Overcoming Hardship…

titanic sinking (1-6-14)

Recent question from a dear friend of mine:

When God allows the devil to bring negative things into my family, what is the best way to deal with them?

I pray and ask for guidance for myself and my family, but it just keeps getting harder and harder to deal with.

There “seems to be” no real positive outcome, even though in time I know there will be.

I just need to know and understand a better way to deal with hardships. my family and I have been through many this week, and I just want some peace of mind for us all.

My Response

Great questions and comments! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. God’s solutions are not easy, but they are simple–here are some ways to deal with difficult situations:

1. Continue to worship/praise God for Who He Is. It is VERY DIFFICULT sometimes to find reasons to thank God for what He does for you, especially if you are in a season where many things aren’t working out the way you want them to. In such a season when you have the “opposite of the Midas touch” and so many things seem to be changing for the worse, praise/worship God for His character which NEVER CHANGES!

-His patience with you (e.g. when it takes you a long time to learn what He is teaching you),
-His generosity towards you (food, shelter, water, medicine, clothing, etc.),
-His unconditional love for you (e.g. in providing His only Son Jesus to die for your sins),
-His mercy for you (e.g. not giving you the bad that you deserve),
-His grace for you (e.g. giving you the good that you don’t deserve), etc.

“At this [upon hearing of the sudden simultaneous death of ALL TEN of his #children], Job…fell to the ground in worship”(Job 1:19-20 NIV).

2. Continue to look for the positive/good things that God provides (in other words, remember that as bad as your life might be right now, it could ALWAYS BE WORSE!). Regarding suffering it is very easy for sinful humans to have myopia (i.e. only being able to see/focus on the bad things in life); what we need is for God to help clear up our blurry vision to see the panorama or wide angle perspective: do you have clean water to drink today (HALF of the world does not)? Do you have clothes to wear (many in the world do not)? Do you have food to eat today (many do not)? Do you have people in your life who love you? If you called 911 because you needed to go to the Emergency Room, would an ambulance pick you up? (YES!) Do you have an intelligent mind that can learn and grasp truth/knowledge? Thanking God for blessings like these and others is a way that we fill our minds with what is good, noble, pure, and holy (Philippians 4:8); filling our minds with such things is a great way to endure difficult seasons in life because it naturally leaves less room for negative/pessimistic/cynical thoughts. Please click HERE for a list of God’s blessings in my own life.

3. Pray. ALL THE TIME! God promises to guard our hearts and minds with His PEACE when we constantly bring our requests to Him–WITH THANKSGIVING!–through prayer (Philippians 4:6-8). Trouble praying? Please click HERE.

4. Please click HERE for some other thoughts on why God allows us to travel through stormy seas;
please click HERE for encouragement to never give up;
please click HERE for some thoughts on why God allows evil;
please click HERE for God’s resume (credentials) to be in charge of our lives;
please click HERE for thoughts on handling suffering.

I hope this is helpful, my friend–please know that I am praying for you all!

In Christ…