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Storms in life are inevitable. The Bible doesn’t tell us that everything will be perfect if we follow Jesus. Instead, we’re told that trouble will come. However, we’re reminded that there is hope—because Jesus has already won the victory.
“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.” (John 16:33, NLT)
Learning how to persevere during seasons of difficulty is an important part of following Jesus. So, how do you persevere when troubles come your way? It’s tempting to grow bitter, isolate yourself, and walk away from the Lord when difficulties arise. Hebrews 10 gives us a glimpse of what it takes to persevere during seasons of difficulty.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
When walking through a difficult season, we not only need to lean hard on the Lord, but we also need to lean on His people, the body of Christ. Seasons of difficulty are opportunities to hold tightly to the hope we have in Jesus. It is often during times like these that we have an opportunity to grow in our relationship with the Lord—when we choose to draw nearer to Him instead of running away. Troubles help us to see who God really is. They show us His faithfulness and His goodness. Difficult seasons are also opportunities to allow the church to function as God designed.
The season of life I am currently in, as a young widow, has not been easy. But I have learned from a previous season of difficulty that drawing near to the Lord is the best way to make it through. I have experienced firsthand His great love for me. I have seen the Lord provide for me in ways I couldn’t imagine through the body of believers at church, my co-workers, and friends and loved ones in other states. On the days I struggle and want to avoid other people, that’s when I need God’s family the most. We weren’t meant to live life alone either apart from God or apart from each other.
Not only do we need the church, but His church needs us. Each of us individually possesses a unique expression of the Lord that only each one of us can carry. God has a plan and a purpose for you and me within the body of Christ. In the same way that Moses needed Aaron and Hur to help hold up his arms while Joshua and his army defeated the Amalekites in Exodus 17:10-13, each part of the body of Christ has a purpose. Isn’t it amazing to know that we all have a role in building up His family?
Seasons of difficulty are best walked out with the Lord and with others who can come alongside you to bring encouragement, to support you when your strength is gone, and to help you persevere (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). The truth is that no matter what you are facing, God can be trusted to keep His promises. He is entirely faithful (Psalm 89:5). He is the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3). And the Bible promises us that when we fix our eyes on the Lord, no matter what we are walking through, we will have His peace (Isaiah 26:3). So, trust Him to come through for you (Psalm 138:7-8).
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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