Devotions

When We’re in Times of Trouble

October 8, 2019
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“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9b (NKJV)

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We know that suffering is an unavoidable part of every human’s story. It should not surprise us. But when it comes to us, how do we deal with it? How do we persevere? When massive waves are swirling around us, how do we keep from going under?

Getting a right perspective is critical — lifting our eyes upward to God rather than outward to our circumstances or inward to ourselves. Counseling our hearts according to truth. Realigning our thoughts and emotions according to His Story.

In 1895, a South African pastor, teacher and writer named Andrew Murray was preaching at large Christian conferences in England. In physical pain from an injury sustained a few years earlier (thrown from a cart while traveling and ministering) and having just received some discouraging criticism from a well-known person, the exhausted Murray opted to stay in bed one Sunday morning. But rather than wallowing in discouragement, he decided to write some notes for his own encouragement.

At the top of the paper he wrote, “In Time of Trouble Say …” Then he penned the following, counseling his heart with the truth:

First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, In His good time He can bring me out again — how and when He knows.

Let me say I am here,
1) By God’s appointment.
2) In His keeping.
3) Under His training.
4) For His time.

We can’t remind ourselves of these truths too often.

Never forget that God loves you. He is watching over you. He knows how long and how much you can endure. What you’re going through will not last forever. And whatever kind of suffering you may be facing — whether you have something you don’t want or you’re wanting something you don’t have — this is the kind of heavenly, right-sized perspective that will give you grace, courage and stamina to carry on.

When times of discouragement come, how can we persevere?

Look up. Remind your heart that for every child of God, in every circumstance, the best really is yet to come. Our hope for a joyful future is not in solutions to our temporary problems — but in the assurance that …

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9b).

Heavenly Father, as waves of discouragement, pain or despair hit my life, teach me to look up and confidently trust Your divine plan. Thank You for the unshakable hope that You are preparing a future for me, more wonderful than I can imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (ESV)

Romans 5:3-5, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES

In their first book together, bestselling authors Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Robert Wolgemuth share biblical and modern-day stories of God’s providence at work, including their own story of finding love and marrying — the first time for Nancy at age 57 and the second time for Robert, a widower. Each story will inspire you as you watch God redeem impossible situations in the unlikeliest of ways. Learn to see His hand in your life in their brand new book, You Can Trust God to Write Your Story: Embracing the Mysteries of Providence. Find out more at TrustGodToWriteYourStory.com.

CONNECT

Connect with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth at Revive Our Hearts or via social media, via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Write out the headline, “In Time of Trouble Say …” and then write out several promises or truths from God’s Word that encourage you for the season you are in now. 

Join the conversation! We’d love to have you share your thoughts from today’s devotion!

© 2019 by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Moody Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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