1Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” There are few things the devil likes more than to get you believing that you’re the only one going through a tough time. He wants you to feel alone, forsaken, and forgotten. If he can pull it off — you will drop your guard, lower your shield of faith and be wide open for his more assiduous assaults. Don’t let him win — keep a firm grip on your faith.
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain I heard this quoted as tough times, yet when I found it, it was spoken as hard times. Either way this saying is true. Each of us goes through hard times. Each of us has our own battles to fight and we will most times lose if we might alone.
I am reminded of a story about the wife of Martin Luther, Katharina von Bora Luther. Martin was having a hard time and was depressed. His loving wife watched this for two weeks and could not stir him from his depression. Finally one night she met him at the door of his home dressed in black, a sign of mourning. Martin Luther aasked who died. She said, “God.” He said, “Don’t be foolish woman!” She replied, “If God is not dead, why is Martin Luther acting as if he is?” His depression left him when he thought about the faithfulness of God.
Whatever our trial, God is still alive and in the heavens. God is not dead nor doth he sleep. Psalms 121:4 “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” He is still watching His people today. We who are saved, have been included under His watchful eye. He also knows all your problems before you do. He does not prevent them, for if used rightly, they will increase your faith.
2Peter 2:9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” Psalms 34:17 “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
Job said it best in a very short verse… Job 5:7 “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” We will have troubles, trials, and temptations in this life, yet our God will take us through them all, if we remember His love and care for us. Our real problems begin when we forget that God knows all that happens in our lifes. We struggle with impure thoughts and we fall into depression because we do not acknowledge God’s ability to help, heal, or head us in the right direction.
The Bible is filled with facts about God. It is filled with the failures of men. It is filled with history about men and women being in their lowest possible mental condition (doubting God) and it also is filled with helping them out of that state of mind. To grow in grace, we must have problems to bring to God to help us with.
2Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
Now let me rephrase the statement by G. Michael Hoph.
Hard times create trust in God. Trust in God creates better times. Better times allows us to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t complain or worry about the hard times. Use them to become closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.