“You have either just gone through a hard time, are currently going through a hard time, or are going to go through a hard time.” That’s what a former pastor told me one day. I had just let others know about the call of God on my life and was asking him for some advice. He said that pastoral work was people work–and people are struggling through life.
Have you ever felt like giving up? I know that I have felt that way in my life. Wheather you are going through a hard time, are preparing to go through one, or just finished going through a challenging season, sometimes we feel like giving up. Thankfully God’s word has some encouragement for those who feel like giving up.
1. Remember that God is bigger than your problems
Jeremiah 32:27 says:
Look, I am the Lord, the God over every creature. Is anything too difficult for me?
God is God over everything, there is nothing that is beyond him. He knows your problem and can take care of it for you. However, we must remember that God often uses the challenges of life to shape and mold us into the people He wants us to be.
2. Remember that God is still in control.
One of my all time favorite verse is Job 42:2. It says:
I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted.
This is nothing that is out of the control of God. To thwart means to keep someone from accomplishing something, or to successfully oppose someone. This means that there is no situation that is out of God’s control. It may seem like things are chaotic, but God knows exactly what you are going through and exactly the reason why. We may never get the “why” question answered in this life, but we can trust God through the difficulties.
3. Remember that what you are going through is only temporary.
2 Corinthians 4:17 says:
Four momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
The Good News Translation says it this way:
And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.
Too often we forget that the pain we feel here on earth is not what will last forever. One day all our pain will melt away as we experience the presence of God. Revelation 21:4 makes a great promise in the next life for those who experience difficulties in this life:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
4. Remember that you are not alone.
Very often, difficulties leave us feeling lonely. There are at least two reasons we feel lonely. The first is that we think that no one cares. Peter reminds us that God cares about us very much:
casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. –1 Peter 5:7
Not only does God care for us he also is near. Our difficulties sometimes make us retreat from others. This makes us feel like we are all alone fighting this battle. You should know two truths about this:
a. God is always with you–ALWAYS–and he is on your side.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. Isiah 41:10
b. God has experienced your pain. He knows what suffering feels like.
For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. –Hebrews 2:18
If you feel rejected by others and have experienced difficulties from others in your life, you are in good company. Jesus experienced those same feelings too.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him. –Isiah 53:3.
5. Remember that God is perfect, so His plan for your life is perfect.
Six years ago, a brilliant, young seventh-grade guy said #5 to our class. He is absolutely right. If we believe that God is perfect, then His plan for us has to be perfect too.
Jeremiah 1:5 says:
I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.
Maybe you are going through a hard time right now. Remember these 5 truths and seek the God who is greater than our problems.