10 Truths for Difficult Times

As the winter wind beats hard at the western wall of our house, I stare out the window at the bands of white as they tear across the lawn. This place that is so full of life and renewal in springtime seems like a desolate wasteland in winter. It’s funny how a place that restores can become a place that threatens to take away life in such a short span of time.

It seems like a metaphor for life today. It’s all too easy to be plodding along down the even road of good health, blessing, and prosperity, only to ride straight into a storm that changes everything.

This fall I wrote a post highlighting all the reasons why spiritual attacks aren’t generally against our cars, our health, or our finances. The enemy comes to claim the ground of our minds, and if he can harden our hearts or convince us to grow offended at God, he wins.

We’ve passed beyond the struggles we faced in autumn, and there are rich blessings threaded through the tapestry of the season we now enjoy.   But that doesn’t mean it’s all glitter and sunshine. Not every part of life is blissful in this season, and it seems this is true for most sunshiny seasons as well as most blustery storms. There’s usually a cloud or two in the sky on the sunny days, and there’s usually a bit of light piercing through the storm clouds when times are tough.

Regardless of where this winter afternoon finds you, here are some words to which you can cling when the light starts feeling scarce: 

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.

Romans 12:9-12 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Hosea 2:14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her . . .

My favorite verse among the words listed above is the last verse on the list. This is God’s promise to his chosen people, Israel, spoken through the prophet Hosea. God’s people have wandered far from him. They are serving false gods and bowing down to idols. They’re in a storm, and they don’t know it. They’re in a mess, but they’re unaware.

God’s promise is this: He will allure his people. Another translation says that he will woo them. He will captivate their hearts and draw them back to himself.

If your difficult season has come as a result of unwise decisions, don’t lose heart. The Lord calls you back himself like a lover wooing his bride to return to the fullness of his loving presence.