This weekend we are starting a new sermon series called, “Holding On: Gripped By Our Savior.” When everything is going smoothly, we can easily see the hand of God at work in our lives. Then there are days when everything seems to be a struggle. We drift along, barely holding on to the hand of our Creator.
When we experience difficult times, it is normal to pray to God and ask Him for immediate relief. God answers prayer in His own time, so we may not receive immediate help from Him. We may have to go through many days, or weeks, or months or years of trying times. We begin to wonder why God hasn’t intervened.
We begin to wonder if God is punishing us or if He even cares. We feel as though God has abandoned us and that He is nowhere to be found. We feel alone and isolated from God.
Before you give up, remember that God can use suffering for His glory and our good. Our “good” does not mean getting whatever we want or having nothing bad ever happen to us again. Our “good” means what is good for our souls; becoming more Christ-like. God uses suffering to draw us close to Him. Many times we must feel pain to reflect His image and grow spiritually.
It is normal to feel isolated from God when we experience difficult times, but the Bible assures us that He is always with us even when He feels far away. God is walking right alongside us, especially during our times of suffering. He loves and cares for us, His children.
Have you been barely able to hold on lately? Remember, God has a firm grip on you, and He will never let you go!
Here are some Bible verses to remember during difficult times:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. – Deuteronomy 31:8
The righteous cry out, and He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:17-18
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. – Psalm 9:9-10
The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. – Psalm 145:9
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13