The bible teaches us to “cast all your cares upon me”….
Realistically, how many of us actually do this “without” trying to fix the situation ourselves? I would estimate a very low percentage. Learning to “let go” and “let God” is not as easy as it sounds, however, the bible reassures us to …”Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Ps 55:22 and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
For example let’s consider Job’s trials. Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 KJV
The taunting, “Worry Syndrome”
I pose the question, if you’re in constant turmoil and worrying, why do you pray? Is it just something you do because it’s tradition? Or, do you truly seek God for peace and understanding? Forming a “real” relationship with God provides a sense of security, revelation knowledge and mostly, “a peace that surpasseth all understanding.”
The bible says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps 37:4) What we should understand mostly from this passage is the fact that there is a process of learning just how to “delight yourself in God.”
Are you willing to go through the process? If so, here are a few suggestions to get you started on your blessed journey: Pray and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to order your footsteps as you prepare to read God’s words.
- Clear your mind of all self-thoughts of how you “think” it should be. (As Paul stated to the Corinthians in 1 Corin 14:36; “Do you think that the knowledge of God’s word begins and ends with you Corinthians? Well, you are mistaken!”)
- Be prepared to push your way through negative temptations of things like, “I don’t understand what I’m reading” or “this doesn’t make any sense” or “I don’t have time to read” or “every time I try to read the bible, I get sleepy” (well, perhaps you do but, understand that the enemy doesn’t want you to read it, speak boldly and declare the good works of the Lord that you have already conquered the enemy and you’re on your way to a victorious life in Jesus Christ!) and continue to read. (Ref: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matt 26:41)
- Make it a point to read at least 3 scriptures per day. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to place these readings in your spirit so that when it’s time for you to use them, He will bring them back to remembrance.
- Don’t “try” so hard. God knows your heart. A sincere heart towards Him will produce results.
- STOP stressing. When you find yourself going to a place of stress, having tantrums or rebellious actions – STOP and ask yourself, “what do I look like to God right now?” Did you know that God knows what our needs are long before we do? Let go and let Him do what He promises all throughout His message. BUT, if you feel you must continue through a tantrum, afterwards, repent (ask for forgiveness), shake the dust and renew your mind to the will of God. Note: “Discouragement, depression, and self-pity are the result of problems and adversity for some. For others, problems are a challenge and help bring about faith, trust and victory.” 1
- Be willing to go through your storm! Pick up your cross and humbly carry it to its destination! God is able to use us for His glory when we’re willing to pursue the purpose He intended for us long ago.
- Place yourself in environments and with people that are positive and encouraging.
- Instead of the “me, oh my” syndrome, with a sincere heart, pray for others
- “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding.”
Did you know that doubt and faith cannot exist in the same body? For example, have you ever found yourself in a conversation saying, “I know I should be stronger than this, oh yes I have faith BUT, I’m human too, and sometimes it just gets too hard.”? The mind can sometimes be our worst weapon against self; however, the fact that we can dismiss negativity by adding positives allows us to be over comers! It is unwise (and impossible) to seek the Lord through “worldly” eyes. God is a spirit and the bible informs that we must seek Him in spirit and in truth.
Larry Burkett once said, “as Christians we are admonished to be over comers, all you need to do is ask the Lord to help you.” Scripture reference: 1 John 5:5; “Who is the one that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
What a message of reassurance, Amen?
The bible is filled with such reassurance that all we have to do is trust God, know the word for yourself and to “let go and let God” do what He purposed for your life long ago.
Like it or not, there will be difficult times in our lives. You might lose your job, fail in your business, or have an illness. Whatever it is, it’s essential that you don’t lose hope. You must have hope that you will go through it. If you don’t, you will only drag yourself down. You will enter a vicious cycle where your negative attitude makes the situation worse, which makes you even more negative, and so on.
Don’t let that happen to you. Be prepared for difficult times so that you are ready when they come.
Here is how not to lose hope in difficult times:
1. Have faith.
Based on my experiences, to not lose hope you must have faith. You must believe that things will work out well in the end.
In my case, I believe that God is in control of my life and has a good plan for me. No matter how bad the situation looks, I’ve learned to trust Him, even if I don’t understand how things will work. Time and again, things turn out to be good, often in a way that I couldn’t understand earlier.
Just to give you one example, several years back I failed my Master’s degree at a local university for reasons that were beyond my control. It was a really bad experience, especially given how hard I had been working on it. But I learned to trust God in that situation. That gave me the faith to get through it. Long story short, I eventually got a scholarship at an overseas university that was of much better quality than my previous university. I learned a lot more there than I could ever otherwise.
Experiences like this strengthen my belief that having faith is essential in difficult times. In fact, I believe it to be the most important tip here, which is why I list it first.
2. Remember your “why.”
When you are in a difficult time, you should remember: why do you do what you are doing in the first place? What is it that you are after? Remembering your why gives you the strength to keep going because the cause will pull you ahead. As Viktor Frankl once said: “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.’”
There are two points here:
- Always have a cause in whatever you do. To put it simply, if you don’t have a why, then don’t do it.
- Always remember what the cause is. Keep it front in your mind so that you don’t lose sight of it.
To be effective, the cause should be bigger than yourself. A self-centered “cause” won’t work. It must be something that gives you inner satisfaction rather than external rewards. It must be inspiring.
3. Be around supportive people.
Going through difficult times is hard, but going through them alone is even harder. You need a group of positive people who can support you. You should become a part of a community that cares and encourages one another. If you don’t, my suggestion is to start looking for one. Don’t wait until you need it, because by then it will be too late. You need the community before difficult times come.
4. Help others.
An additional benefit of being in a good community is it encourages you to think about other people. It pushes you to help others and, therefore, think about other people. This way you shift your focus away from yourself. As a result, your situation won’t look as bad as it would otherwise.
Often the situation looks worse than it really is because we give it too much attention. Shifting some of your attention away will put the situation in a better perspective.
When you are in a difficult time, remember: don’t lose hope. Hope is essential; once you lose it, you already lose the game. Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to not lose hope. You can make it as long as you don’t break it.
What’s the use of enduring things for the sake of Christ when people all around us take the low road and laugh all the way to the bank?
Is the price we pay worth it? From the strictly spiritual perspective, we say, yes, of course. For instance, after all of Job’s sufferings, he was granted a superior revelation of God. Still, somewhere deep inside we wonder if he could’ve gotten there more cheaply. It’s easy to consider spiritual people naïve in that sense, but James writes,
“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (5:11).
Let’s not sprinkle sugar on the situation. The fact is, Job had been broken under the Lord’s mighty hand. In chapter 40:4, he says to God, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.”
The “perfect man,” the guy who had it all figured out, finally admits he’s nothing. Some folks never stop running their mouths until after death. That’s a bad place to learn humility. But Job is learning it here ahead of time.
For the rest of this last chapter, the benefits of his uncomfortable classroom pan out.
First, God bequeathed to Job knowledge of an uncommon sort:
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted… ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (42:2).
This was wonderful knowledge. God had asked the man questions about things like snow, goats, and thunder, and he hadn’t known the answers to them. How then was Job supposed to divine the reason for all the invisible things, like why God allows this and forbids that? Why He takes three weeks rather than three hours? Why three years rather than three weeks? Or three decades rather than three years?
Job was seeing the tip of a mighty iceberg. Although he still couldn’t fathom what was below the surface, the little he had seen portended depths he had no right to question.
Nor was this some type of hand-me-down knowledge. Job said to God, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (42:5). Like many of us, everything Job had learned about God was from second-hand sources. But now he was seeing, experiencing for himself. The knowledge was so excellent, it humbled him. Job said, “I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
The second benefit of God’s dealing with him was that God vindicated Job in front of his hostile friends, calling him “My servant.” After long seasons of trial, the Lord encourages us by validating the authenticity of our faithfulness:
After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” (v. 7).
Third, God made Job’s service powerfully effective. Even if those other men had offered one thousand burnt offerings, it would not have worked for them unless Job had prayed for them. Effective ministry is always the outcome of divine brokenness:
8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
Fourth, God restored to Job more than he had lost. We can’t lose more than God can give. Whether in this age or the next, God is a rewarder, not a taker:
10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.
Fifth, God honored Job, and inspired others to respect him as well. God does not deal in cheap popularity, but He delights in bestowing honor upon his faithful servants:
11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.
Sixth, God granted Job greater fruitfulness than before—this time with a group of children who were celebrated throughout the land. In principle, the deeper our dealing with God, the greater the quality of our spiritual offspring:
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers”
Seventh, God gave Job abundant life. The fullest realization of that life is of course, not in this age but the next. Still, it is the mission of Christ that even now we would “have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). As believers in Jesus, we live abundantly whenever we apprehend a broadening stream of spiritual life flowing into us, through us, and out of us:
16 And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days.
I doubt Job died thinking he had been ripped off or victimized. He probably didn’t envy his religious friends, either—folks who had always seemed to skate on the surface of life.
The high road was costly, but it was blessed.
Have you ever been in so much pain and heartache that you do not know how or if you are going to make it? Your faith is shaken, and you’re not really sure of what you believe. The last thing you want is a bunch of scriptures quoted to you. The last thing you want to hear is that God is working it out. All you know is that you want the pain to stop. You want God to answer your prayers…NOW!
How do we maintain our faith when we are experiencing so much heartache and pain in our lives? I often wonder how those who have suffered such tragedy can keep from losing their mind and still believe in the goodness of God?
I have witnessed many who have and are doing just that: maintaining their faith and keeping their mind in a state of peace in spite of all that they are facing. Can our faith really get us through difficult times? Can our faith truly help to aid us in our time of need?
I certainly believe so. In fact, I have been through many heart wrenching situation in my life, and it has been my faith that has been the foundation on which I stood, to help navigate the waters of hurting and broken heart.
Yet, for as many that maintain that their faith is their source of strength, and helps them to get through the most difficult times in life, especially those times when there seems to be no earthly explanation; there are just as many who lose their faith. Or, their belief in God or a higher power. Within their hearts, they just can justify the existence of a loving and merciful God who would allow such heartache or devastation to wreak havoc upon their lives.
How do you view faith? We can have faith in ourselves, our parents, a deity, job security, friends, spouses, and even the government. We hold them to certain standards which enables us to place a certain amount of trust in their ability to live up to our expectations. And just like we have faith in these entities, we can also lose faith just as easily. So, what is our faith based upon? What is our criteria for maintaining faith in someone? Is it what they do or don’t do for us? Is it what they keep from happening?
For many, faith is subjective; based upon one’s belief system and life experiences. For myself, my faith is based upon my relationship. My faith in God, people, myself—is based upon the level of intimacy within my relationship.
What I know for certain: I am alive, breathing, and walking only by the grace and mercy of the Lord. There is a war going on between my flesh, emotions, and my spirit. There is a battle between my intellect and my faith. There are times when I can’t say who is winning because my heart just aches so much that my throat tightens from squeezing back the tears that want to continually flow. Yet, I still reach forward to God, even though I can admit that I am angry with God. My faith remains, because in my intimate time with God, I have come to learn that, though things may be painful right now; though I may not understand certain things; I am confident that God has a plan, and that everything will work out for my good. This is what my faith says. Because this is what my personal relationship with God has assured and taught me.