned, no man except Jesus. Sin has separated us from God from the very beginning with Adam and Eve. That is why He sent His one and only Son Jesus to bare our sins on the cross. With His blood, you have been bought and paid for in full. He died for all mankind, but it is a gift of eternal life. And as with any gift, you must first accept it in order for it to be received. So today I invite you to join our family, a family of believers, a family that we call the Body of Christ. If you want and feel that the Lord is calling you, please join me in this prayer:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10 (New International Version)