If you’re visiting me today because you read the Encouragement for Today devotion…Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. You can find the devotion at http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/hardest-days-god-uses-them-good-2012-12/.
Hardships are never welcome, especially at the holidays. Why can’t we just push pause on all sickness, death, money problems and tragedy at Christmas? Right?
However, God promises us that when we go through the waters, they won’t overtake us. When we walk through the fire, we won’t be burned (Isaiah 43:2-3). Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for He is with us and comforts us.
None of us would choose to walk through hardship. I’ll be the first to plead, “Please, not me Lord!” But I can tell you this first hand: When and if you must journey through it, He surely will see you out, and it will not overcome you. Keep your eyes on Him. You must!
I have lived to witness Him heal, deliver, restore and provide supernaturally in and through tragic events. Many times it is the very circumstances that I didn’t want that God used as a vehicle to do His most miraculous works.
God warned us that bad things would happen to good and bad people. We live in a fallen world. But He, God, is in the business of working all things for the good of those who love Him—even the worst of hardships (read book of Job)
I don’t know what’s going on in your life. But this I know: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him so that He might show Himself strong on their behalf.
Don’t lose hope or let despair consume your thoughts when terrible things happen. Jesus left the portals of Glory to be born in a lowly manger. He lived His whole life as a living testimony for how we should live. He died and rose again so that we can have access to unimaginable strength, peace, and power in middle of it all.
Let’s pray for the families who lost their loved ones in the school shooting this past week. My heart is broken for them. God’s heart is broken for them.
I wish I could pray for each of you living through hardship right now. Let’s do this…Would you leave a one word prayer request below, and let’s pray for each other today?
I’m going to do a drawing from all who leave a comment. The winner will get a $15 Panera gift card, a Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack, two kitchen hand towels and two wooden spoons (stitching on towels done by our daughter Hannah) May Christ bless you!
For more on hardships http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/09/when-hell-seems-to-come-against-you-be-an-overcomer/
“ He came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61NIV