Eight Things to Remember During Tough Times (part 4)
August 16, 2023
Eight Things to Remember During Tough Times (part 4)
Our character is formed in the tests and hard places we endure.
If you want to be used by God, be willing to endure some trouble!
1 Peter 5:10 (MEV)
But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
Tough Times are training times! (June 14)
Abraham – 25 years of trusting what he could not see.
Joseph – 13 years in prison, being lied about before he could be Prime Minister of Egypt.
Moses – 40 years tending sheep before he could lead a nation.
David – years dodging Saul’s spears and running for his life before he could become king.
Paul – 14 years alone with God before he entered in to what God had for him.
1. We are not immune from hardship. (June 28)
There are two kinds of suffering that Jesus endured:
Circumstantial and Substitutional.
2. Our journey through life is often filled with hard places.
Hardship, tests, difficulties are part of living on earth.
John 16:33 (NLT)
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.”
3. Sometimes, God allows us to go through a hard place! (July 12)
He may send you into a hard place in life for training…
As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up,
carrying them on its wings, so the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with Him.
4. Our response determines what the tough times produce in us!
Don’t despise the hard places in life.
Hardening the heart when times are tough keeps God from doing what He wants to do.
Opportunity to change..
James 1:2 (Phillips)
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character, men of integrity with no weak spots.
Philippians 4:11 (A.S.Way)
I have learned in whatever condition I am, to be independent of circumstances. I am schooled to bear the depths of poverty, I am schooled to bear abundance. In life as a whole and all its circumstances, I have mastered the secret of living – How to be the same amidst repletion and starvation, amidst abundance and privation. I am equal to every lot through the help of Him who gives me inward strength.
God wants to teach us to be independent of our feelings and circumstances, and dependent on Him!
In tough times, we learn to look past what is happening now, and focus on what God has to say…
Job 23:10b (NKJV)
But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
Psalm 66:10 (NKJV)
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
Isaiah 48:10 (NKJV)
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
John 15:2 (NKJV)
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 4:12-13 (AMPC)
Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. 13 But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].
Exodus 13:17-18 (NKJV)
Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the t êPhilistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.
Pressure reveals flaws…let the Father repair them!
Tests are opportunities to become spiritually strong.
The hard place is God’s method of taking us to deeper places in Him.
5. God will help you overcome it when the test is on!
Stay positive when the negatives hit hard!
Years ago God dealt with me about taking daily time to wait in His Presence and talk to Him about my struggles.
I had a huge pressure time when I was 30 or so when I pioneered a church in a small SC town.
I wanted to give up. That would have been the easy way out, and God would not let me take the easy way.
He spoke very sternly to me one day as I was thinking about all my problems and seeing no way out.
He told me to GET UP! I took my Bible and went to my backyard, and as I walked under the 10 or so oak trees there, God gave me the following scriptures that really gave me hope and kept me from quitting.
We all need hope that things will improve when life is hard!
Hope is the anchor of the soul!
Hebrews 6:18-19 (NKJV)
That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
If all you see is the problems, you’re looking at the wrong things!
Psalm 27:5 (God’s Word)
He hides me in his shelter when there is trouble. He keeps me hidden in his tent. He sets me high on a rock.
Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 37:39-40 (NKJV)
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.
Psalms 37:39-40 (TPT)
But the Lord will be the Savior of all who love him. Even in their time of trouble God will live in them as strength. 40 Because of their faith in him, their daily portion will be a Father’s help and deliverance from evil. This is true for all who turn to hide themselves in him!
Psalm 46:1 (AMPC)
God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Psalm 50:15 (NKJV)
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.
Psalm 86:7 (NKJV)
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me.
Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.
Romans 8:37 (AMPC)
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
Bob Yandian: Because Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), that means that God had the answer before the problem ever came!
Ask for the deliverance and then stand in faith!
These scriptures moved me away from my thoughts to God’s thoughts about my rough place. They let me know He was watching, and was ready to help me, and that He would be with me and would help me until the storm, the hard place, ended.
6. God wants us to take advantage of hard times to allow Him to develop our character!
- Do you become angry and defensive when facing a challenge, or do you humble yourself and ask God, what are You seeking to show me?
- Do you remember that in tough times God promises to deliver us?
- Do you ask God to make a way out of the problem, and then do you stand in faith until the problem passes?