Thursday, December 19, 2013

God’s promises help us through hard times.

            You’re in a long distance race and you feel like you are going to die. Your lungs burn. You’re legs feel like lead. You only have a short way to go but you feel like quitting. All you want to do is lie down and rest. Then you hear the crowd cheering. “You can do it,” they cry! “You’re almost there!” And with that bit of encouragement you find the strength to go on and finish the race.
There are many times in life, when we are faced with difficult situations. We don’t feel like we can go on. Then we get some words of encouragement from a friend or family member and it gets us through.
That’s what I find when I read many of the words of our Lord. I find great comfort and encouragement when our Lord says, “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20). We receive the same when a loved one dies and our Lord promises, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies….” (John 11:25).
One of the most comforting and encouraging passages I find in the Bible is taken from the book of Romans. There Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
 Some others I like – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
These and many other passages which relate to us the promises of God help to encourage us, to keep us going. Over and over again we are faced with problems in this life. We may have to deal with family strife, financial burdens, or the loss of a loved one. We may be burdened with chronic illness or disease. We may have constant pain and suffering in our life. All of us have our burdens to bear and there are times when we may wonder how we can go on.
That’s when we need encouragement, the kind of encouragement that God gives us in his Word. We need to have some of these passages memorized so we can take them with us wherever we go. We need to make them in our Bible so we are reminded of them again and again and can find them easily to share with others.
Unlike the cheers of the crowd that leads us to find the inner strength to finish the race when we are tired. God’s Word gives that strength. It comes from the Lord. Through his Word we get all we need to get it done. I don’t know how people get through their lives without it. I wouldn’t even want to try. How about you?