Hello, welcome to my blog! Hope you’re having a great day? Today, I’m sharing thoughts on navigating difficult times, something most of us can relate to.
Troubled times can make a fool of anyone. Those who ought to comfort you or help you can easily become unsolicited advisers, sharing with you wisdom that you already have. This was the cry of Job in the Scriptures verses quoted below:
“But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?” (Job 12:3)
“I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all” (Job 16:2)
Job’s friends came offering advice and insights as to why he may have gotten into the problems he was experiencing, whereas the man just wanted some empathy, understanding, and perhaps help from his friends. This is a reminder of our inability at times to correctly decipher what people really need when we interact with them. It is why I strongly recommend silence when unsure what to say, especially to a person going through a difficult time. Your presence may do them more good than a thousand words, and your words may worsen the difficulty if not well chosen.
In troubled times, certain prayer requests make more sense to you that they did before, because you appreciate better the importance of not being pressured into a tight corner.
“Lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6:13)
“Pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath” (Matt. 24:20)
To deal with temptations we are unequipped to handle is the undoing of anyone. Succumbing to such temptations is often preceded by an internal identity crisis as you wonder how you got to that point. Even more, there are external circumstances that can worsen one’s crisis in troubled times. For example, dealing with an unfaithful spouse during an unemployment stretch can make one feel helplessly hopeless. This is the reason we pray God keeps us from temptations, and that we do not have to do deal with one crisis while weathering another.
So, what do you do in troubled times? First, be still. The inner rumblings of our hearts are often the reason we cannot sense divine direction in troubled times. Our thoughts may be many, and anxiety may increase, yet answers do not come. But if we are quiet, we can more easily be led by God.
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10a)
Secondly, give thanks. Our greatest shield against a miserable life is a thankful heart. In being thankful, we begin to see what is working well, while looking beyond our difficulties and challenges. We are reassured that God will do more for us when we remember his goodness today.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thess. 5:18)
Lastly, make your simple, heartfelt request to God with an assurance that he will hear and answer. Asking God for wisdom is often a good prayer request when unsure what to do. Do not preempt how God intends to answer your request, as that would be limiting him. Just trust that he will answer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Phil 4:6)
No matter how long your trials last or your answers delay, do not lose faith. God is very intentional about our lives, and hindsight has often proven that God is behind the scenes, making all things work together for our good. So, keep your confession of faith, and do not be moved from your persuasion that God will come through for you. Troubled times do not last, but people of faith do.
Hope you learnt something new or at least was reminded of something you knew? I pray you will always find strength to navigate difficult times. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section. Thank you!