God’s Word pulls no punches when He says, “in this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33). But how can we walk with faith and victory during these tough times?
I don’t have an easy answer or a silver bullet. Some days are better than others. Sometimes it’s even moment-by-moment. However, I have found the following six “faith tools” from my spiritual toolbox helpful in keeping me focused and hopeful. I want to share them with you over the next two days.
Faith Tool #1: Focus on foundational truths. The biggest weapons in the enemy’s arsenal are his lies: “ – God isn’t enough for me - My life is out of control – I have to take care of this myself – I’m such a loser…” More than likely, a big reason I am feeling disappointed or discouraged is that I am believing the enemy’s lies. I need to remind myself of the truth of God’s love, His power, and His sovereignty that He is exercising in my life right now. “The LORD is my Shepherd, I have everything I need,” says Psalm 23:11. “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord is unfailing love” (Psalm 62:11-12). Sometimes I need to write these verses on an index card to carry with me.
Faith Tool #2: Adjust my perspective. So often we get caught up in the moment and lose the eternal perspective. Our lives are part of the Bigger Story of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Take a step back from the challenges of life and gain some perspective that this is not all there is. My grandmother was right when she would tell me, “This too shall pass.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 says it even better, “Our light and momentary afflictions are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory.”
Faith Tool #3: Thankfulness. I love the verses in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 that talk about practicing the discipline of gratitude in ALL circumstances. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This does not mean that everything is enjoyable, but these verses tell me there is always something good even in the middle of the very worst. Often we can get so focused on the bad stuff that we completely miss the good things that are happening in our lives.
Take time to consider these important disciplines: (1) Call out the lies you are believing in and meditate on the truth; (2) think long-term, and (3) find something to be thankful for. This may not resolve your difficulties, but it can help you not become defeated by them.