Difficult Times

In today’s world we can be lead to believe things are hopeless.  However, if we put God’s Word in our hearts and mouth we can fight off every unbelieving thought and every troublesome circumstance that comes to steal that Word.  Remember God’s Word is part of our inheritance as His child.

Here are six scriptures to stand on to build your faith in difficult times.

Isaiah 41:10: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Psalm 9:9-10: The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

Psalm 145:9: The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.

John 16:33: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13: For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength

Hang In There, Till You Win! 

      

We all face emergencies periodically in our lives. You may even be facing one today.  That crisis could involve your finances, maybe your children, or even your marriage.  The resolution is still escaping you; even though you have done all you can do resolve it.  However, most of the time human effort isn’t enough. You need divine help.

However, as the pressure mounts, overwhelming you, those scriptures you memorized seem to fade away.  What can you do?

First of all – don’t quit.  Don’t give up! Victory may be right around the corner.

Keeping your faith is toughest when you’re being bombarded by the devil’s arrows.  Don’t give in to the pressure.  Stand your ground!  Search the Word for the answer.

Satan knows your victory lies in the Word.  That’s why he does everything he can to prevent your search.  He’ll present the problem as hopeless, as an insurmountable mountain.  He’ll try to convince you God’s promises are untrustworthy.  He knows that if you pursue the Word, you will find the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32).

Victory comes through God’s Word.  God’s dear promises are true and forever. The power to overcome your problem is in the Word.  Stand your ground!  Be steadfast!

Don’t let circumstances drive you away from the Word. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11 NASB).  Hold your ground!

To every person who will stubbornly believe, victory will come – no matter what happens!  James 4:7 tells us if we resist the devil he will flee.  So, make him run, and run hard!

Now it sometimes takes longer for our prayers to be answered.  This is why it takes more than faith to move the mountain.  Patience is also required.  Faith and patience are the “Power Twins.”  Hebrews 6:12 states it is through patience and faith, that we inherit God’s promises. We can remain steadfast while God is working out our circumstances because our faith is undergirded by the spiritual force of patience.  Because of this spiritual force we can stand strong in our perseverance.  We can stand until the answer comes.

Unfortunately, religious tradition has taught us patience is a passive attitude that lies down and takes whatever comes.  However, patience is a mighty spiritual force that enables us to hold our ground in the thick of any crisis.  Miracles are produced through the power twins, Faith and Patience.  Hebrews 10:35-36 reprimands us regarding our use of faith and patience. “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.  Remember the great reward it brings you!  Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”

Now you might think you don’t have enough faith to do the job when circumstances become overwhelming.  But more faith is not what you require.  Put the force of patience to work.

How do you do that?  You begin by deciding to win!  No matter what happens, from the get go, you take the position – you’re going to win.  When you pray in line with the Word, make that quality decision that nothing – and I mean nothing – will pry you loose from what God says.  If not, when things get dicey, you’ll let go of the Word.

Then you need to know how to recognize the strategies of the devil.  He will always attempt to discredit the Word of God.  However, he has been using the same tactics since Adam and Eve.  He led Eve to doubt God’s Word.  In Genesis 3:1 he questioned, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” With those words he asked, “Are you sure that’s what God said?”  This is the same trick he pulls on you.  When he asks ”Are you sure God wants you well?”, “Are you sure God wants to deliver you?”, Are you sure God wants your family saved?”, he’s trying to discredit God’s promises.

You must learn to recognize this tactic or you will begin to question whether or not it really is God’s will.  If you don’t believe it is God’s will, you will give in to Satan and the circumstances by letting go of your faith.  But you don’t have to ponder God’s will in any situation.  His Word is His will.  If you pray according to the Word, you have prayed directly in line with God’s will.  You don’t have to wonder anymore.

When you wonder, you waver.  James 1:6-7 tells us the one who wavers shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord.  You receive your miracle by connecting to the Word.  When pressure comes, refuse to waiver.  Hold on to the Word.

Colossians 2:15 gives us the promise to stand on in the thick of the battle.  “He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.  He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.”  Jesus, by His death on the cross, disarmed the devil and all his followers.  They were left powerless.  1 Peter 5:8 says “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  But he has been disarmed.  Even though he roars loudly, the devil is nothing but noise.  He has no bite, for he has no teeth. Jesus called him the father of lies.  In order to defeat you, he must discredit God’s Word.

Deception is the devil’s stock and trade.  He will attempt to present the situation as hopeless, without any means of escape.  But if you are a born-again child of God, there is always a way out.  1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Religious tradition has taught this verse says, “God will let you suffer in your trial until you reach your breaking point.  When He’s sure you can’t take any more, He will provide an answer you can tolerate.”  But God has not left us to the mercy of our antagonist.  There is no mercy in the devil.  He “fights dirty” to win.  However, he can only fight with weapons common to man, or with natural weapons.  “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

God doesn’t have an arms limitation foreign policy.  He creates a greater counterattack weapon for every weapon the devil uses to destroy you.  For every stronghold of deception, there will always be greater spiritual armor placed at your disposal.  Satan has limitations.  You do not.  When fear and despair tempt you, remember together faith and patience bring victory.  Cast down those fiery darts in the Name of Jesus!

Put this powerful pair to work in your life: faith – to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and patience – to keep you steadfast when Satan challenges God’s Word.  Together they will empower you to endure Satan’s pressure without surrendering to it.  They will give you the endurance to stick to the plan until the battle is won!

Matthew 14:28-29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

It’s easy to be so afraid of making a mistake that you never get around to stepping out on faith. You can spend all your time wondering, “Is this faith? What if I exercise my faith for something and find out later I’ve missed God’s will?”

Don’t worry. God can handle any mistake you can make. I know because I’ve made plenty of them. When I do, I just go to the Lord and He tells me, “Stay on the Word. Together we’ll overcome this thing.” And we always do.

If you act on the Word out of the sincerity of your heart and you steadfastly stay with the Word, Jesus will never let you down…no matter how many dumb mistakes you make. He proved that the night Peter jumped out of the boat in the middle of the lake.

Have you ever stopped to think about that incident? Peter hadn’t been praying or seeking God’s will before he did that. On impulse he just blurted out, “Lord, if it’s You bid me come.”

What was Jesus supposed to say? He couldn’t very well say, “It’s not Me.” I suppose He could have said, “Wait a minute, your faith’s not strong enough to jump out. You should stay in that boat or you’re going to drown.”

But He didn’t say that to Peter–and He won’t say it to you. If you want to get out and walk by faith, He’ll get out there with you and pick you up when you start sinking. He’ll walk you back to the boat if He has to.

It’s better to risk being presumptuous than to waste your life in the boat of unbelief! If you have to, just dive into the water and say, “God, help me!”

Don’t let fear keep you from taking that step of faith.  So go for it!  Step out of the boat!