Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Finding God in the Hard Times



I’ve wobbled back and forth on what to post here today. I’m not a great spiritual leader nor am I a preacher. But I truly believe God has instructions for us during times of distress. And let’s face it, we all know that the world, including our country, is facing some serious challenges. Oklahoma has been listed by CNN and Forbes as the number one ‘recession proof’ state in America so we’ve not seen any real pinch. But my daughter lives in NYC. She tells me of businesses closing, of friends losing jobs, and a general feeling of anxiety. People ARE hurting, whether I am or not.

Interestingly, the NY Times reports that church attendance has increased of late, just as it did after 9-11. People know Who has the answers. They know where to go when times are tough. As committed Christians, we know too, but sometimes when the news is so bleak, we get sucked into the negativism and worry. So how about if come up with ways to de-stress and to remain positive in a negative world? I love Romans 8:28. It’s a favorite of mine as is Psalm 91--all of it really, but especially verses 14-15:

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him….”

Do you have a tip or a favorite Bible verse that encourages you when life is shaky?

11 comments:

  1. Linda -- I love your picture! That is the exact same one that used to hang in my bedroom when I was growing up. I've been thinking about what encourages me in hard times and I think it is prayer with friends. Something about talking to God together about what is happening (or not happening) gives me the most peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I teach cause and effect in my English 101 classes, I mentioned the effect: return to fundamentalist religion. For one, it gives me a chance to define the word fundamentalist. For two, it's interesting to hear the students as they consider that catastrophies are the number one reason people return to church (death is a catastophy) - and 9/11 the most recent.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post.

    I really like Ephesians 6:12,13. It's the one about our struggles not being against the flesh.....but powers of this dark world.....

    I find solace in that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't have the verse handy but the one about all things are possible with the Lord. When I'm faced with something difficult, I like to think about that. It gives me courage to continue.
    Margaret

    ReplyDelete
  5. Phillipians 4:13 is a good one. I think it's all things are possible with God.

    Another of my favorites is Psalm 37.

    I just used one of its verses in my latest ms. "Trust the Lord and do good."

    Always good advice.

    Our economy here is getting hit pretty hard. Our area's economic health depends on tourism. I've been watching stores go out of business since the end of summer.
    Sad.

    Well, Linda, thanks for the scripture. It was heartening.
    Lyn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Linda, I always think about "I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me." And that verse about not worrying--God will provide. I know that doesn't mean He'll just drop money from heaven and we have to be pro-active, but those verses sure do bring me comfort. And even a shopaholic like me knows when to cut back on things. (Or at least I'm trying.)

    And you did a great job!

    Lenora :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for the post Linda.
    That picture you posted was above by bed until I was about ten and believe me it got me through many a childish nightmare! But even now, looking at it it brings me comfort!

    ReplyDelete
  8. There are so many comforting verses in the Bible, but my all-time favorite that has helped me through surgeries and other difficult times is 1 Peter 5:7...that verse reminds me that He will take care of my problems and me! (in fact I have a lovely print of this verse on the wall beside my bedroom door, so I see it daily). Blessings, Patti Jo :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Patti Jo, I had to go look your verse up. Here it is for anyone who was wondering (by the way, I love Biblegateway [dot] com. I can look it up and cut and paste!

    I Peter 5:7
    Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

    I mention one of my favorites in my post for Thursday. It's one of the verses right before our theme verse. Here it is in The Message:

    Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

    That's always been a comfort to me. It reminds me that God is there even when I can't pray.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The guardian angel painting is one of my most favorite images. My grandmother had one in her bedroom and I loved it. As a child it always make me feel safe. Now, I keep a small print above my computer. Just a little reminder that He and His angels are always with me.
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was a very thought-provoking post. One of the verses I cling to when scared is "Fear not."

    I also like going through the Psalms and Isaiah.

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete