Bad times. Everyone faces bad times sometime in life. Job certainly did. He aptly said, “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil” (Job 14:1). Have you experienced turmoil in your life? Are you experiencing some right now?
To be sure, bad times are not fun times … but they are good learning times. Typically, the greatest lessons learned come from the toughest times in life. You know why? Because it’s in the hard times when we are most open and willing to listen and learn.
One of my favorite poems goes like this:
I walked a mile with pleasure
She chatted all the way,
But left me none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow,
Not a word said she,
But oh the things I learned that day,
When sorrow walked with me.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
When you are walking in turbulent, troublesome times, it is critical to put some positive things into practice:
1. Keep looking up and rejoicing in Him. No matter what you may be facing, God is still on His throne. He still loves you and still has a good plan for your life. Offer genuine thanks to the Lord, even if you have to do it through clenched teeth. God says, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me” (Psalm 50:23). Thanksgiving can be a sacrifice at times, but God is honored when we give Him the praise and thanks He rightfully deserves.
2. Keep your thoughts on the truth. When bad times come, it is easy to fill your mind with negative, depressing, miserable thoughts. DON’T DO IT! You can choose your thoughts as you would choose your friends. Let your mind dwell on what is true and honorable and right (see Philippians 4:8). You are what you think … so think God’s wonderful truths, not the devil’s depressing lies.
3. See the light at the end of the tunnel. When I was in college at U.T., Coach Fred Akers had a popular saying, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” How true. Do you know the most encouraging five words in Scripture? “And it came to pass.” The bad time you are currently experiencing didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. It came for a reason to teach you to trust God … to help you understand that Jesus never fails, and He will work all things together for your good and His glory.
God, thank You for loving me. Thank You for having all things under control. I choose to rejoice in You, even in the midst of my problems. Help me to keep my mind on You, Lord, and my thoughts on the things that glorify You. And help me walk by faith and not by sight, knowing that “it came to pass,” it didn’t come to stay. I want to learn and grow through this hardship … and come out on the other side more committed to You and in love with You than ever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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