Recently I read a quote about changing your life. Actually there’s quite a lot of talk out there that if you don’t like your life, you should change it. The assumption is that you should do whatever is necessary to make yourself happy.
But what happens when you can’t change your life.
Sometimes there are situations that are beyond your control. Right now in a bad economy it’s difficult to find a new job or for your husband to find a new job. Other times, it’s just not practical. Maybe you have to stay where you are to take care of family or for other personal reasons.
What happens then? Do you face life miserably? Or do you just get by?
As Christians, we have to look at the bigger picture. God never promised us this life would be easy. Instead He promised that He would always be with us.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2
When problems seem to overwhelm us, it’s easy to panic. But God says, “Fear not.” He reminds us who we are…his children. Then He promises to be with us right in the middle of our distress.
We may not like our current circumstances. We may not understand the trials that we are facing…the money problems, the stress, the continual challenges…but we are not alone. God is right there with us.
Not only is our Redeemer right there with us, He promises to protect us. He won’t let the water sweep over us. He won’t let the fire burn us. He won’t let the problems overwhelm us.
It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always easy to look at the surmounting problems and face them bravely. But we can learn more about how to handle these difficult times from Paul.
Paul knew what it was like to face hard times. When his famous letter to the Philippians was written, Paul was under house arrest in Rome. He did not know whether he would live or die. Yet all throughout the letter, Paul reminds his readers to be joyful.
Then close to the end of the letter, he gives this beautiful confession:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Paul says, “I have learned the secret of contentment.” When I was facing a serious time of discontent in my own life, I thought, “Please Paul, if you know the secret of being content, please share it with me.” I finally realized that he does.
It’s in the verse we all love to quote, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
My friends, that is the secret of contentment in difficult times…remembering that we can do everything through Him who gives us strength…through the One who died on the cross…through the One who gave His all.
Through Christ, we have the strength to face situations we don’t like…whether difficult jobs, hard family situations, or an ever growing pile of bills. Christ is our strength when we feel we can’t go on.
We just have to call on that strength and remember God is there guiding us through the waters and protecting us from the fire.
Dear Lord, we thank You for this day….even if it isn't perfect. We thank You that You are right there with us, protecting us from the fire and the water. Please help us to be content in our circumstances knowing that you will be our strength to face whatever we need to face. Thank You for your grace, for your love, for your commitment to us. May we forever praise your name. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
What about you, my friend? How can you tap into His strength during difficult times?