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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Help in Heartache and Hardship

"No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm - I will come to you." - John 14:18 TLB

One of the things that thrills me most as a believer is that we serve a God who cares. When life gets even harder than usual, and the difficulties of daily living threaten to crush me, I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone, and that I can turn to a loving God to find encouragement and real answers to my problems. If you are facing some heartache or hardship right now, allow me to tell you some things you can do - and not do - so that you can receive the peace and provision that belong to you in Christ.

First, whatever you do, do NOT try to figure out solutions to your problems on your own. If you are like me, you have a tendency to "over think" your problems, and to intensify your fears and worries. God has a different approach in mind. He tells us: "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand)." (Jeremiah 33:3 AMP) No matter what trial you are in the midst of right now, rest assured that God has a custom-made solution for it. Ask Him, "What do YOU want to do in this situation, Lord?" And when He answers, get into agreement with His plan, so that you don't limit His involvement or His power in the matter.

Secondly, do not neglect to meditate on the Word of God. You simply won't find anything more encouraging, comforting, or uplifting than scriptural promises. There are divine promises for your health, your finances, and your relationships - and for every area of your life. They are your inheritance in Christ. But how can you lay claim to them if you don't know what they are? Dig into God's Word and search out the promises that the Lord has in mind for your specific concerns. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you zero in on them, and to pray them and claim them in faith. God says in His Word: "You who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, and give Him no rest..." (Isaiah 62:6-7 AMP) When you are praying the promises that the Holy Spirit makes alive to you, you are praying God's will. And when you pray God's will, He guarantees that you will have your answer. (1 John 5:14-15)

Most importantly, trust in God's presence with you. If you allow yourself to feel alone in your troubles, you will minister doubt and fear to yourself, and you will hinder what the Lord wants to do in your situation. Refuse to feel sorry for yourself, or to feed on the sympathy of others. These negative emotions are an insult to God, and they will short-circuit the flow of His blessings into your life. Instead, keep Scriptures before your eyes that remind you of God's abiding presence. Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV) says: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…" Fear will have a hard time attaching itself to you when you persist in focusing on the Lord's presence with you. "[God] Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid.'" (Hebrews 13:5-6 NASB)

God wants to exchange your fears, worries, and confusion for His wisdom, His help, and His hope. Talk over your concerns with Him today, believing that as you seek Him and His will for you, He will lead you along His overcoming path!

Prayer: Lord, when I am suffering heartache or hardship, help me to resist fear, doubt, and self-pity. Remind me to meditate continually on Your promises and Your presence, and to rely on Your wisdom, instead of my own. Thank You that no matter what kind of trouble I encounter in life, You will always lead me to victory as I trust and follow You!

- J. M. Farro


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