Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
We are blessed as Christians to serve a God and worship a Savior who understands what life on this cursed planet is like. It doesn’t matter what we are going through, Jesus understands our weaknesses and troubles.
Life is tough. Yes, we can have a positive attitude, and should. But that doesn’t change the reality that life is a succession of trials, troubles, hardships and challenges. As Christians we don’t ignore this reality, we just embrace the blessing of serving a God who walks through this life with us (Psalm 23) instilling us with hope, peace, contentment and joy. We can’t escape the frustration and difficulty of life but we can give them over to God and trust His promise to love us and care for us through them.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (NKJV)
1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (NKJV)
When life gets tough, we can turn to God and rest in His promises. Let’s take a look at a few:
- When it seems like no one loves you, God does:
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (NKJV)
- When home is NOT where the heart is, think about the home Jesus has waiting for you:
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)
- When you seem too tired and too weary to go on, God will give you rest and strength:
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (NKJV)
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)
- When you are full of fear, God will give you courage:
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
- When you feel like you just can’t go on and are incapable of living the Christian life, God will give you strength:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV)
- When you feel like you just do not know what do and can’t understand life, God will give you wisdom:
James 1:2-5 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NKJV)
- When you feel like living the Christian life is just not worth the effort, God says it is:
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (NKJV)
- When you feel like you are not going to have the things you need to live, God says He will supply it:
Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)
- When you feel like you are all alone, and no one is there to help, God says that He is always there to help:
Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (NKJV)
- When you feel like you just don’t want to face another day, God says His love, compassion and mercy will be waiting for you:
Lamentations 3:21-26 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord. (NKJV)
We offend God when we do not believe what He has said. Think about it – the Creator God of the Universe has made specific promises to help us through this life. When we worry, fear, or despair we are in essence saying, “I don’t believe God will do what He says”.
Life is hard. We look for gimmicks and fads to ease the burden of life when we should be meditating on and memorizing God’s promises. We hope for a “new year” of “heaven’s blessings” instead of seeking out our daily portion of God’s commitment to care for us, love us and look after us.
For every negative circumstance, God has a promise to care. For every painful emotional, God has a promise of comfort. For every fiery trial, God has promised strength. For every discouragement, God has promised hope. Notice the pattern… God has the answer. All hope, all joy and all answers are found in Him. God did that on purpose so that we would not look anywhere else, or to anyone else, but Him… every day of our life.
Lord, Help us to know Your promises and trust in them. Help us to learn to turn to You every day and rest in Your care. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you find yourself looking for “fads” or tricks for happiness? Are you searching for the latest Christian personality who will tell you the “secret” to living a happy Christian life? Do you think that happiness and joy are going to “happen” to you?
Application: Life is hard. Many people are waiting for God to come along and inflict happiness and encouragement on them. It doesn’t work that way. Just like losing weight – there are no magic answers. To lose weight you have to eat right and exercise. To live a contented, happy Christian life, you must read God’s Word and pray. There are no shortcuts.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?