We all encounter difficult seasons and circumstances in our life. The shepherd is always looking to protect his sheep. That is the shared faith of God’s people. Living by the truths in this message will enable you to enjoy God’s peace while those in this world panic. In the last few days, I’ve heard about prodigal children, aging parents, worries about the future, divorce, breast cancer, an infant with a serious medical condition, children far from God, Christians dealing with doubt, others with fear, and still others dealing with lingering bitterness. There is one other kind of faith that will help us in hard times. Praise Him in the times of glory and Praise Him in the times of trouble. While we were preparing for the broadcast, he told me, “Ray, I heard something today that really helped me. You are never alone no matter how you may feel. Yet storms often come to believers to make them able to stand firm, rather than to blow them away (cf. People need to be encouraged today. This and other sermons brought to you by Faith Chapel, an Assemblies of God church in Pleasanton, CA. For the believer, the rod is like the word of God and the staff is the Holy Spirit. David, Paul, and Jesus each command us not to fret, not to worry. Devo. Many of them are unbelievers who wonder if Christ is real. You can get the words of encouragement for a friend who is going through tough times of his/her life. In Habakkuk 3:19, after rejoicing in difficulties, the prophet says, “God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” It is the Lord who enables us to rejoice in hard times… “Jesus is never tolerant of sin, but always willing to forgive it. But if you shift your focus to God, then you can find joy even in the worst moments of life. He is present in your situation. Faith in God’s Presence—that he is with us in the darkest moments of life. Amen to God's loving and caring people as yourself. In Job 14:1, the word of God stated, that a man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. “You know quite well that we were destined for them” (v. 3b). In fact, this is the opposite of chance or circumstance. She wants to be free but the pain of coming off heroin is so great that she cannot face it. The Holy Spirit will guide, comfort and help. But God never intended that you should walk through the lonely valley by yourself. God gave us the Bible so that “through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). This short message from the heart is for you. The issue is really how the sheep (you) choose to respond to the shepherd. People would be lovers of themselves, lovers of pleasure instead of God; they would be abusive, unforgiving, and having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. In fact, a form of this word, parakletos is used for the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:3-4 spells out how this process works: “We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” We all want hope, but we don’t want affliction. Hard times eventually wear us down. The words of encouragement can give true hope to someone and can make morale up. The following Tuesday he announced that he has been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer and the prognosis is grim. I received a note from someone who found her way back to God after a long time in the wilderness: I felt I should tell you a little bit of a story in hopes it might help someone else. Hope and Encouragement. No! You represent Christ to the world; and the love and mercy of God to each other. Find rest in Jehovah-Rohi: There's power in the name! Haggai 1:2-11: Have you become distracted, discouraged, or dissatisfied? When you are feeling down or depressed, look up and call out to Jesus. James 1:2 reminds us to “Count it all joy” when you encounter various trials. Thomas Constable has a very helpful word at this point: When trouble comes, Christians often react by doubting that they are where God wants them to be; they often think that they have done something wrong and that God must be displeased with them. David knew that it is hard to avoid fretting. Some people go through life as professional victims, always talking about how they have been mistreated. The Bible is a fantastic book! What do you do when your world caves in? Life can be scary, especially during hard times. You are not alone. That was on Thursday. Fretting—or worrying—is a sin. Be victorious with El Elyon: There's power in the name! The strength and power of the spirit of God is within you. Faith in God’s Word—that it is true no matter what happens to us. Romans 8:15-30: Feeling scared, overwhelmed, exhausted, or frustrated? When your trials are over, you will come forth as gold. Sermon Archive Home > Sermon Archive > Our One Anothers > View Sermon “Thriving In Hard Times” March 25, 2020 by Terry Baldwin. Sermon. We have a great God who loves us more than we know. May these inspirational bible verses provide that same heavenly comfort to you in your difficult times. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials” (vv. Here Paul plainly says that we can overcome our trials by faith. You may not see a way out of the situation you find yourself walking in today; but know this, you are not alone. Dear congregation, Have you ever noticed that sometimes trouble comes in batches? This is one of his favorite tools when the hard times involve problems with friends and family members. Know that you are not alone even though things may seem dark and overwhelming right now, and you may feel unsure of what’s coming next. All of us face difficult times. God’s Protection from Harm in These Crisis Times. If you don’t need this sermon today, put it in your back pocket because you will definitely need it tomorrow! We never suffer alone. For the non-believer, the shepherd is looking for you and desires for the two of you to be reunited. Little by little we lose the joy we once had. Brethren, it is common and natural to feel Isolated from God when we experience difficult times, however, the Bible assures us that God is present even when He seems far away! Loss—yes. The word “trial” comes from a Greek word that has the idea of being “under the thumb” because of pressure from above. The challenge is finding the courage to face difficult times. Give Careful Thought to Your Ways and Be Renewed, Encouragement for Moms - Nameless Heroes With Hearts of Love, Faced With a Difficult Situation? It’s a sin because God commands us not to do it. One day I joined him on Moody Radio for Primetime America, the program he hosted each weekday afternoon. Verses 7-8 reveal another way in which our trials are productive: “Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: Does your life show evidence of faith? 1-3a). Let us therefore endure our trials with grace and courage, knowing that in the end the clouds will part and the sun will shine again. Maybe you've lost your job, are battling a chronic illness or your marriage is falling apart. Live Your Faith Out Loud (part 2), Bring Hope in a Pandemic: Live Your Faith Out Loud (part 1), Impossible situation? Thank you for your words of encouragement and the reminder that The Lord will hold on to us when our grip loosens a bit. We need to remember that trials are not entirely negative. Then this message is for you. But what the enemy meant for evil, but God used for good. Call on God, El Shaddai - The Lord God Almighty, the ultimate authority. Anything hindering your witness? When hard times come, it’s easy to blame God for our problems. Encouragement in Difficult Times | Everyday Answers - Joyce Meyer. But you can control how you respond—in faith or unbelief, in humility or arrogance, in forgiveness or in anger, in hope or in despair. But when she is high, she begins to talk about God. Raised in a Muslim family, Nabeel became a Christian after reading the New Testament and encountering the claims of Christ. Her story demonstrates that simply having Bible knowledge cannot save you from the consequences of wrong decisions. And those who are following ever so close to him. Go get encouragement — faith-fueled courage. Find hope in El Shaddai: There's power in the name! Facing the Impossible? Some people may regard this as a negative, but to me it is a positive. We can chose to experience encouragement, joy, peace, confidence, faith and trust in God, etc., Bob Bodenhamer shares this experience: Saturday morning 4/8/2010, I received a call from Brisbane Australia. Then we get to v. 4, and it doesn't fit. He is the final authority. Many of you know from experience the unrelenting pressure from circumstances that keeps you awake at night and saps your strength during the day. As I survey the New Testament teaching regarding trials, two truths stand out. Thanks for your interest! Need a little pick-me-up? Moses reminds the Israelites of how … There is much fear and concern not only about the future, there is fear of the here and now. The word of God and the Holy Spirit brings reassurance and peace to your soul. Revelation 3:7-13: Feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Fear not, Christian friend. Second, your particular trial doesn’t matter as much as how you respond to it. Remember the shepherd and the shepherd’s tools. Because I see things from a human perspective, I might actually hurt you instead of help you even though my motives would be good. Psalm 23: God, Jehova-Rohi—the Lord is my shepherd, knows where you are, and he will answer you. Summary: A severe health crisis in a family member drove me deep into the Scriptures, where I found comforting words from God in that time of adversity. When you find yourself in a valley or some dark place, such as a sickness or feeling depressed, a spiritual attack or a loss of some kind, it’s not the place you find yourself in that is important so much as the one who is with you. They may in fact be a sign that we are in the will of God. God is calling you to a deeper spiritual commitment and to fulfill the call of God on your life. God has ordained that your trials are part of his plan to make you like Jesus. God is much more concerned with how you respond than with the trial itself. I have firm faith that my soul is saved by the grace and mercy of the Triune God, and not by any accomplishment or merit of my own. Our hard times are designed to bring us closer to the Lord. I will hold on! Why? 5. Perhaps we’re sick and feel as if we’ll never get better again. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you” (v. 6). Paul is saying, “I can face my trials because I see how well you are facing yours.”. If you choose to publish excerpts from a sermon or article, ... Three Ways to Live for Christ in Hard Times 2 Corinthians 5:11-13 » Index for this sermon series. Like Adam in the Garden of … A few days ago we interviewed Nabeel Qureshi on American Family Radio about his new book No God But One: Allah or Jesus?. What kind of faith does he have in mind? Try our selection of worship songs and sing along! “Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers” (v. 16). I personally have much more confidence in someone who expects trouble and prepares for it than in someone who goes through life singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” The truth is, every rose has its thorns, and the sooner we understand that the happier we will be. The valley of the Some of these times are emotional, some are spiritual, some are physical and some are financial. Listen to the Spirit of God and press in. A student understands that God allows hard times in order to help him grow. Things may appear impossible, but with God you’ll have the victory. How does a Christian respond when hard times come? 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: Now, more than ever people need to hear there is hope. When God Almighty steps in, miracles happen. Or perhaps we’ve just gone through a divorce and we feel rejected and alone. We rejoiced. Then she walked out of my office. When you’re an imitator of the Lord, you become a model of how a person of faith should act and live. A woman sat in my office and told me a very sad story. (part 6), - Series: Inspire! Faith in God’s Power—that he can deliver us from every temptation. It means, exhortation, comfort, and encouragement. Paul Washer is founder of the HeartCry Missionary Society. Then I challenged her to become a woman of truth because the truth will set her free. “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. There is no gold without the fiery furnace. This short message from the heart is for you. Disappointment—yes. 1. What can we do to keep our faith strong? It shows you how you’re not alone, even if things seem overwhelming or you feel unsure of what’s coming next. So rejoice and be glad and take comfort; you have no reason to fear. It may seem so at the time, but it’s not really true. I don’t know what the future holds for Nabeel, but as I pray for his healing, I also pray that his faith might remain strong. Faith in God’s Character—that he is good and makes no mistake. If you’re having a hard time keeping your head above water, tell someone else. What happened to her can happen to any of us if we respond wrongly to hard times. So many words, so few study hours. Psalm 23:4: Struggling? (part 11), In a battle? In the hard times that we learn to persevere the Christian reaches upward towards God and outward towards the people of God In you were too look at Heb11, the people of faith there were born through adversity, each was tested, tried and found true and walked by faith. Were I to take away the pain, I might move too soon and block God’s work in your life. Your life, actions, and words have power and purpose. 4:15-16). A victim begs God to remove the problems of life so that he might be happy. As Tony Evans has pointed out, everything that happens in the world is either caused by God or allowed by God, and there is no third category. Trials will come but they are never to hurt you; rather they are to build you up. A little here and a little there and eventually she began to experiment with drugs. That’s what Paul feared for the Thessalonians. Keywords: Joy, hardship, trust, faith, encouragement, endurance. A situation may look dark and the shadows of all the problems you are walking through might appear impossible to you at the moment. There are no accidents with God, only incidents that are appointed by him for our good and his glory. Many people reading this message are going through hard times right now. The tools of the shepherd are the rod and staff. Difficulty—yes. The staff is used to correct, restrain, and pull to safety. First, he tempts us to doubt God’s goodness. We are not stuck with only one emotional choice when we go through difficult times: Fear or despair or depression,. One day you are announcing a new book; a few days later you are fighting for your life. He is all powerful, all knowing, and ever-present. Located minutes from downtown Pleasanton, in the San Francisco Bay Area, East Bay. I have turned to the Bible many times when looking for support and hope, and I always found what I needed. What Is Evidence of Faith? 2 Cor. Sermons: TRUSTING GOD IN DIFFICULT TIMES. Note two key words in the last phrase. A rod is a sign of power and strength to defend against attacks. Look to Jesus and you will find the strength you need. MUTUAL PRAYER FOR DIFFICULT TIMES 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 In this brief letter to the young church at Thessalonica, Paul teaches about the last days or end times. Satan tempts us to fall away during our trials. Jobs that were once considered stable are now questionable. Whatever you're experiencing, Jesus knows, and He’s able to deliver you. “For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. Let the light of the Gospel shine in your heart. It was from Lorna. But during a period of loneliness, she fell in with a bad crowd and began to dabble in sin. It seems tough times don’t have any problem finding each of us. In hard times, the words of encouragement can motivate your friends in a positive way. First, trials are the common lot of every Christian. Revelation 2:1-7: Are you spiritually distracted? (part 10), Discouraged? With that important understanding, we pass on to the third great truth regarding hard times. Gordon Dickson Encouragement in Hard Times, 1 Live your faith so that others might see and know the joy, hope, healing, grace, and love of God. Although he had come to minister to them, by standing firm in hard times they were ministering to him. In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Paul warned Timothy of the difficult (also translated “terrible”) times that would happen throughout church history. A Message of Hope & Encouragement for Hard Times, Lessons From Revelation's 7 Churches (part 2) - Smyrna: A Call Not to Fear, Lessons From Revelation's 7 Churches (part 1) - Ephesus: A Call to Return to Your First Love. Allow the word of God to light your path and the Holy Spirit to be a very present help. You may have heard Psalms 23 many times, but I want to focus on one verse: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, NIV). In this case, the great Apostle himself drew strength from the courage of these new believers. During our interview with him, he sounded very strong and confident in all his answers. Mark 15:22-27, 33-37: If you’re facing an impossible situation or you’re just tired of the constant flow of bad news, this message is for you! Often, this Psalm is read at a funeral and it is appropriate for that time; however I want us to consider that there are times that we need to be reminded of God’s presence when things look bleak. We prayed, and I know it was a divine appointment. (He told his conversion story in the bestseller Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.) You may go through times of suffering but God is with you. The rod is used to protect and drive the enemy away. If my experience can help someone else, feel free to use this information.” And it turned out that way, as you well know” (v. 4). How can we stand firm in difficult times? This message encourages faith over fear and helps you understand and apply some promises of God to your life. Allow your other senses to heighten. God Intends It For Good, Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated? Sign up to join over 20,000 subscribers receiving our weekly sermon email. You can’t have both. “But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. Troubles—yes. It reminds us again that we grow stronger as we lean on each other. Whatever the issue you are facing, Joyce wants to share with you what could be the best news you've heard in a long time. Consider these words by Roy Zuck: “For the child of God, there are no accidents, only incidents.” That may be the best one-sentence summary of Romans 8:28 I’ve ever seen. Perhaps we’ve lost a job and feel that we’re not qualified to do anything. A victim feels so sorry for himself that he has no time for others. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Growing Close to God in Difficult Times (Sermon) Uploaded by tsupasat. Nothing is impossible with God. Don’t let discouragement choke you. Even when God seems 1,000 miles away and uninterested in our affairs, He is with us step-by-step during difficult times. They were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. When hard times come, be a student, not a victim.” Over 20 years have passed since that day, and I still regard that simple sentence as one of the most profound things I have ever heard.